Taking control of operating costs has never been more critical to the future success of the office technology channel, providing the needed resources for budgeting their growth to continuous relevancy.
Dealers who sell in the channel understand the need to diversify. They understand continuing to sell and service printing equipment based on old lease practices and old service billing models will surely find them circumvented by the new or re-invented innovator. The channel is not immune to the pain of progress. Nothing remains the same, however; sometimes we are fooled into complacency by our misunderstanding in the tenure of temporary.
The office technology dealers and manufacturers must capitalize on as much of the current deliverables profit as possible to fund the transition to whatever the new way becomes or they create. So, some questions to answer. Do you have the budget to create and implement change, or will the budgets of others consume you? Will you be the force of change, or be forced to change? Does your organization have 100 percent total control of all operating costs, and if you do, what data do you have to prove it?
Products and services are created to solve end-user problems and when yesterday’s problems are no longer today’s problems, the means to their desired outcomes change or simply become obsolete. End-users do not purchase things because someone made them (unless they are buying arts and crafts, of course). End-users purchase things because they are needed, they do not buy features which provide no benefits or engage in services which are complicated when simplicity is preferred. End-users should always be the motivation for any products or services created. As an industry goes through decline, its actors will become desperate to survive. Some manufacturers will create products based on competing with other manufacturers or impressing themselves instead of competing for and impressing their customers.
“Attention legacy companies! While you continuously fight to get buy-in for change, your new competitor bought in for continuous improvement, and then bets on your complacency.”
The innovative-thinking companies will rise to the occasion of change because they were part of the change. The old way sparked their imagination; they saw what could be from what is. These innovative companies look through the wall of complacency and see their vision as a motion picture. While status quo thinkers see their vision as a still shot, they took a picture of yesterday and believed their vision of yesterday’s successes would remain clear tomorrow. True visionaries see tomorrow in a completely different setting, they see today only as a current destination they understand they must travel to tomorrow and expect the path they take will be completely different than the path they’re on today.
As we continue transitioning to the pull economy, many legacy players will find themselves pushed aside by their customers. Their customers will pull to them a better experience from the new or reinvented competitor. Unfortunately, soon little by little, then more and more of your customers will be tuning out your tired, outdated sales and service process and begin ordering and getting service from the new competitor who delivers that better experience. So be the new competitor. Reinvent yourself.
“You can be the vendor with the greatest relationships and quickly lose to the new unknown competitor who delivers a better experience.”