Raj Thadani highlights the benefits of partnering with Mars International.
Recently, we connected with Raj Thadani, president of Mars International, to learn about the company’s unique approach in managing inventory and installing MFPs and printers for dealers.
Well known in the office equipment space, Mars International is a re-marketer of used copiers. It has relationships with all the leading leasing companies and handles their end-of-lease returns. The company reconditions the returned A3 MFPs and resells them, predominantly overseas. A4 returns are disposed of. Mars also strips high-mortality parts before disposal. Mars International also serves as a resource for dealers looking for low-cost parts, as well as reconditioned or used machines suitable for resale.
At a time when dealers are looking for ways to reduce their costs and lower their workforce requirements, Mars International has come up with an interesting approach that we believe has merit and should be examined by dealers.
We thought the best way to give our readers a complete understanding of what Mars International provides is by allowing Thadani to explain what this relatively new offering is all about.
CR: How would you describe this service for dealers and possibly, for manufacturers or distributors?
Thadani: We call it a complete dealer perspective. This program addresses [the dealership’s] back end operations, including inventory to the contact with the end-user customer.
CR: Please describe the complete service that Mars provides.
Thadani: In terms of logistics, we can pick up a new MFP and deliver it to the customer. We also pick up the lease return from the same customer, and ensure it is properly handled and returned. We provide storage for the new machines and build the new copiers to the dealers’ specifications, including configuration. Depending on what the dealers need us to do, we can deliver and install the machine to the customer. In every way, it is a complete service.
We also buy and sell used copiers. We often buy from dealers that have been acquired. We maintain an inventory of lightly used inventory and can include a certain percentage of used copiers when it is permissible in the contract. This is very helpful when we install an MPS-type engagement. Dealers do not need to be concerned about the quality of the used device we provide. We would welcome them to visit our offices/warehouse in Clifton, New Jersey. They can see for themselves the quality and depth of our organization.
CR: Assume I am a dealer and contact you. How does it work?
Thadani: As a complete solution provider we interview the dealer and determine where we can best help them. Some dealers own their trucks and may want to rid themselves of that cost. We can provide them with a complete pickup and delivery service. In some cases, the dealer gets the machine ready for installation. We do the delivery and the installation. In other words, the dealer can design their program and we do the rest. We can also pick up the machine for return to the leasing company. Some dealers ask us to do everything from receipt of the machine, configuration, preparation for install, deliver to the customer, and install the machine. We find that dealers pick and choose what works best for them. We will support those kinds of efforts and help the dealers be more efficient. There is no way we can do a one size fits all for the entire industry. It just would not work.
CR: There are many different models of machines out there. How are you able to get a machine ready for delivery and installation?
Thadani: We have installed all brands. Where we may not be comfortable with a model, we ask the dealers to provide a level of training. Our techs are well trained and have experience with most popular models. In working with a dealer, we are aware that they may have a unique way of installing so that it fits within the MIF. When a new dealer asks for our help, we go through a transition or training so that we understand the dealer’s unique requirements. It is not just the brand and the model. To repeat, yes, we do handle all brands, and it sometimes does require some level of training as to how the dealers want the machine set up. We spend a great deal of time and effort to understand how a dealer would like us to interact with their customers.
CR: From the time you receive the dealer’s order at your warehouse, how long would it take for the machine(s) to be delivered?
Thadani: For a single machine, it is one to two business days. It depends on the number, special customer requests, and perhaps some unique insurance requirements. For many machines, it would normally take a few days to a week. In most cases, it is just one to two days.
CR: Are you currently providing this service to any dealers, and where are they located?
Thadani: Yes, and they are in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
CR: Are the states you just mentioned the only geographic areas you can provide this kind of service?
Thadani: Currently, yes! We have plans to provide these services in Illinois and California, where we have warehouse facilities already. We will build on our experience in the Northeast and eventually plan to take it nationwide.
We also do remote projects. We have done some in the north, south, and have a mobile process to install as many as 25 machines. That is being done for dealers more than 300 miles from us. We move a team into the area where the installment is required. We provide complete service within the designated area that the machines are to be delivered and installed.
CR: Do you own a fleet of trucks, or do you contract or rent them?
Thadani: We have our own fleet of trucks for the Northeast. For the special projects, we have vehicles for a large delivery to places such as Arkansas and Tennessee.
CR: Overall, in your current experience, what are the dealers able to save by using your services?
Thadani: Costs vary by region with savings from 25% to 35%. We feel the biggest advantage to the dealer is that they do not need to carry an oversized inventory. The savings are variable depending on what you would like us to do. We could eliminate leased space or mortgages for insurance, warehousing, trucks, drivers, and techs. In some cases, reduce the number of inventoried parts, and no need to maintain used machines.
CR: How long have you been doing offering this service?
Thadani: We have been providing this service for three years.
CR: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Thadani: Dealers are known for taking care of their customers. We are very conscious of that, and want our service to be seamless with their culture. To do that, we run customer refresher training service. Our people are trained on the interaction with the end-user customer. They are always in uniform dressed neatly and the machines are delivered clean, and no trash is left behind. The customer is treated in a manner that any dealer would demand. We believe that is important. We are representing the dealer, and we recognize that we need to exceed the dealers’ and their customer’s expectations.
From our perspective, what Raj Thadani and his team are offering is a service that can potentially reduce staffing and inventory, and lower the cost of fixed assets. As Thadani stated, it is a solution at the right time. Dealers need to reduce their operating costs, and Mars’ services can be a short- or long-term solution for some dealers. When dealers are furloughing employees and are not sure how many employees will eventually come back, Mars can also offer a stop-gap solution until we reach the post-pandemic period. It makes sense to us. Visit the www.thecannatareport.com. To become a subscriber, visit www.thecannatareport.com/register or contact email@example.com directly. Bulk subscription rates are also available.
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From our perspective, what Raj Thadani and his team are offering is a service that can potentially reduce staffing and inventory, and lower the cost of fixed assets. As Thadani stated, it is a solution at the right time. Dealers need to reduce their operating costs, and Mars’ services can be a short- or long-term solution for some dealers. When dealers are furloughing employees and are not sure how many employees will eventually come back, Mars can also offer a stop-gap solution until we reach the post-pandemic period. It makes sense to us.
Visit the www.thecannatareport.com. To become a subscriber, visit www.thecannatareport.com/register or contact firstname.lastname@example.org directly. Bulk subscription rates are also available.