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  1. #1
    Trusted Tech 50+ Posts
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    Jun 2014
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    Dealership Diversification

    How dependent is your dealership on MFP sales and service? Were noticing the MFPs are generally only being used for scanning and occasional prints, even our fax machines are being replaced by fax servers and other IT/IS solutions. We've branched out into shredding, print management, some IT services and equipment rentals. Any suggestions or ideas?

  2. #2
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts rthonpm's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Re: Dealership Diversification

    At this point, if you don't have a good IT and solutions team, it's only a matter of time before you're done in this industry. Paper will still be around, as will MFP's, but the focus of dealerships needs to be more on document management rather than on repair and standalone equipment. For me, when I branched out on my own, I decided to use my skills as a tech as a stepping stone into a customer's office. From there, by being able to bridge the hardware and software aspect I've been able to build a decent little business that was originally about 80/20 MFP service and small sales to IT support to now almost the opposite: most of my support is going to connectivity and software support. The main use for most MFP's seems to be getting paper INTO electronic systems as opposed to out of them. There are a few exceptions where paper is still used frequently (sales based companies, and the like) but the overall need for paper long-term will decrease. Like a lot of industries, this one is changing faster than most people want to accept, but the businesses that accept it, move their business towards the future, and most importantly keep their customer focus should come out alright in the end.

    The most important thing to do is know what your customers need. Most smaller companies don't need a full time IT staff, but the box stores will fleece them dry and many managed IT firms think they're too small to deal with, so there needs to be someone to pick up that opportunity. For larger customers, you need to know where your products fit into their regulatory requirements and how to integrate them into their environment.

    Print management can be a good way to get at least some kind of recurring income, as well as equipment rentals so it sounds like you're making the right moves to diversify.

  3. #3
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    Dealership Diversification

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    Feb 2010
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    Re: Dealership Diversification

    I wouldn't write the business off yet.

    We're always getting orders for machines. Our company is growing, we even work some Saturdays to unbox and setup equipment. Customers get a new copier it's like Christmas morning. We do offer IT as well

    We're not huge but not a little guy. The little guy has a tougher time, they usually get in a trap of servicing old machines. Those customers won't upgrade

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