ITEX 2020 has been postponed due to impacts caused by the recent outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as the health, safety, and well-being of our attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and staff is our primary concern. We appreciate your understanding and support of this decision. Learn More

WHAT IF?  Can you answer that question? Let’s start here…think about all the options there are when buying just about anything. There are countless, and that includes buying options for printers! Search through hundreds of websites, make a selection, click, and it’s purchased. Nearly anyone can install a new printer, and software immediately begins to monitor and manage supply replacement. Boom! You’ve been cut out of the process. Even Amazon has jumped into the game and has started an MPS program. When the big boys come out to play, we know it is time to look at our strategy. So, how do you guarantee that your business will continue to thrive when so much has changed?

I have been in this industry for 20 years and for all 20 of those, there’s been talk of convergence in technology. First the converging of copiers, faxes, and printers into one device. Then converging with printer networkability. Then mobility. Then, one day, another convergence was here, challenging each and every Managed Print and Managed Services provider. So, the answer is very simple – convergence!

NO MORE Managed Print Services (MPS).  HELLO Business Solutions Providers (BSP)

If you plan on staying in business, start shifting your company’s mindset and begin rethinking your deliverables, especially if your revenue stream comes primarily from selling output devices. Big name retailers, such as Toys “R” Us, Sports Authority, and Blockbuster, missed the boat because they neglected to evolve and didn’t develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP). So, now they’re kaput! Don’t fall into the same trap. Almost 25 percent of traditional MPS providers still use the word “Copy,” “Copier,” or “Printer” in their name. If you are going to become a BSP, then you need to think and sound like one and develop a USP. First, start with shifting your ethos. Communicate to your employees what your new, forward-thinking vision is. BSPs sell, market, and approach business from a totally different angle. Some lead with security, some with infrastructure, some with the best help desk, but they’re sure not leading with “we have the best printer.”

WHERE TO START?

I thought you might ask. Speak with your vendors, your peers, and your competitors! Attend their open- houses, study their marketing approaches, and—most importantly—attend industry events. Trade shows are a great source to learn what is happening in the market. ITEX is the largest event that brings together all aspects of the Business Solutions space. This year at ITEX 2019, Google is delivering the Keynote on Cloud Security, Visual Edge Technology is holding their National Sales M.I.T. meeting, and ITEX will have over 24 Breakout Sessions. A wealth of information will be shared, covering topics such as cybersecurity, the Smart Home and Workplace, Cloud solutions, and insights that will help you uncover revenue-generating opportunities.

Here is a list of courses and dealer panels being offered at ITEX 2019.

If you’re in danger of even a fraction of your printing business washing away, join me at ITEX 2019 and learn how to begin turning the tide.