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Depersonalization of Xerox Equipment Sales

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  • Depersonalization of Xerox Equipment Sales

    For the better part of 30 years we have been a Xerox only shop. While not a huge company, we do a fair amount of volume and always have had 6+ production machines with contracts on them at any time.

    We have been trying to get Xerox to give us a proposal to replace our 6180s with Nuveras for the last few months, and while I would tend to think that we should not be trying to sell ourselves...it didn't seem probable Xerox was going to try to sell us anything on their own. Initially our local rep said we would be moved to a Canadian rep. Then he said Canada couldn't support us, so moving back here. Coupled with our rep moving into a different position, he finally got a replacement last month. After waiting for him to reach out to us for a month (assuming he had our information with a post-it note saying we wanted to buy something), I reached out to him. I found out though that he wouldn't be our rep either, but a third party company. Xerox would still service the equipment, but all sales would be through the third party. What?

    Is anyone experiencing this nationally, or is this a local development only? Is this a new Fuji idea? If so...we won't be Xerox only for long.

  • #2
    They have always had two channels for selling into print shops, the graphic arts channel (xerox direct) and the dealer channel. The dealer channel will usually still have a xerox production rep come in to help with the sale but your local contact will be involved also. Having a local guy is nice because instead of your 6+ machines just being 6 out of a million for Xerox it is a huge chunk of money for the local guy and he might bend over backwards to keep you happy. You still have the resources of the Xerox backing the dealer so if you need advanced help they can get it.

    They might be moving more people to the dealer network and cutting the direct sales due to the Fuji deal.

    With all that being said after decades of docutech and nuveras switching to the Oce VarioPrint was game changing. I would recommend looking into it for your BW production. I'm still a fan of Xerox color however.

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    • #3
      We had our J75 and other Xerox printers sold to us via a local Xerox sales office, with their own name (not Xerox). Xerox had a service team in the area that serviced any machines sold by this sales office, but since then Xerox found it economically sound to sell these technicians to a third party servicing company (which I think is new). I still have my machines serviced by the same technicians, essentially nothing has changed.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by arossetti View Post
        They have always had two channels for selling into print shops, the graphic arts channel (xerox direct) and the dealer channel. The dealer channel will usually still have a xerox production rep come in to help with the sale but your local contact will be involved also. Having a local guy is nice because instead of your 6+ machines just being 6 out of a million for Xerox it is a huge chunk of money for the local guy and he might bend over backwards to keep you happy. You still have the resources of the Xerox backing the dealer so if you need advanced help they can get it.

        They might be moving more people to the dealer network and cutting the direct sales due to the Fuji deal.

        With all that being said after decades of docutech and nuveras switching to the Oce VarioPrint was game changing. I would recommend looking into it for your BW production. I'm still a fan of Xerox color however.
        We have always purchased through the Graphic Arts Channel. Except one time years ago we had to buy a couple small table top devices for a special application and our rep forwarded us to a third party...they were selling small Xerox equipment, but the third party was handling the servicing and supply fulfillment as well. This turned sour in a hurry, and long story short, Xerox ended up picking up the maintenance agreement on those machines and removing the third party entirely. So that's part of why we are concerned this time around. Not to mention that by passing us around all year we feel like Xerox is saying we don't mean anything to them anymore. Which perhaps is the case, I mean we only are spending a couple hundred thousand with them a year so I guess small potatoes. OTOH, Canon and others are practically jumping over themselves to try to pick up our business. I've been trying to get the person that ultimately writes the checks to let them, this may be the last nail in Xerox's coffin for us.

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        • #5
          Service, supplies, support should still be coming from Xerox for production equipment sold through a dealer. I think what Xerox found in smaller markets is that it is better to find a local guy to sell the printer with roots in the community. That person can go to all the chamber events and take clients out for drinks instead of sending a suit in from a large metro a few hours out.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by arossetti View Post
            Service, supplies, support should still be coming from Xerox for production equipment sold through a dealer. I think what Xerox found in smaller markets is that it is better to find a local guy to sell the printer with roots in the community. That person can go to all the chamber events and take clients out for drinks instead of sending a suit in from a large metro a few hours out.
            Right, this new third party would supposedly just be a middleman. The old third party from years back was the one that tried to do everything.

            We aren't a small market, we are the large metro a few hours out. We had a local suit for decades off and on (sometimes they would hire a new guy to try to offload some of his responsibility but these were short lived) who was given a new title and now works from home/on the road only (Xerox closed the demo room/sales offices last year), he only sells inkjet now, however. It doesn't seem like Xerox is locally even selling laser printers, those purchases are being delegated to the third party.

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            • #7
              We basically have the same set up as you are describing. We deal with a local guy who sells xerox equipment but they actually don’t “sell” us our equipment. We’ve had a 1000i and a 3100 and while I deal with the local guy, a “big wig” will always come with him or to our demo and kinda be the lead on the sale. Our service is through Xerox and that is our main criteria. I do love being able to get on the phone with the local guy.

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              • #8
                Surprised Ricoh isn't trying to bang down your door.

                We are in a small market and gave Xerox a chance to keep our business but the local dealer didn't care and no one at Xerox even bothered to call us after the couple times we called in for buyout numbers.

                Xerox have called us once since we switched to Ricoh and the rep blamed it on previous sales people, "but it has all changed for the better now". Told them to call me in 3 years.
                (2) Ricoh Pro 7110SX digital printers
                OKI C931e with Straight Shooter Envelope feeder

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shawnd View Post
                  Surprised Ricoh isn't trying to bang down your door.

                  We are in a small market and gave Xerox a chance to keep our business but the local dealer didn't care and no one at Xerox even bothered to call us after the couple times we called in for buyout numbers.

                  Xerox have called us once since we switched to Ricoh and the rep blamed it on previous sales people, "but it has all changed for the better now". Told them to call me in 3 years.
                  Haven't heard from Xerox's third party since Thursday morning...was supposed to email me "right away" her contacts and wanted to try to setup a meeting this Friday...but nothing. I'm not going to push them to try to sell us anything anymore. Happy to let Ricoh and Canon try to woo us if they want.

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                  • #10
                    The traditional Xerox model was to sell direct and through "agents". Agents were basically independent sales reps who sold Xerox equipment but Xerox did everything else. The new(ish) Xerox model adopts a more traditional buy/sell channel partnership similar to what you've experienced (not referencing quality) from the other manufacturers. The new(ish) model allows the resellers/channel partners to service equipment up to a level that traditionally falls under the dealer model. ie: light/mid production. In Xerox's model this includes models up to the D series (monochrome) and the Versant (color) series. In some instances a customer will be allowed to keep their original Xerox techs for the D series/versant if they are already a Xerox direct customer. The channel can still "sell" Nuvera, Colrpress, iGen but they mainly act as a lead source for Xerox direct.

                    While all of this was being resolved/developed they made a mess of things and many customers were overlooked, not intentionally.

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                    • #11
                      We are a "Xerox Direct" installation, (two V2100's) and have been for about 15 years. We absolutely will not do business with a dealer or agent under any circumstances. If Xerox backs us in a corner and mandates that service will now be handled by the "dealer/agents", we will terminate them as a vendor, and move to a competitor's equipment. I love the V2100's, but, service direct with the OEM of the equipment is paramount to the continued success and well being of our company. I'm not willing to risk that for some new "business model" on Xerox's part.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MailGuru View Post
                        We are a "Xerox Direct" installation, (two V2100's) and have been for about 15 years. We absolutely will not do business with a dealer or agent under any circumstances. If Xerox backs us in a corner and mandates that service will now be handled by the "dealer/agents", we will terminate them as a vendor, and move to a competitor's equipment. I love the V2100's, but, service direct with the OEM of the equipment is paramount to the continued success and well being of our company. I'm not willing to risk that for some new "business model" on Xerox's part.
                        Agreed. Im dealing with the big company on service or not doing business with them. We have a fairly local company that sells and services konica machines. They are constantly coming around trying to get our business and they don't understand that I am not going to switch to a small independent company for something so crucial to our business.

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                        • #13
                          Seriously a month after I posted still can't get anyone at Xerox OR their third party to give us a proposal on some equipment. Their third party called me ONCE a month ago and has since fell off the face of the Earth. I have told my contacts at Xerox that we are not satisfied by the third party and to bring us back under their wing...which is word for word what the technicians and other sales people have told me to say...because we are not the only people in town that are displeased with the third party. And still, its been a few weeks since I told Xerox this...and nothing.

                          What gives with these guys? We have been buying direct from Xerox for 30 years! Maybe not as much as the big shops, but obviously we have given them several million dollars in that time frame! If Ricoh or Canon walked in our door today with a sweeping proposal to take away all of our Xerox equipment we would probably take it!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ksherrod View Post
                            If Ricoh or Canon walked in our door today with a sweeping proposal to take away all of our Xerox equipment we would probably take it!
                            Sadly, the same thing has been happening all across the country.

                            (2) Ricoh Pro 7110SX digital printers
                            OKI C931e with Straight Shooter Envelope feeder

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              First, let me say that I really love Xerox. They've been with us though this whole journey of 4-color digital variable print.

                              That being said, where Xerox is falling short, what they don't seem to understand, is that, in today's world of digital production presses, the technology has advanced to the point where virtually ANY vendor's equipment will feed the same stock, produce the same high quality print, and hold color fast over the entire run. This is because the technology that does those things is patented by corporations that sell the technology to all press manufacturers across the board.

                              The only way to survive in such a saturated market is to be better than your competitors in the support, service, and response areas of the business. This is the only way any of the top 4 major players (Ricoh, KM, Cannon, & Xerox) will be able to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

                              Instead of finding ways to decrease operating expenses by buying up and dolling out their sales and service functions to sub-quality dealer-agents, what they should be doing is holding internal sales and service seminars, training classes, and internal promotions to win this race to be the best in the sales, support, and service arena. It's the only way they'll survive.

                              Sadly, it appears that, once again, the bean counters will eventually put a once-great company out of business. Too bad, I'll miss them.

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