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  1. #1
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts theengel's Avatar
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    Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    If you haven't faced the fact that office equipment is a shrinking industry, you've got your head in the sand.

    For those of us who are watching the numbers go down, I thought we could share ideas on places we could branch out.

    I myself started working on the Designjets (wide format printers). This has almost saved my business, but it only goes so far. I'm still looking for something new.

    I've also taken on older equipment that the newer companies won't work on anymore. But I really feel like that's the wrong answer. Sometimes other companies won't work on it because it's just not profitable.

    I've also hooked up with a company that sells mailing equipment. But again, it's also a shrinking industry. I'd like to have something in the business that will be worth handing down to my children.


  2. #2
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry


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    Re: Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    I take it you don't sell equipment? Maybe you can find a motivated experienced sales rep and offer him half the business.

    Servicing alone seems tough since the majority of copiers are under contract.


  3. #3
    Service Manager 250+ Posts SwisSeV's Avatar
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    Re: Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    The industry is moving from physical to digital media. The logical step is to move to IT.

    There isn't going to be much more job openings in IT because the companies we serve already have IT companies that can handle the addition of more digital media.

    Our jobs are being replaced by technology!

    It's hard to get out of bed for an industry that has no future. I'm looking into different industries entirely, but I have it easy. I'm an employee and don't have a business and other people to worry about.


  4. #4
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts
    Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry


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    Re: Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    Don't be mislead. I see copiers & printers around for at least another 20 yrs. I've been in the business for 30+ years and have heard it all, "dying business", "look for something else", "they aren't going to need us anymore", etc, etc. SURPRISE!!! this business isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Just like we were suppose to become paperless. HA-HA!!! I see more paper being used now than ever!

    Like the other poster said sell some machines. Service can only generate so much income, $$$$$ is in sales. Off lease machines can be bought at prices that allow a nice markup. This will also build your service base. I would stop trying to keep those old beast's alive and tell your customers they are obsolete and parts no longer available. Force their hand you will be surprised how many will say OK upgrade. You have spoiled them by keeping their old machine alive all these years. Now it is your turn to benefit.

    Best of luck


  5. #5
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts theengel's Avatar
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    Re: Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    Most indie techs are out there because they don't want to work for one arshole boss, but they have a natural talent for fixing shit.

    You can come up with all kinds of ways to earn more money by expanding the business you do with customers. Which is great, but it's not what I'm talking about.

    You can expand into IT work, which I've done, and that's great too... but that's not what I mean either.

    What I'm talking about is finding something different to fix. Possibly something that will be around for a while.

    If you're an indie tech, what's next?


  6. #6
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts
    Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry


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    Re: Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    A few things off the top of my head....3D printers, time clocks.

    Another Indie I know said he is making a lot of money with time clocks. I laughed, he didn't. He was serious.....still haven't had time to look into it but has me thinking....


  7. #7
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry


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    Re: Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    I don't know if it's a shrinking industry, I have seen it more stream lined over the years, for example, I have seen separate devices become one. I have seen machines become more compartmental, for example, replaceable developer units and drums instead of individual parts. I have seen more desktop scanners, now, instead of everybody using the copier to scan documents. I always wonder what is next, too, but have learned in this industry to adapt. Think about all the office equipment manufactures that would be out of business if the copier no longer existed. I look at HP for example, they have made billions selling cheap printers and selling ink for an arm and a leg. I have customers who buy this junk because they look a initial cost instead of overall cost, I try to get there toner business and try to make some margin off the sale.

    Where can the office equipment industry go? We will always need paper in mortgages, law offices, churches, doctors offices, etc. If you can win the battle of penny wise dollar stupid office equipment purchases you will succeed, it's tough work, though. I'm sure you're familiar with Epson and how they are pushing the whole two-years of ink bullshit, but consumers fail to read the small print, believe me, there is a lot of small print with that claim. I landed a new account because of it, they make a lot of prints of pictures, the printer claimed to be 26 prints per minute, but you have to read the small print. The printer claimed to to have two years of ink, but they needed a replacement after a few months and had to buy OEM at an arm and a leg. So, I sold them a nice 31 PPM color copier and they couldn't be happier. I think the challenge, lately, is educating consumers on the long term overall expenses of office equipment purchases and selling machines in there that aren't cheaper but cut the overall expenses with cheaper toners with longer yields and less maintenance.
    Sharp has machines, now that sense when you walk up to them, to cut down on warm up times.... maybe the next big thing will be a self-reliant, self repairing copier that can read your mind electronically and print out what you are thinking once you walk up to it. Epson has a paper shredder that shreds the paper and makes it into new paper with scent options and it's all done on site.


  8. #8
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts theengel's Avatar
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    Re: Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    Quote Originally Posted by copiertec View Post
    We will always need paper in mortgages, law offices, churches, doctors offices, etc.
    That's just not true. I'm seeing electronic records in more and more places, and those records are becoming an acceptable form of legal documentation.

    I know they've talked about this happening for years. And while they were talking, every year, paper consumption kept going up.

    But it is actually on the decline, and paper records really are becoming a thing of the past. I mean it's happening right now. The statistics show it happening.

    For a long time, electronic documents meant more people printing the same document over and over again. But as we move into a screen focused world, people just don't print things as much. The old folks who need paper are disappearing from the work force.


  9. #9
    grumpy old git 500+ Posts banginbishop's Avatar
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    Re: Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    I used to work for a company owned by Walmart some years ago in the UK. It was classed as a paperless environment............ there was always paper floating about somewhere in some guise from suppliers or internal use.

    Its like any field you adapt or die with the changes that come along. It happened with digital over analogue & many of the old school complained. Me I'm getting out of it because it's changed since I started, pays getting better now but the funs gone & its now or never to get out.


  10. #10
    Senior Tech. 2,500+ Posts NeoMatrix's Avatar
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    Re: Indie techs and growing in a shrinking industry

    Quote Originally Posted by copiertec View Post
    Sharp has machines, now that sense when you walk up to them, to cut down on warm up times.... maybe the next big thing will be a self-reliant, self repairing copier that can read your mind electronically and print out what you are thinking once you walk up to it. Epson has a paper shredder that shreds the paper and makes it into new paper with scent options and it's all done on site.

    Shizzz mind reading copiers,way to go...
    The divorce courts will be overflowing with copier paper everywhere, we'll all be rich....:P

    If the Chinese phone manufactures have their say we will see neural technology in mobile phones for real.
    They already have vehicles, wheelchairs an similar devices connected to neural technology.
    How in the world are we going to have secured electronic banking, finance and computer systems if that sort of technology is released ?

    Ahh...Maybe we should all diversify into neural networks...?

    What if we could count the stars... , what number would you stop at...?"
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