In 1987 Dan Koven started a small print, copy and fax service and repair business in Vancouver. The internet and e-mail were not as established in the world of business to business communications; the printed document was the primary medium for communicating. When expensive print and copy equipment broke down productivity came to a halt. Dan grew the print service and repair business by providing fast, reliable and cost effective service to all the clients in and around Vancouver.
In 1999 Warren Silvester joined Printerworks to help manage the growth and direction of the business. Together they observed an interesting phenomena that there customers were experiencing. The cost to purchase their printers, copiers and faxes was decreasing but there total costs of printing were growing out of control. “It became impossible for most of our customers to be able to answer one simple but important question – How much are you spending every month on printing?” There were so many suppliers, lease agreements and print related supplies being charged to different account codes all over our clients budgets – it became a major project even to get a good estimate”.
Stefano Walker joined the ownership group in 2004. As a frustrated printer/MFP manufacturer’s sales executive, Stefano realized that the traditional sales models for selling copiers and printers simply weren’t working anymore in the new Multifunction world. Too many products, too many lines of business buying, and too many decision makers, left clients in a state of confusion and often “oversold” with machines that were “under-utilized”. In his mind there was an opportunity for a printer/MFP focused company to essentially re-engineer the emerging MFP market, and provide true imaging solutions wrapped around a true print strategy.
In combining all of the strengths and observations of the 3 principle owners, the 3 pillars of Managed Print Services were identified:
With these principles in mind, Printerworks introduced the first Managed Print System in 2004. According to Dan: "When we introduced a complete, planned print, copy and fax system we could see the stress level of our customers drop almost immediately, they finally understood what their total printing costs were and appreciated the savings that grew over time. We knew we were on to something."
Today Printerworks has a team of 20 printer and MFP support and service staff directly, and, as a founding member of the National Print Services Alliance, have immediate access to over 100 trained printer and MFP technicians from coast to coast to coast! PrinterWorks serves over 2,000 direct customers in the British Columbia and provides printer service work for several large regional and national clients. The growth is a result of a good understanding of the industry from our roots in print service and repair and an appreciation of the challenges our customers were facing years ago – and continue to face.
Reflecting on the growth of the business Warren suggests “We didn’t get to 2,000 customers because of a TV or Radio campaign, our business grew on the strength of referrals from the customers that were happy with our service, and then later happy with the benefits of the Managed Print Services Systems we designed, installed and now manage for clients throughout the province.”
#5: Be informed, not sold – Hardware is no longer a differentiator. Be wary of vendors trying to sell you hardware or trying to “roll” your existing contracts.
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