A Perfect Pair: Leasing & Copier Dealers

posted by Greg VanDeWalker on Saturday, March 01, 2008

This article first appeared in ImageSource Magazine, March 2008

When you think of famous pairs, many may come to mind: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers…peanut butter and jelly …copier dealers and leasing.

For decades, leasing has been an effective tool to help end users acquire copiers. If you have been in this business for even a little while, you already know that leasing presents a great opportunity for a simple monthly payment, and gives customers an advantage when upgrading.

In today’s competitive marketplace everyone is trying to protect their current base, as well as trying to take over their customer’s printer fleet. The company that controls the clicks is the one that controls the customer.

The dealer that is successful in capturing all of the clicks is the dealer that bundles their transactions most effectively. Leasing a copier and having a separate maintenance contract is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Since most printers in the field are not leased, many companies are going out and putting those assets under a bundled contract, locking out the competition.

Being able to bundle effectively helps in 3 ways:

1) Protect your MIF
2) Increase your margin
3) Reduce your administration expense

A cash sale or even a traditional lease does not adequately protect your customer base. As the industry converges you will find that IT VARs, printer resellers and large national organizations want to capture the print and copier outputs of your customer base. A bundled lease allows you to adequately protect your customer base under an agreement, but also locks out competitors who may want to sneak into your account through service or supply contracts.

Margin pressures on your business are pervasive. Bundled payments allow you to realize higher margins by making it harder for customers to compare shop since they don’t know every line item price. Bundled contracts are easy to escalate, allowing for higher profitability in future years.

Think of the amount of time and money you spend in your business on administration. By bundling your contracts, your finance partner will be handling your billing and collecting and you can redeploy your administration staff to focus on initiatives that will help you sell more.

If you are not currently offering bundled leases to your customers, now is the time! Make sure you find the right partner for this type of leasing, including GreatAmerica Leasing, who can provide exceptional service. And, since not all leasing companies can handle bundled contracts, be sure to ask the following questions when looking at a company with whom to partner:

1) Can they provide at least five dealer references who are currently bundling?
2) Do they have the ability to integrate with OMD, Digital Gateway, LaCrosse or a CSV file?
3) Do they provide online tools to track your cash flow 24/7?
4) Can they put every part of your relationship in writing in a Program Agreement?
5) Do they have a tool to provide remote monitoring to collect meter reads, toner levels and more?

Use bundling as a tool to make yet another famous pair…you and your customer!

About The Author

Greg VanDeWalker, Senior Vice President, IT Channel and Services, is responsible for strategic vision and performance for the IT and Unified Communication financing business units as well as Collabrance LLC, the GreatAmerica master managed services provider. Prior to joining GreatAmerica in 2003, ... read more

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