Is AI still evolving? An infant? Or worse, is AI just a fad?
More importantly, how can a copier dealer generate new or grow existing revenue, shrink costs, and increase profit with AI? Right now, nobody knows.
In light of all the hoopla around the latest AI app, it strikes me odd that the best way for an Office Technology provider to grow and prosper is to go back to the future and offer tried and true, Document Management. You remember scanning, archiving, and converting paper to . PDF, and moving data inside and outside the organization.
Document Management Workflow
Remote work has shown us the value and need for automation. The flexibility it offers is something employees hold dear, and as organizations strive to make their hybrid work models more efficient and effective, automation will be the key.
But there is more.
Just because remote work removed redundancy, streamlined processes, and accelerated digital transformation, as people return to the office, so will these new digital procedures. This means a greater demand for better automation and more technology around generating, moving, digesting, storing, and presenting information.
From content management to human resources, customer service, sales, marketing, and workflow management, automation helps your customers streamline processes, boost productivity and provide a better customer experience.
What should you be doing:
- Educate your team on the latest automation technologies, such as RPA and AI, and be able to advise customers on how these technologies can improve their document management and workflow processes.
- Offer training and support services to your customers to implement and optimize automation solutions in their hybrid work environments.
- Stay up to date on industry trends and regulations related to document management and workflow, in order to advise customers on how to comply with relevant laws and best practices.
Digital transformation (DX) is not just about getting rid of paper but also about taking advantage of the benefits that come with digital information, such as the automation of processes driven by that information, this is known as hyperautomation. Due to the acceleration of digital transformation brought on by COVID-19, businesses are now investing more in DX, which will lead to more interest in RPA(Robotic Process Automation) this year.
Additionally, businesses will prioritize enhanced security in the hybrid office setting by storing all documents in a centralized location and implementing access controls. Compliance with regulations will also be a major concern, with secure and auditable storage and access controls for sensitive documents.
Remote and hybrid working will also drive the need for increased mobility, allowing employees to access and collaborate on documents from any device with internet access. Version control features and electronic signature and workflow automation will streamline document collaboration and the approval process.
What you should be doing:
- Highlight the benefits of automating business processes and how it can improve productivity, efficiency, and compliance for customers.
- Offer solutions that support hyperautomation, such as RPA and other digital transformation tools, to help customers take advantage of the digital information they have.
- Provide training and support services to help customers implement and optimize these automation solutions in their organizations.
Toner, supplies, and recovery
Some of our OEMs weathered the storm better than others and may experience uphill challenges when trying to win back dealers. This is especially true for toner and supplies – many manufacturers are fighting more than ever through Covid, supply chain, remote office, and recessionary headwinds to maintain existing revenues
One company that has successfully navigated the supplies market is HP. Despite a decline in consumables revenue, the company has adapted its business model to maintain profitability. HP’s printing division has achieved impressive margins through the implementation of subscription services, such as Instant Ink, which currently boasts over 11 million users. The program has seen significant growth, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. HP has 5,000 dealers selling HP supplies after slashing nearly 15,000 a few years ago.
Meanwhile, Clover is a company that has been facing revenue decline for years struggles. The company remains a dominant force in the remanufactured cartridges market in North America. But as the economy approaches the new “center,” it will be interesting to see if Clover decides to pivot or slug it out. Time reveals all.
What you should be doing:
- Start offering subscription-based services, similar to HP’s Instant Ink program, in order to maintain profitability in the toner and supplies market.
- Partner with your current manufacturers that have adapted their business models successfully, such as HP, to sell their supplies and benefit from their established customer base.
- Again, stay informed about market trends and shifts, and be prepared to pivot or adapt their strategies accordingly in order to maintain revenue. This may include diversifying the products and services they offer, or shifting focus to different market segments.