MFP Wars "Death of the Independent Dealer"

The Copier business was once a wonderful business, where the manufacturers only sold their goods through Authorized Dealers. We had competition, however it was healthy because everyone was on the same playing field.

The Dealers who sold the most got the best pricing, and the Dealers who sold the least just had to grin and bear and that's the way it was.



Over time, the business model matured and companies like Danka, and Alco (Ikon) emerged to buy some of the largest or most profitable dealerships in the nation. At one time Alco (Ikon) was the largest distributor for Sharp copiers.  Alco decided to (Ikon) dropped Sharp for another manufacturer.  That was the day that all Japanese copier manufacturers shook in their boots. From what I remember, and I could be wrong, Sharp lost about 80% of their North America distribution in one day. Every since then the Japanese manufacturers have been buying dealers to preserve market share.


Which brings me to a line in Tommy Boy:

go here for rest of blog

Last edited by Art Post
Original Post
It may be time to develop a CO OP with a central buying group like some of the business you sell to, you get enough dealers (Buying Power) then the OEM may have to listen. Right know and for a few years they still need you. Just a thought.
quote:
Originally posted by Art Post:
MFP Wars "Death of the Independent Dealer"

The Copier business was once a wonderful business, where the manufacturers only sold their goods through Authorized Dealers. We had competition, however it was healthy because everyone was on the same playing field.

The Dealers who sold the most got the best pricing, and the Dealers who sold the lease just had to grin and bear and that's the way it was.



Over time, the business model matured and companies like Danka, and Alco (Ikon) emerged to buy some of the largest or most profitable dealerships in the nation. At one time Alco (Ikon) was a distributor for Sharp copiers, and then one day Alco (Ikon) dropped Sharp and the Japanese Manufacturers shook in their boots. From what I remember, and I could be wrong, Sharp lost about 80% of their North America distribution in one day. Every since then the Japanese manufacturers have been buying dealers to preserve market share.


Which brings me to a line in Tommy Boy:

go here for rest of blog

Art I too am an independent dealer and have trouble getting deals with schools or govt. agencies. How can we bargain with the OEMs to get a piece of the pie. I have dealings with schools on rentals but have a hard time getting new equipment in there.
Any suggestions? If you want to email me my email is dosystems7@yahoo.com
Thanks and God Bless!
Leonard Garcia Jr. at Dependable Office Systems
In my opinion, the best way to approach this business is to always evaluate where you are strong and concentrate there. I know some of you have had success with P4P accounts for instance. 10-15 years ago, I was failing miserably in this verticle because our color and high-end B&W products were inferior. I didn't get upset about it, I just concentrated elsewhere. Government (including schools) and hospitals are now there as well. I am losing long term customers right and left if competition is brought in because of national contract pricing that I either can't compete with or can't profit from.
Ricoh is strong in the SMB market so that is where we go to pay the bills. We also have competitive Wide Format products so we focus there. Don't get me wrong, I want all the business just like everyone else. I just feel that you will wake up every morning depressed if you try to make a living selling to government and schools.
I'm agreeing with "Old Glory"! A few things for you.

1. Know inside and out all of your manufacturers programs (GEM, GSA< RMAP,) and all of the buying programs.
2. To me A4 is prime for school market. Hook up with a venfor that can provide A4 machines.
3. The big boys give away the CPC the first year and then raise every year thereafter. Along with having clauses in the contract about toner usage, the more toner you use the higher your cpc will go.
4. Support the schools whether through fund raising or volunteer.

When I think of more I'll try to add to this, anyone else care to chime in.

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