It’s great to attend industry events to rethink your business strategy or validate that you’re on the right path. If there was a Hollywood version of the imaging industry's elite faces, the Executive Connection Summit could be it.
After two days of thought-provoking speakers and plenty of networking, here are four takeaways we hope can help you grow your business.
1. Predictive analytics have arrived. The shift from reactive, to proactive has now evolved to a predictive state. Old school copier people remember when 100% of service calls came from incoming phone calls and emails before any action was taken to fix a problem. With advancements in technology, we were able to become proactive in many cases to prevent an issue from happening, and now we’re seeing more and more predictive analytics to improve our execution and the customer experience. This new predictive posturing comes from tremendous strides in technology such as the Internet of Things and Big Data that provides more insightful and actionable information.
“Real Time is now too late.”
- Joseph Bradley, President, Vice President, Cisco [Click to Tweet]
2. Managed Business Services offers tremendous growth potential.
DOUG JOHNSON / Chief Strategy Officer, LMI Solutions
Our Chief Strategy Officer, Doug Johnson, spoke to the prevailing shift from selling products to providing value add services as the way for dealers to maximize their growth potential in the future. During his presentation, Doug suggested that dealers that still have product brands on their business card may run the risk of being perceived as though they sell only “products”, instead of being perceived as a true value add business services provider. References were made to the increasing size of the millennial workforce and how this new wave of business leaders tend to be more comfortable with services and the use of apps to make many of their business decisions. LMI Solutions also announced a strategic partnership with FORZA, the SAP Business One platform and other leading service providers such as Intellinetics, a popular document management service for SMB customers. Just as Doug is suggesting dealers make the shift, so too is LMI Solutions with our new portfolio best-of-breed services that dealers can source and sell as an LMI partner.
“If you’re just selling MFPs, you’re selling Sony Walkmans.”
- Rick Taylor, President and CEO, Konica Minolta [Click to Tweet]
3. Security is a hot topic. If you attended the event and listened to the OEM leaders speak about the heightened awareness around information security, hopefully you have already added it to your value proposition. From HP’s clever new series of videos called “The Wolf” to the headlines about the new “Wannacry” cyber-attacks (a new form of ransomware) we all saw on the news, it’s no secret that dealers now have a compelling reason to meet with more business leaders. Speaking with some of the top dealers in the nation at the event most, if not all, have already launched some form of training and marketing initiatives to make customers aware of the threats and offer new ways to protect their data. Perhaps the most eye-opening news was the simple fact that so few organizations actually report security breaches for fear of damaging their reputation.
“Only 1 in 4 ransomware attacks are reported to the authorities.”
- Datto [Click to Tweet]
4. Digital Marketing is gaining momentum. As dealers and technology providers continue to review their cost of sales for lead generation, most of the industry leaders have already embarked on some form of digital marketing strategy. Simply put, in a seemingly commoditized market with more and more customers searching for products and services online, it makes sense to leverage digital mediums to communicate and attract qualified prospects to your website and your sales team. If you would like to see how top performing Managed Print providers are utilizing digital marketing, please ask us for an “opportunity discussion” WebEx.
“Over 80% of people now search online for products and services."
- in2communications.com [Click to Tweet]
If you haven’t attended the Executive Connection Summit, it truly is what the name suggests; a venue for industry executives to join in conversation and strategy to benefit the entire industry.
For a view into this year’s event, we invite you to join our friend Andy Slawetzky’s collection of pictures and videos to feel like you were almost there!