President Eric Auman discusses Hytec Dealer Services’ rebranding initiatives and ongoing commitment to imaging dealers.
Starting in this issue, The Cannata Report will be touching base with key industry players throughout the office imaging landscape for updates on how they are doing, new product introductions and initiatives, and other issues pertinent to the dealer channel. In this first installment, Eric Auman, president of Hytec Dealer Services, brings us up to date. Hytec Dealer Services is best known as circuit board provider and electromechanical repair service for manufacturers and service organizations.
CR: The past few months have been challenging for our industry. How has Hytec Dealer Services been doing through all of this?
Auman: The past few months have certainly been chaotic and unprecedented for Hytec and our industry. Normally, in difficult economic times, dealers and OEMs are looking to Hytec more than ever to save money and drive value, and when our industry is expanding, all the new equipment launches require our support. With much of the U.S. economy shut down for COVID-19, Hytec has been deeply impacted. As an essential business supporting critical sectors, we have remained open and operational, but with a reduced workforce.
We have worked hard to maintain our focus and commitment to quality and the safety of our employees while doing so. As the economy begins to reopen, we’ve seen a gradual increase in business over the past month.
CR: What were some of the tough decisions Hytec Dealer Services’ management had to make to ensure the long-term survival of the business during the past three months?
Auman: When it became apparent the COVID-19 situation was going to affect the entire U.S. economy, Hytec’s priorities were to take immediate steps to protect and preserve our great team and our financial stability. As soon as the CARES Act was passed, Hytec immediately applied for and received funding under the Payroll Protection Program. Thankfully, this helped us during this most difficult time and allowed Hytec to keep all our 125 valued team members employed.
In order to ensure our dealer partners continue to receive the service and support we provide, we did have to make scheduling adjustments and arrangements to keep the technical support line going. We received a lot of feedback from the field that this was greatly appreciated. Hytec was also able to fill orders by utilizing our extensive pre-repaired inventory to assist dealers serving essential organizations.
The health and wellbeing of Hytec’s team have been very important. Like all businesses, we had to develop policies that ensured social distancing and proper hygiene. We’ve taken extra measures to ensure our facility is fully sanitized every evening to try and make sure our team remains healthy. We’ve been able to have our sales and customer service teams working remotely, as part of our standard business disruption plans.
CR: What are some of the strategic decisions Hytec Dealer Service’s leadership is making to ensure your organization’s long-term endurance and success?
Auman: As our great industry matures, Hytec continues to add adjacent services and offerings to help imaging dealers save money and improve their service profits. In addition, we have diversified into new vertical markets requiring board repair, depot services, and logistics support. These markets include medical, ATM and cash handling, and point-of-sale.
This April, Hytec hired Bruce Nelson, former vice president of field services operations for Ricoh USA, to lead Hytec’s strategic initiatives. As vice president of strategic initiatives, Bruce is responsible for helping Hytec further diversify and rebrand itself. Bruce is also tasked with developing complementary offerings for imaging dealers and helping Hytec accelerate our expansion into new vertical markets.
CR: How important has it been to stay in contact with your dealer customers during this time?
Auman: As our name Hytec Dealer Services designates, imaging dealers have always been the primary foundation and focus of our business. Our sales team is continually in contact with our dealer partners, and this has been even more important during this difficult time. We’ve been able to better understand the circumstances affecting each individual dealership and remind them Hytec’s commitment to the dealer network remains steadfast. Hytec strategically works with each individual dealership to help identify opportunities for service cost reductions and programs that drive value.
CR: Why do dealers like doing business with Hytec?
Auman: Imaging dealers know they can trust Hytec for high-repair quality, next-day delivery, exceptional customer service, and proven cost savings. Through Hytec’s authorizations and partnerships with most-all imaging OEMs, Hytec promotes and supports genuine OEM solutions with genuine OEM parts. This helps ensure the equipment remains UL compliant, provides for better performance, and offers our dealer partners peace-of-mind when installing parts from Hytec.
Hytec provides dealers with great savings on circuit boards, hard drives, and assemblies. Our technical support helps field technicians with their first-call effectiveness, and from ordering unnecessary parts. We do not take the place of the OEM’s technical support, but if the problem is with a circuit board or circuitry, often we can help determine which part is defective. Dealers also like using Hytec because of our real-time website, which provides ease of order placing, views of available inventory, part number research, and other management tools.
CR: Tell me about your enhanced partnership with Ametek ESP, and what are the benefits of this partnership to dealers?
Auman: Hytec’s partnership with Ametek ESP was a natural fit. We’re trusted by dealers to provide highly technical repairs, and ESP provides advanced power protection, analytical data, innovation, and client support to reduce equipment malfunction, reboots, downtime, and service calls that impact service profits.
Hytec Dealer Services is exclusively authorized to provide sales and distribution support to all imaging dealerships. This provides dealers with an enhanced experience on customer support and added convenience when placing orders from a single source. Power protection that helps control and reduce service costs, is an important complementary product to reinforce Hytec’s total commitment to providing services and solutions to reduce service costs.
CR: You also have partnered with Predictive InSight. What can you tell us about that?
Auman: Our new partnership with Predictive InSight (PI) is an example of our goal to expand our services to our great dealer partners. PI is a proven print management software solution from Europe. It has saved European dealers millions of dollars and provides so much more than traditional print management software. We believe it will help our dealer partners improve their MPS business. In our surveys with dealers, we heard loud and clear that they would like for us to find more ways to help them with MPS. We realize it can be challenging, and believe PI is one way we can help. Dealers can call Hytec to learn more about how it can save money and improve MPS business at the same time.
CR: What was appealing to you about this opportunity?
Auman: With Hytec’s rebranding efforts, we are partnering with proven, successful leaders to help bring innovative solutions that drive value and savings to our dealer partners. Ed McLaughlin (co-partner of PI) is certainly one of those leaders and is responsible for bringing this proven MPS solution to the U.S. market. We are honored to be part of this exciting new program that is just now becoming available to U.S. dealers. After reviewing many other offerings, we find Predictive InSight to be incredibly valuable for our dealers and OEMs. With the changing times and more remote workers, we also believe that MPS will continue to grow. Finding a strong print management tool will be more important than ever.
CR: The relationships with Ametek and Predictive InSight are examples of how Hytec Dealer Services is diversifying. Do you think there will be more opportunities to diversify your offerings in the future?
Auman: We plan to add innovative solutions and other software offerings as Hytec’s commitment to providing management tools to help drive service efficiencies. Our dealer partners trust Hytec to provide only the best-in-service offerings. As we expand, we will be careful to align with the best-in-class solutions. The goal is to live up to our name every day, Hytec Dealer Services!
CR: Any final message for dealers?
Auman: As the U.S. economy continues to reopen, Hytec’s commitment to imaging dealers remains unwavering. We continue to provide genuine OEM solutions at great cost savings through our Authorized Parts Repair Programs. Hytec’s sales team is available to help each individual dealership identify cost-savings opportunities, which is more important than ever as the industry recovers.
As we progress together, our goal is to listen carefully to our dealer partners to understand their needs and help develop trusted solutions. The industry is maturing, and it will certainly be different in the future; Hytec expects to adapt and ensure we remain relevant and help our partners be successful.
We are honored for the privilege of providing comprehensive solutions to our great industry for over 35 years. We are committed to transforming our organization as our industry evolves, and further expansion into new vertical markets. We would greatly appreciate any feedback on how Hytec can better serve our partner’s current needs and any ideas for new markets requiring support.
For more information about any of these initiatives from Hytec Dealer Services, please contact Bruce Nelson directly at 404-781-4366, or bnelson@
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