In this disaster plan, IT is third on the list. If your employees have communications and a place to work, then they will need access to the IT systems they use. If your IT is on-premises, and the building is not available, you are going to need a list of the hardware that your system uses, and a valid full system backup to load on the replacement system.
If your system is cloud-based, you will still need network access to it. How can your team get access, and have the bandwidth necessary to keep the business working?
If your system is cloud-based, do you have the technology in place so that an intruder can’t lock you out or steal client information?
One early priority is to determine if your employees are safe and in a safe place. Once you know the status of your existing employees, you can start to work on taking care of clients. You may be in a position where you...
The threats you face will be different depending on where you live in the world. Following are some of the most common disasters. Think about which may affect your company.
This category is one of the most common disasters that companies face. It could be flooding, a tornado, or some other natural disaster.
Natural disasters and severe weather events not only affect you, but they affect other businesses in your area. So if you have a better disaster plan than your competitor, these events may open new opportunities for you.
Weather disasters can wipe out your infrastructure, your products, and other parts of your business in that location.
Fire may be one of the higher probabilities. Think what it would be like if you drove up to your business tomorrow and it had burned to the ground.
If your business depends on materials from other areas, your supply chain could be at...
Disasters can come in a variety of flavors. This year, we can think about the pandemic as a disaster and see that it affects every business differently.
The pandemic was not something most people would have planned for, and most disaster plans probably didn't specifically address it. However, the process of creating a disaster plan would have benefited those businesses with them.
Following is a story of an unexpected event and the impact of not having a disaster plan in place. Again this was not something this company expected, and its effects on their customers show it.
My internet, which is the lifeblood of my business, is provided through a cellular reseller. I had loved their service until this incident hit.
On December 31, 2020, ATT had a server fail. This particular server was the device that handled renewing the monthly service for many ATT resellers. The result was thousands of customers like myself lost internet for an extended...
I am sure that you have heard the adage; Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail. Yet too many businesses don't have practical working business plans. Most have a fanciful fairy tale they use for the bank, filled with rosy projections.
The plans businesses need will guide their response to the ever-changing business environment. These are real plans with actions to take for the entire company. These plans will serve as a real roadmap to the success you want to achieve for your company.
There are seven subjects we will discuss in this series. This article gives a brief description of each, and we will take a deep dive into each in later chapters.
The disaster plan is the one you hope you never need, but I am placing it first on the list because your company's survival will probably be at risk if you need it. Failure to have a good plan, when something happens, can...
For many dealers, the prospect of adding managed IT to their company is a logical next step. For the sales department, it means adding a new talk track and developing some specialists to help close the business.
It does give a dealer the ability to better position themselves to manage and retain their current customers. It may also provide a competitive advantage in the sales process. However, a typical copier and printer service department will face significant challenges in supporting managed IT.
Separate or Integrated… or Partnered
The first step in moving into managed IT is to decide how you are going to handle IT support. Is it something that will be managed and operated through the service department, or will it be a separate department? Will you handle all customer support internally, or will you outsource some or all of the support?
This is a decision that will vary by dealership. If you currently have a help desk operation, provide all of your own internal network...
Light production print can be a stepping stone to new customers and it offers the opportunity to grow your business. When managed properly, it can position a dealership for growth and continued success. When managed poorly, it can spell problems that may haunt the dealership for years.
This is not an arena you want to dip your toe in and see how it goes. To do it effectively, a significant investment in parts and training is required. If you only have a couple of devices in the field, your ability to properly support the equipment will be nonexistent.
The Market Assessment
The first phase of making the light production print decision needs to be a market assessment to see how many potential units you can reasonably expect to place. If that number is less than 10, this is probably not a market you want to tackle. Additionally, these need to be in a geographic area that one team can support.
If your territory covers a wide area and you expect to have equipment scattered throughout the...
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.
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...
In our industry, the most important area for the profitability and survival of the company stems from the recurring revenue in the service department. When considering the trends in our industry for the future, this topic deserves serious attention.—dealers that fail to secure the revenue stream properly are most at risk for failure.
What Does it Mean
When we are talking about securing the revenue stream, we are talking about creating a binding support agreement for the duration of the equipment lease. I know some dealers do not like to build the service into the lease, but failing to do so diminishes the value of the dealership and does not provide any future security for the company.
I am not suggesting pre-funding the service component of the lease, and most leasing companies no longer offer that as an option. When valuing your dealership, a pre-funded service contract is viewed as a liability rather than as an asset.
When you build your service contract...
Over the last couple of years, I’ve spent time with some of the best-known consultants and analysts in our industry, both in person and through attending the training and webinars they produce. In off-the-record comments, the most-common fear about the industry and financial models we know today is that they have a limited lifetime left. On a webinar recently, I asked the presenter what the changes he described would do to the service model we use today, and he said that things would be okay for the next four to five years.
There are several challenges facing service that are starting to impact our industry now, and they will continue to accelerate in the future. Let’s take a look at some of them and what we can do to protect our businesses.
Declining Print Volume
While there is generally fluctuation from year to year, the overall trend in printing is down in most segments of our industry. The only segment that shows real growth is in the high-volume and industrial print...
Strategic Shock, Surviving the Inevitable Crisis
The event’s keynote address was given by Ret. 1st Sgt. Matt Eversmann. His name may be familiar since he was one of the key characters in the book (and subsequent movie) “Black Hawk Down.”
He began by relating how he wound up in the Army Rangers and what he learned in his early days. One thing that stuck with me was his statement that the Rangers did the same things the rest of the army did—they marched, shot and learned to fight. He said the difference was they did the basics at a Ph.D. level.
This concept is important in the service department because the marketplace is more demanding and the competitive forces are increasing. Most of what you do, every other service department also...