It’s not a stretch to say that everyone in the imaging technology industry would like to see business return to normal in 2021. Coincidentally, that was one of the questions we asked our virtual panel in our February issue: What advice do you have for independent dealers to get their businesses back on track in 2021?
In Part 1 of a two-part series of posts, here’s how three of our six industry thought leaders responded to that question.
“I would encourage independent dealers to think outside the box figuratively and literally. The decline in clicks, shift from A3 to A4, and cultural shift to a services-based model, make this an incredible time for change in our industry, but that can be good or bad based on the response of the independent dealer. As an industry, we must recognize that our service delivery and expertise are more valuable to our customers than the commodities that we sell. Marshall Goldsmith wrote a book with a very telling title called What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. Independent dealers have to look for those areas of opportunity adjacent to their core business that allows for them to maximize their expertise and service delivery model. If an independent dealer isn’t interested in this type of shift, then it may be time to consider selling.” AJ Baggott, COO, RJ Young Company
“I would point to what we’ve seen successful dealers do. Controlling what you can control and adapting when it’s beneficial and necessary. Knowing that taking care of your people will result in taking care of your clients. Taking advantage of this time when companies are either going back to the office or a hybrid model to bring new configurations and solutions. Sharing ideas for products and programs with financing partners to benefit from developing them together.” Phil Buysse, SVP, general manager, office equipment vendor services, U.S. Bank
“The industry is going to evolve. First and foremost, my advice to dealers is to ensure that they have a range of products that they can offer that can address and meet these needs to go forward. While the near-term focus has been around A4, I don’t see the demand for A3 going away. It’s a matter of how it’s placed or how it’s utilized within the office. It’s more about where the share of the page volume is going. Continue to diversify. Consider categories such as wide format, scan, projection, and label printing where dealers can potentially capture more share of wallet with existing clients and support expansion into complementary and adjacent markets. Lastly, stay connected. Maintaining a solid relationship with customers and maintaining a steadfast presence will ensure dealers have visibility to opportunities as they present themselves.” Joseph Contreras, commercial marketing executive, office solutions, Epson America, Inc.
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