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Taking Time to Prepare Can Make Foray into Solutions Less Stressful for Dealers

I remember talking to a dealer principal several years back and asked him for his e-mail address. He responded that he didn’t like computers, and told me to just send it to one of his admins.

I knew his business was in serious jeopardy, and in fact, it failed a few years later.

The point of that story is to emphasize that we are in an ever-changing business environment. And in many cases today, dealers and service departments are reluctant to get into the solutions business. Some have tried dipping their toes in and gotten burned; others just want to be old-school dealerships. But we must remember that we can’t afford to get trapped in the current way we do business, or we will soon be out of business.

The Reality

Office equipment today is designed to be part of a network’s infrastructure. Devices are no longer output-only or scan/fax/print devices, but now can—and often do—serve as portals for access to applications. If your company is not currently selling and supporting applications, that needs to change, or your company will be in jeopardy of failing.

With the increasing view of the multi-function printer (MFP) as an active part of the Internet of Things (IoT), clients are expecting the ability to use the MFP to do many things, including:

  • Work with mobile devices;
  • Serve as a gateway to their document management or enterprise content management systems;
  • Provide secure access to these applications.

In more and more companies, controlling access to and output from devices is becoming a requirement as well.

The Challenge

For the service department, installing and supporting these applications can present difficulties. I heard a recent experience of a dealer, who found a national account opportunity that required a secure document management solution. The company contacted the manufacturer’s solution representative, who performed a walkthrough, identified the customer’s requirements and found the appropriate software package. They contacted the vendor and verified that the solution would work with the client’s access-control badges. They then sold the client on the product and equipment and got the order.

All is good, right? The client is happy, the sales reps involved are happy, so what could go wrong?

Continue reading this article in the free members's area or in ENX Magazine.

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