Field Study Hard Look: Make a Customer Aware of Costs, Make Them a Customer for Life

Some costs are fairly obvious to customers: salaries, employee benefits such as health insurance, and business travel—to name a few. But many organizations have no idea how much their print operations are costing. And this lack of knowledge about printing expenses can prove to be a financial drain, particularly when print is an essential part of the operations.

“Small to midsize customers are not aware of the costs associated with printers,” says Gerard Perillo, managing partner at Integrated Document Technologies, a Little Falls, N.J., company that sells and services printers, multifunction devices and fax machines, and provides supplies for these office products.

“It is our responsibility to consult and make these customers aware of the costs associated with supply and service of these printers,” Perillo says. “Many small-business customers today face issues related to servicing these printers and finding the best cost for replacement toner. Consolidation and ‘one-stop shopping’ would resolve these issues.”

Integrated Document Technologies was founded in 1995 by Perillo’s wife, Liz, who had worked at Xerox for 12 years prior to forming the new company. She had been approached by Xerox management and asked if she was interested in a Xerox Dealer program, and she decided to leave the corporate world and become an entrepreneur.

Since the company’s founding, it has expanded to cover most of Northern New Jersey. The steady growth stems from Integrated Document Technologies’ ability to provide a high level of customer service with a focus on customer retention. Since becoming a Xerox dealer, Integrated Document Technologies and Xerox have built a strong and profitable business relationship.

“Managed print services will undoubtedly drive value for businesses, increase productivity and help companies of all sizes better manage the way documents are printed.” — Gerard Perillo, Integrated Document Technologies

A huge part of the company’s growth comes from its knowledge of the printer market and customer needs. Integrated Document Technologies is both a Xerox PagePack partner and a managed print provider.

The relationship with Xerox “enables us to build awareness, confidence and trust while enhancing our relationship within these accounts,” Gerard Perillo says.

While businesses are always looking out for new features and capabilities in printing equipment, the issue of costs—and keeping them under control—is sure to remain a high priority. Integrated Document Technologies has made cost control an integral part of its managed print offering.

“The demand for managed print services is tremendous,” Perillo says. But making customers aware of the costs associated with their printers and fax equipment “is our responsibility as we consult with our customers and prospects,” he says.

As the company has expanded its managed print services business over the years, it has had to overcome several challenges and growing pains. For one thing, Perillo says, the sales consultants need to be trained extensively in printer technology.

In addition, along with the growth of the business has come the need to find qualified personnel to help manage the entire process. Other ongoing challenges include establishing partner relationships with other equipment manufacturers, and dealing with a much longer sales cycle because managed print requires “a tremendous amount of detailed analysis,” Perillo says.

“A simple but effective way to resolve the issues is through slow and steady growth into the MPS [managed print services] market,” he says. “Working with our existing customer base affords us the opportunity to gradually build an effective MPS program.”

The growth will likely continue, especially as more businesses come to rely on managed print as a way to control the ever-rising costs of operating printers.

“Managed print services will undoubtedly drive value for businesses, increase productivity and help companies of all sizes better manage the way documents are printed,” Perillo says. “As for the dealers, an effective and well-thought-out managed print services program can build customer loyalty, confidence and revenue.”

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