I’m a copier guy.
I love this stuff.
As many of us in the copier industry say, I’ve got toner in my veins.
But many of our customers and potential customers misunderstand what we do because we say we're a copier dealer or in the office equipment industry.
We don't just sell copiers. We provide companies solutions that allow them to communicate. Historically (and still today), those solutions included copiers.
Most copier dealers do even more today. We provide document management and workflow, business telephone systems, the ability to manage your print fleet with managed print services, and a wide variety of managed IT services (data backup, managed networks and security, and more).
We do a lot.
Regarding the copier side of our business, some people view copiers as a necessary evil – a piece of equipment to acquire as cheaply as possible. Others underestimate the value copiers and printers truly bring to the modern office and ignore what they are capable of today.
If that all sounds a little too much like sales-speak, it’s also true.
As the world goes digital and there's an app for everything, it's simplistic to think that paper will become a thing of the past and that copiers will be destined for museums.
To a certain extent, that could be true – though not in our professional lifetimes.
Copiers now print, fax, and scan in addition to making copies. They have touchscreens and productivity apps embedded. They can be used to launch a business workflow.
However, as much as the office copier has changed, the business role of copiers (and copier guys like myself) is unchanged – how can I help my customers communicate (with coworkers, customers, and business partners) by distributing and sharing information.
If you think of your office copier as the hunk of plastic in the corner that you use to print and copy documents (a necessary evil), I challenge you to keep reading to learn why you're unintentionally blocking your office from getting more done.
The copier industry has changed. It’s no longer good enough to sell you a box, out of which springs a copier (or laser printer or even production printer). Then you use that copy machine to happily copy and print documents until you need another one.
Copier dealers today can help businesses with more than that.
Here’s what I mean.
The More Things Change . . .
Copy machines have always been about meeting a business need – predominately, producing documents for use in a business process. Another way to think about this is that copiers have ALWAYS been a part of information management.
As less-paper technology (maybe we’ll get to paperless one day, but I’m not holding my breath) has improved over the last three decades, so did the office copier.
The office copier has evolved from a paper-focused machine (copy or print in, document out) to one built around software that extends functionality and the ability to digitize paper documents.
These new and evolving capabilities create opportunities for offices to get more done.
And that’s just the beginning. Copiers today are loaded with tools you can use to squeeze more productivity out of your workday. Here’s a short list of what copiers can do today:
- Apps that allow you to scan to the cloud, email, or a secure document repository
- Scan documents to kick off a digital workflow
- Increase security with user authentication at the device
- Remote troubleshooting that allows your copier maintenance partner (like Coordinated) to diagnose and solve software-related issues without having to drive to your office
- Print wirelessly from your smart phone
- Track and trim print costs using print rules
It’s an exciting time to be in the copier industry. The equipment improves every year, which allows us to help our customers solve more problems.
Not “Just” a Copier Guy
That’s why I want you to “think different” (yes, I’m stealing Apple’s marketing there). Too many of you think of us as a “copier company.”
Yes, we are.
We aren’t just a copier company though. Just like copiers are now more than a giant, noisy, hunk of plastic and metal using heat to make copies; so is Coordinated.
Wait, that’s not quite right, while sometimes noisy we never were a hunk of plastic, but I think you know what I mean: We can do more for you.
I continue to see our customers not fully appreciate all that copiers today can do for them.
My goal in 2018 is to change that perception.
If you’re reading this, stop thinking of your copier as just a device that copies and prints documents. Your copier can do more for your business.
Problems with HR documentation? Think of your copier.
Problems with on and off boarding of people or clients? Think of your copier.
Need to improve record retention, cut down time spent searching for information, decrease Net Days Sales Outstanding in your accounting department, implement better tracking mechanisms for inventory, pay bills faster to avoid fees and realize discounts? Think of your copier.
The core function of the copier is still communication. Now, instead of just helping to share paper, your copier can be a central hub to distribute digital documents throughout your office via email, direct workflows into folders and document repositories, and sharing via the cloud.
We’ll be sharing more about how in the coming months and years – be sure to sign up for our newsletter and regular blog alerts to stay informed.