From hardware price erosion to the growing shift toward services, we’ve seen the writing on the walls for years. The print industry and our end customers are demanding change, but it’s not as simple as turning on a switch.
As a result, many channel partners are finding themselves in uncharted waters – searching for new ways to revamp their business models and stay in front of customers.
Transforming Your Business From Equipment To Services
In this article, Xerox channel partner, Southern Solutions of Maryland, shares their secrets for developing a stronger company with Xerox products. Their tried and true recipe has helped them become Southern Maryland’s premier source for Xerox office equipment, network services, IT support and Managed Print Solutions (MPS). In fact, their services revenue has shifted significantly since they began offering additional services, growing from 5% in 2009 to over 63% in 2014.
From 5% services revenue in 2009 to over 63% in 2014 - a transformation recipe by Southern Solutions
Four Step Approach Used By Southern Solutions
Step 1 – Identify Customer Opportunities
Southern Solutions not only embraces the mix of offerings available to channel partners but, more importantly, they know how to position their company for new customer opportunities. For small local businesses, they begin the conversation with Xerox Partner Print Services (XPPS) because of its ability to improve office productivity and reduce printing costs by up to 30%. Another alternative for partners entering the managed print scene is a low risk opportunity such as Xerox PageConnect**. This simple but powerful solution will allow partners to manage a customer’s printing environment with precise visibility of their print costs and volume. According to Joshua Justice, President of Southern Solutions, “PageConnect is a great starting point to show your customers that you have much more to offer than hardware and software. “
Step 2 – Keep the Momentum Going
The staff at Southern Solutions believes in continuing the partner conversation by demonstrating the benefits managed network services. The responsiveness and 24/7 support are among the reasons why many of their SMB customers look to Southern Solutions as their personal IT department. In fact, they currently manage 35 small business networks and have over 500 devices that utilize XPPS — making Southern Solutions their single point of contact for all document production management.
Step 3 – Create Innovative Ways To Connect With Customers
Determined to stay in front of their customers whenever possible, Justice and his staff uses Xerox Personalized Application Builder (Xerox PAB) and the ConnectKey interface for MFPs as a direct link to customers.
They recently launched their new “v1.5 Contact Us” application that offers the following real-time communications alongside custom workflows.
- Request Service – This feature allows customers to instantly request service. Soon, customers will also be able to see the current status of their service request including: call received, technician on route, parts ordered and parts received.
- Request Supplies – At the click of a button, customers can replenish supplies and toner.
- Return Supplies – Customers can receive Xerox Eco Boxes to return their used toner and cartridge supplies by selecting the Return Supplies button.
- Built In Twitter Feed – By incorporating a live Twitter feed directly into their ConnectKey interface, Southern Solutions can share product information, video links and updates with their customers.
Step 4 – Leverage Social Media and YouTube
Southern Solutions are whizzes when it comes to leveraging social media and YouTube to develop relationships and support customers. Their website offers page after page of truly useful information that keeps customers coming back for more. They actively leverage social media as a valuable resource, and their YouTube page even boasts over 131,000 views. On Twitter, you’ll also see Justice and his staff welcome new customers and announce upcoming products.
Business transformation advice by Southern Solutions - don’t fear change, grab new technology and invest in innovation
Embrace Change And Invest in Innovation
Justice sums things up by telling partners, “Don’t be afraid of change. Grab new technology. Invest in innovation. It definitely made us a stronger company.” Now is the ideal time for our partners to head into the kitchen and make your own recipe for success. What secret ingredients will be in your recipe?
Subscribe to the Channel Partner Connection and receive email updates when we publish a new article.
**PageConnect is currently available to US channel partners only. European channel partners can offer PagePack for connected devices as an alternative