Hiring a Consulting Firm: Proceed With Caution

Posted by Tom Callinan on Sunday, January 17, 2010

You engage a consulting firm to add skills and help you achieve your business goals. If the consulting firm is going to be successful in their support they need to still be in business 90 days after you sign the agreement. Over the last five years I have seen consulting firms come and go, and the going almost always follows the big announcement of the coming.

This last week I read a press release announcing that Supplies Network hired the former owner of a consulting business, who I congratulate on his new job, but what of his consulting clients? What do they do now?

→ Read more

Trade Shows: Are they worth the time

Posted by Tom Callinan on Monday, January 4, 2010

I am frequently asked the by clients “Should I attend (fill in the blank) show / conference?” I tend to answer the question with another question, “What are you looking to get out of the event?” Your answer to that question will then lead to some research to determine if the event is worth the investment in entrance fee, travel expense, and more importantly, your time.

There are many trade shows out there and a new one seems to pop-up every other year.

→ Read more

Paul Schulman leaving Global

Posted by Tom Callinan on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In an e-mail dated December, 9 to the Global leadership team, Michael Shea announced that Paul Schulman has decided to leave Global effective December 31.

Paul was one of Global’s most visible leaders as President and COO and in his previous position as SVP of Business Development. Paul was well known and respected in both the dealer community as well as within Global. I know his leadership will be missed at Global.

I got to know Paul on a dealer trip almost 15 years back. He is engaging, intelligent, and passionate about the business.

→ Read more

MPS: The 30% Catastrophe

Posted by Tom Callinan on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Many commentators in the MPS space like to talk about the 30% savings companies receive through an MPS agreement. I guess it helps them sell research, advance the theory of displacing printers with departmental MFDs, or helps the weak sales person generate some commission and retain his (her) job for a period.

But I have to ask a simple question, what is the rational to deliberately taking 30% of the revenue out of our industry?

→ Read more

Where’s the Silver Bullet

Posted by Tom Callinan on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I talk to many business owners that are looking for the cure to their ailment—and they would prefer something that cures them quickly. What is the ailment? Lower revenue and operating income. Some want to recreate the good old days of growth and can’t understand why that would be so difficult. Heck, in the 80’s we just worked hard and revenues increased: Why can’t we do that now? Are the new Generation X, Y, or Z kids simply lazy? My experienced reps just can’t seem to get the appointments they were once able to achieve.

→ Read more

New Wave of Industry Certification: Value or Marketing Gambit

Posted by Tom Callinan on Monday, November 9, 2009

We’ve all heard or read the stories: Company Big Shot or Government appointee discovered to have PhD, or other degree, from “diploma mill.” There is always the denial from the “degree” holder, referencing how hard they worked to earn the degree and how they considered the degree legitimate. But could they really believe that? Haven’t we all seen the advertisements?

→ Read more

Hewlett Packard launches three new laser MFDs available exclusively for its PartnerONE dealers

Posted by Tom Callinan on Saturday, October 31, 2009

  • LaserJet M9059 is a 50ppm, b/w A3 unit, based on existing M9050
  • LaserJet M4349x is a 45ppm, b/w A4 unit, based on existing M4345
  • Color LaserJet CM6049f is a 40ppm, color A3 unit, based on existing CM6040f
  • All are actually made by Canon

The only difference of the new models, versus the units that they are based on, is that they have toner cartridges that are keyed, so end users have to buy the toners from the HP PartnerONE dealer, and not on-line, or in a superstore.

This appears to be an effort by HP to provide their channel with pr

→ Read more

Sharp gave out more details on its recent dealer meeting in Washington DC

Posted by Tom Callinan on Saturday, October 31, 2009

  • Total US revenue was down 3%
  • Has self-financed leases on a few major account deals, but has no plans to open up
    its own leasing company
  • Has a total of 440 dealers in the U.S.
  • Is adding 20-40 new dealers per year, but also losing about half that many per year
  • Has 10 factory direct branch operations from 13 acquisitions
  • Has temporarily halted acquisitions, until economy improves, but still hopes to have 25 locations total in next few years
  • Goal is for branches to account for 45% of sales in U.S.
  • 4 of its 10 larges

    → Read more

Lexmark announced a new program for copier dealers

Posted by Tom Callinan on Saturday, October 31, 2009

  • Has created a line of 15 models that will not be sold on-line or through retailers
  • These “XS” models will only be available through copier dealers
  • 5 are A4 b/w MFPs, 3 are A3 b/w MFPs, 2 are A4 color MFPs, 2 are A3 color MFPs, 2 are A4 b/w printer, and 1 is A4 color printer.
  • Speeds range from 35 to 55ppm
  • All have a published MSRP, but not a published street price
  • All have large touch screen LCD display
  • Offer eTask software for embedded application ability
  • Have high yield cartridges so they are ideal for managed pri

    → Read more