Canon dealers, Canon customers, and Canon executives reinforce the One Canon message during the Canon One Event.
In our previous Canon One articles we covered the opening of the Canon One Event in Boca Raton, and in a separate piece, the introduction of the new Océ Colorado 1640 printer. Let’s recap the rest of the two-day event.
Fighting Irish Strategic Alliance
A discussion between Canon Vice President Valerie Belli and Canon customer Vaibhav Agarwal of Notre Dame was an eye opener. Valerie heads up Canon’s highly successful FM group, which employs 800 people. The selection of this Canon customer was an excellent one as it pointed out the opportunities of a print agreement with a university.
After listening to this fascinating conversation, I sought both Valerie and Vaibhav out. I wanted to know how broad the RFP was to develop a relationship that covers more than being a printer provider. The strategic alliance encompasses managed services, sustainability, and support in the press box during football games for 400 credentialed writers; camera lenses for the stadium as well as cinema cameras for use in various departments. Besides supplying the university with products, Canon has entered into a mutually beneficial relationship with the university, and most significantly its business school. Last summer two students from the business school worked as interns for Canon. It’s this type of partnership that leads to long-term business relationships.
In our brief conversation with Valerie and Vaibhav, we learned that’s exactly what Notre Dame was looking for. No wonder they are rated the 15th best university in the country. It also broadens the mandate for Canon’s FM group to penetrate educational institutions in a far more horizontal manner. This is a great credit to Valerie Belli and her team.
Production Print Update
Mal Baboyian, SVP marketing & support, Production Print, offered a short presentation on Canon’s performance in the production print space. He reported Canon experienced 104% growth in 2016 while achieving 117% of its profit goal. Last year Canon’s production print devices produced 80 million pages in the U.S. alone. Baboyian also noted that Canon currently enjoys a 38% market share in inkjet placements and 37% share in the CAD market.
He also spoke briefly about the Colorado 1640, which represents the largest product investment in 25 years for Océ (See our article on the 1640.). Additionally, the VP i300 (formerly Niagara) had 70 placements through 2016. These 70 devices are averaging two-million impressions per month. Uptime is running at 97% with monthly peak volumes reaching five-million impressions with Baboyian reporting that one customer had produced as much as nine-million impressions and another eight million during a one-month period.
Mason Olds, VP, BISG, and who is responsible for dealer sales, noted that revenue for enterprise and production was up 2% and solutions up 5%. His group has experienced five consecutive years of strong growth in the dealer channel as its revenue is now close to $1 billion. FedEx is one of this group’s key customers with 8,000 units, running at 98% up time.
One of the key goals for Canon dealers in 2017 is One Canon delivery where Olds is looking to leverage Canon’s wide format portfolio and Canon’s nationwide service network in the dealer channel. Most interesting was identifying a new initiative to “next leaders” for dealer organizations who were looking to transition leadership to second- and third-generation family members. The week-long training program is scheduled for the second week in May.
Olds added that security and healthcare are primary targets of opportunity for the channel. Based on what we heard and saw at the Canon One event, Canon’s focus on the channel is more aggressive than it’s been in a long time, and could provide Canon dealers with a host of new opportunities.
We were very pleased to see our old and dear friend Jerry Blaine CEO of LDI on stage with a customer—Howard Zimmerman of Zimmerman Architects PC in New York City. Founded in 1999, LDI has become one of Canon’s top five dealers. Unlike other dealers, LDI has enjoyed 98% organic growth. In addition, they enjoy a partnership with the Mohegan Sun with an objective to become the largest dealer in the United States.
The LDI approach to market has a distinct boutique feel to it. The dealership only has 6,000 clients who generate approximately $70 plus million a year (our estimate) in business. However, about 300 of those clients have more than 20 business locations. Because of this, LDI has had a difficult time providing its largest customers with the necessary services. Thanks to Toyo Kawamura and Tracie Sokol, Canon has assembled a network of reliable partners to service LDI customers throughout the US.
LDI has always had a vertical approach to the market with Jerry stating that legal, healthcare, and education represent the biggest growth segments. Rather than organize its territorial coverage by territories, the dealership organizes its approach to the market by vertical territories. That may explain why the dealership was able to grow from $0 to $70+ million in 16 years.
Howard Zimmerman PC is an architectural firm that only serves clients interested in renovation or rebuilding. The firm has been in business for 35 years and the organization has grown from 20 to 100 people. It was one of LDI’s first customers and has been with LDI since 1999. Zimmerman has established a consistency in management, which is manifested throughout the organization.
Howard emphasized that the relationship with LDI has been a real partnership. LDI assigns one person to one client, resulting in the fastest communication possible.
“LDI was able to grow with us but not our other vendors,” said Howard. “LDI gave us accounting software and helped grow our revenues by making us much more efficient.”
LDI’s knowledge of color has also been instrumental to fostering a positive, long-standing relationship.
“Our logo color had to be a consistent color (purple),” Howard explained. “LDI ensured we had the color consistency demanded. That is just one of the many ways that LDI has helped us improve our outreach to our customers and grow our business.”
This One Canon event was a distinct success. We learned a great deal, and were told, perhaps for the first time, that Canon truly valued our opinions and respected our knowledge. That is good news for Canon and even better news for its dealers. At least we can now provide them with our honest opinions of where we see this coming going and how well their efforts are perceived by their dealers. For that we thank Toyo Kawamura who has reached out to us and listened. He does listen and it is apparent to us this outreach to the press and to the dealers is very real.
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