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  1. #1
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts theengel's Avatar
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    Replacing the printer and copier business

    Let's face it, we were already a dying industry. I'm starting to feel like the covid scare pretty much finished us off. I am constantly trying to find new equipment to take the place of the printers I don't work on anymore. I started working on the wide format but even that isn't getting as much business lately.

    I looked into sewing machines a little. People will spend up to $1000 on them. There are a few sewing machine shops in the area, but I don't see any that offer field service, so I'm trying to dabble in that.

    I work on mailing equipment (inserters and such) but that is a dying industry as well.

    I'm wondering if any one here ever worked on car wash machinery?

    What other equipment do you guys work on.

  2. #2
    Senior Tech 250+ Posts JLSam's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing the printer and copier business

    Lol, "they've" been saying that since the 90's.

    I've been trying to get my CCNA from Cisco, I hope to get my cert this year. We dabble with IT support as well, and that's helping.

    We hope one day to be a one stop place for all your Office needs.

    Toner? No problem.
    Need a printer? We got you.
    A scanner? This is the best one.
    A copier? This model is the latest and greatest.
    New PC? Easy install to network.
    Need network patchwork? Easy peazy.
    Got a virus? We will clean it for you.
    Need VoIP? I got options.
    PC doesn't turn on? A+ certified here, I'll replace that power supply.



    Sent from my GM1917 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Technician MarioTech's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing the printer and copier business

    Quote Originally Posted by theengel View Post
    Let's face it, we were already a dying industry. I'm starting to feel like the covid scare pretty much finished us off. I am constantly trying to find new equipment to take the place of the printers I don't work on anymore. I started working on the wide format but even that isn't getting as much business lately.

    I looked into sewing machines a little. People will spend up to $1000 on them. There are a few sewing machine shops in the area, but I don't see any that offer field service, so I'm trying to dabble in that.

    I work on mailing equipment (inserters and such) but that is a dying industry as well.

    I'm wondering if any one here ever worked on car wash machinery?

    What other equipment do you guys work on.
    Sam is right on! The best suggestion is get into PC repair and networks, I got my CCNA, MCSE and I've been capturing all the business available at my clients, from PC tune ups and tower cleaning every 6 months to virus removal, software installations like quickbooks, etc and servicing their servers as well since I found an admin that I started working with when a server comes along. I don't say no to anything. To be honest I thought at one point to get into the parking machines repair as a few of my buddies make really good money (over 100K yearly with overtime) fixing these at parking structures and shopping centers. Maybe that's something to consider if you don't want to spend time at a college and online taking classes.

  4. #4
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    Replacing the printer and copier business


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    Re: Replacing the printer and copier business

    All good suggestions. I think the repair business in general will decline in profitability in the future. Years ago there used to be a bunch of TV repair shops in a typical town. Now there are none. Look what the electric car is going to do to the car repair business. No more oil changes, no more tune ups etc.. Tesla for example does its software updates over the internet. No need to go to the dealer for that. There still will be repairs on these vehicles but less then the typical gasoline powered vehicle. They still will need techs for these cars but they will be paid less then techs made years ago. PC repair will suffer the same fate in the future as people do more work on the internet using software as a service. I think workstations will be replaced by laptops, then tablets and maybe young people will be using their phones for work. The repair model may be replace instead of repair. Certain trades will flourish in the future. There will be a demand for wind turbine techs and solar panel installers. For the smart people, software engineers will grow in demand. I see a lot more consolidation in our business both on the service side and for the manufacturers as well. There are too many copier manufacturers for the demand. These will merge or go out of business.

    Not sure what kind of business repairing robots will be in the future. They are going to be everywhere: In hospitals, restaurants, nursing homes, in peoples homes. Maybe community colleges will start offering robot repair certifications.

  5. #5
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts theengel's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing the printer and copier business

    Quote Originally Posted by adecanmin View Post
    All good suggestions. I think the repair business in general will decline in profitability in the future. Years ago there used to be a bunch of TV repair shops in a typical town. Now there are none. Look what the electric car is going to do to the car repair business. No more oil changes, no more tune ups etc.. Tesla for example does its software updates over the internet. No need to go to the dealer for that. There still will be repairs on these vehicles but less then the typical gasoline powered vehicle. They still will need techs for these cars but they will be paid less then techs made years ago. PC repair will suffer the same fate in the future as people do more work on the internet using software as a service. I think workstations will be replaced by laptops, then tablets and maybe young people will be using their phones for work. The repair model may be replace instead of repair. Certain trades will flourish in the future. There will be a demand for wind turbine techs and solar panel installers. For the smart people, software engineers will grow in demand. I see a lot more consolidation in our business both on the service side and for the manufacturers as well. There are too many copier manufacturers for the demand. These will merge or go out of business.

    Not sure what kind of business repairing robots will be in the future. They are going to be everywhere: In hospitals, restaurants, nursing homes, in peoples homes. Maybe community colleges will start offering robot repair certifications.
    The Teslas and solar panels will never provide much work. Tesla only exists because they are subsidized. Solar panels are only big in areas where government regulations force people to use them. But I see what you're saying. Almost EVERYTHING is replaceable--not fixable. Even a $1000 TV generally gets replaced instead of fixed.

    Here's what I don't understand about PC work:

    I spent 3 hours trying to track down a problem that was caused by Windows updates last week. I got it fixed, but what if I couldn't figure it out, and my answer had to be: "You need a new hard drive." That adds at least an hour of loading the OS and all the other software the guy needed. Then another hour trying to recover email and pics and all the crap he had. Can you really charge 5 hours for a laptop that's only worth $1000?

  6. #6
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts theengel's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing the printer and copier business

    Quote Originally Posted by JLSam View Post

    We hope one day to be a one stop place for all your Office needs.

    Like Staples and Office Depot?

  7. #7
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    Replacing the printer and copier business


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    Re: Replacing the printer and copier business

    Quote Originally Posted by theengel View Post
    The Teslas and solar panels will never provide much work. Tesla only exists because they are subsidized. Solar panels are only big in areas where government regulations force people to use them. But I see what you're saying. Almost EVERYTHING is replaceable--not fixable. Even a $1000 TV generally gets replaced instead of fixed.

    Here's what I don't understand about PC work:

    I spent 3 hours trying to track down a problem that was caused by Windows updates last week. I got it fixed, but what if I couldn't figure it out, and my answer had to be: "You need a new hard drive." That adds at least an hour of loading the OS and all the other software the guy needed. Then another hour trying to recover email and pics and all the crap he had. Can you really charge 5 hours for a laptop that's only worth $1000?
    Good point. I just heard an ad where dell is offering PCs as a service. Are we going to be offering copiers as a service? Everything in the future is going to be rented. Nobody will want to own anymore.

  8. #8
    Super Tech 500+ Posts CompyTech's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing the printer and copier business

    Quote Originally Posted by theengel View Post
    Like Staples and Office Depot?
    Guess who Staples bought last year? Staples, Inc. Signs Agreement to Acquire Leading Document Imaging Technology Dealer DEX Imaging | Business Wire


    Quote Originally Posted by adecanmin View Post
    Good point. I just heard an ad where dell is offering PCs as a service. Are we going to be offering copiers as a service? Everything in the future is going to be rented. Nobody will want to own anymore.
    The future indeed seems to be going the subscription model vs buy once up front. Certainly more profitable for companies as long as the subscribers keep rolling in.

  9. #9
    Senior Tech 250+ Posts JLSam's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing the printer and copier business

    Quote Originally Posted by theengel View Post
    Like Staples and Office Depot?
    No, we would never be able to compete with Amazon.

    But when it comes toner, and paper we are good. I said one stop shop as in setting up an office.
    Buying the computers, patching them, setting up printers, servers, racks, copiers, users, IP cameras, Setting up RFID cards and readers for entering office, which works with the copier too.

    Stuff like that.

    Instead of hiring 1 contractor for this, a vendor for that, a dedicated IT dept for this other stuff...

    One company, full office management.

    That's the hope one day. We're getting there, slowly, but one day.

  10. #10
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    Replacing the printer and copier business


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    Re: Replacing the printer and copier business

    Quote Originally Posted by JLSam View Post
    No, we would never be able to compete with Amazon.

    But when it comes toner, and paper we are good. I said one stop shop as in setting up an office.
    Buying the computers, patching them, setting up printers, servers, racks, copiers, users, IP cameras, Setting up RFID cards and readers for entering office, which works with the copier too.

    Stuff like that.

    Instead of hiring 1 contractor for this, a vendor for that, a dedicated IT dept for this other stuff...

    One company, full office management.

    That's the hope one day. We're getting there, slowly, but one day.
    Can one company do it all? And do it well? Sears in the 70s and 80s tried that with real estate, insurance, banking and retail. I don't think it worked out too well for them. I believe in specialization. Instead of being all things maybe learn 2 things well and go from there. Specialists in the medical field make a lot more money than a someone in general practice.

    I've read stories about companies buying other companies to expand their offerings, then years later they spin them off because the venture did not work out.

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