Membership in SDG facilitates the sharing of best practices and we were privileged to participate in its September meeting.
Editor’s note: Take a trip back with Frank G. Cannata for his September 25, 2017 recap of the Select Dealer Group (SDG) meeting.
No sooner had we returned from our visit to Print 17 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Sept. 10-13, then we were back on a plane headed to Chicago on Sept. 18 at the invitation of Jim Dotter, president of Virginia Business Systems for the Select Dealer Group (SDG) meeting.
Jim is the current president of SDG and we were impressed with the agenda he had assembled. While we are not at liberty to go into great depth about what took place at the meeting, we are free to share with you some highlights. Mimi Evenson, national channel manager of MPS and solutions specialist, HP, opened the meeting with an overview of the current state of affairs of HP along with insights into what is happening between HP and Samsung.
The Cannata Report addressed the highlights of Print 17, focusing on production print and where we believe dealers fit within that segment of the business.
Patricia Ames of BPO Media moderated a vendor panel that featured HP’s Evenson, Kevin Kern of Konica Minolta, Jim Coriddi of Ricoh, and James Morrissey of Xerox. It was a lively discussion as the panel responded to questions submitted by SDG members.
Other noteworthy presentations were a discussion on rebranding and a manufacturer’s roundtable as well as an informal presentation by Mike McGuirk, president of ProCopy in Scottsdale Arizona and vice president of membership for SDG, about membership.
We have attended many of these dealer group meetings where membership is a discussion item and Mike’s talk was as good as any we have heard on the subject. After the discussion, Mike graciously agreed to an on-the-record interview about SDG membership.
Mike has been a dealer for 17 years, representing Canon and Ricoh, and has been a member of SDG member for five years. He once worked for a dealership that was acquired by Global. He felt that after the acquisition the company was never the same so in 2000 he started his own business and seven years later joined SDG.
“Everything I gave up when we joined Global I got back,” he recalled, citing such things as benchmarking, best practices, and the ability to reach out to other members for advice.
Since joining SDG, he’s been able to enjoy those benefits along with the great relationships he’s made within that group.
“I cannot stress enough the ability to reach out to fellow members and discuss solutions for the problems we face,” Mike observed. “The [members] of SDG are my trusted advisers. They always give me good advice.”
As you might expect, he sees such a value in being a member of SDG he finds it hard to understand why the group even needs a membership chairman.
“You will get so much out of it,” he said while emphasizing the exchange of different ideas and talking about common issues.
He also finds the makeup of the group something special.
“They are all humble and all about helping each other get better rather than looking for credit,” emphasized Mike.
Mike noted that SDG is looking for members in Dallas; Kansas City, MO; Cleveland; Miami; New Orleans; and Salt Lake City. He added that SDG would like to keep the group under 45 members as they feel that number is very workable at that size and allows for a more intimate exchange of ideas.
To become a member of SDG, a dealer should be able to share with other members what’s working and what isn’t, participate in an internal survey for benchmarking, be willing to contribute, and have revenues between $5 million and at least $20 million.
There are currently 39 SDG members with revenues from $3 million to $90 million per year. The two lines represented by the majority of members are Konica Minolta and Ricoh. There are annual dues and dealers must also be a member of BTA. There are three meetings per year and attendance is required at five out of six meetings during a two-year period. The meetings are scheduled for two days and the venues are excellent meeting locations.
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