The Datamax Thinking Blog

Educating, collaborating, and sparking ideas for maximizing the technology that matters.


The Strategic Partnership Review — Ensuring Hyperfocus on Key Account Management

Account reviews only occur when I scream for a persistent problem to be resolved." - Bennett F., IT Director

Account Review, Quarterly Business Review (QBR), Business Review Meeting, Executive Business Review, or the periodic “Let’s Do Lunch” Corporate Schmooze; the practice of ongoing customer relationship management takes on many names, many meanings, and many forms — provided it happens at all. 

When you are a major account managing an entire fleet of copiers and printers, it must happen. And it must happen regularly to proactively review current service performance, and maintain hyperfocus on the landscape of our joint venture ahead. 

Topics: Creating Raving Fans Key Acccounts Office Equipment

The Corporate Print Fleet Provider's Pyramid of Service Preparedness

"My current vendor doesn't understand that just showing up on time isn't enough." - Davin G., IT Director

Legendary NCAA Basketball coach John Wooden once said “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”

Known as the “practice coach,” Wooden was notorious for focusing on intricate details of “the process” —not just the game itself. His teams practiced everything: Putting their socks on correctly to avoid blisters, how to carry oneself before and after a game.

Topics: Key Acccounts Canon Office Equipment

Does Your Technology Partner Offer an Invoicing Strategy You Can Hang Your Hat On?

“Understanding, auditing, and correcting our invoicing wastes a ton of time — mine.” — Katie A., Purchasing Manager

An older relative of mine, a former cattle rancher by trade, used to proclaim he was “scattered from here to breakfast” any time things seemed in disarray.  The phrase’s origin refers to a herd scattered so far that it would take all night and until breakfast the next day to round them up.

Purchasing managers, painstakingly depicting invoice details from their technology provider, can often feel the same – completely scattered.  Large accounts forced to manually round up pages and pages of listed equipment ID#s, with devices spread across multiple departments and office locations, can become a simple exercise in futility. Whether invoices coming in are inaccurate, inconclusive or inflexible to your specific key account preferences, the processes of reviewing and auditing them can put a burr in any purchasing manager’s saddle.

Topics: Key Acccounts Office Equipment

Partnership: The Keystone to Key Account Management of Print Fleets

“How can I create - or run - a game plan if I can’t even reach my account manager?” — Lauren R., Office Administrator

In the study of ancient civilizations, the keystone represents more than just architectural eye candy.

The keystone, the wedge-shaped piece at the summit of an arch, is often noteworthy for its structural beauty and artistic significance (SEE: the Temple of Hadrian inside the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, above). But the ornately crafted stone atop arches also represent the final piece placed during construction and, more importantly, the piece that locks all the stones into position.

The keystone is regarded as the stone that holds all others together.

Topics: Key Acccounts Office Equipment Partnering

Discover, Understand, and Manage Your Print Spend From Contract Beginning to End

“Our current vendor has done very little to help us manage our print spend from day one.” — Frank K., COO

Soon after President Thomas Jefferson completed the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, he wanted to investigate and better understand the more than 828,000 square miles of land recently purchased west of the Mississippi River.

He called the expedition – famously led by Lewis and Clark – the Voyage of Discovery.

Topics: Key Acccounts Office Equipment

5 Service Areas Key Accounts Must Expect Full Visibility and Visual Results

“Since the burden of requesting service is mine, my vendor isn’t managing much — let alone my account.” — Jene T., IT Director

The late folk country singer Guy Clark, a Monahans, TX native, once noted: “You look out over the West Texans plains, and you can see 50 miles. Stand on a tuna can, you can see for 100.”

For organizations managing a large fleet of copiers and printers, you need 100-mile visibility of your provider's service and support methodologies. Rather than being confronted with a series of storms on the road in front of you (increased downtime, communication issues, inaccurate billing) you should expect clear visibility up front from your technology partner.

Topics: Office Equipment PrintView Document Workflow Print Management Key Acccounts

Upsize, Downsize, Synthesize: The Chemistry of Right-Sizing Your Corporate Print Fleet

“Our fleet, our workflows, and our costs are a cluster.” – Mary B., Office Administrator. 

There’s a certain chemistry involved with investigating print environments and the ways in which they interact, merge, and change over time.

Chemical synthesis is the purposeful execution of combining and manipulating multiple molecules to create one unique compound that is both unified and reliable. Much like the molecules that change through chemical reactions, major accounts are constantly affected by real world changes within and outside of your organization:

  • Selling a division of your company,
  • Adding a department,
  • Your stocks take a hit,
  • Company relocation,
  • Company acquisition,
  • Disaster Recovery,
  • Outsourcing print or bringing it in-house

Your printing needs evolve accordingly.

Topics: Key Acccounts Office Equipment Print Management Document Workflow

Avoid Hitting the 'Workflow Wall' With Proactive Toner Replenishment

We're out of toner again. Everybody seems to be waiting on someone else - or me." - Stephen M., Purchasing Manager

It’s called “The Wall,” and for good reason.

When a marathon runner – generally around mile 20 – fails to replenish his or her internal glycogen stores throughout the race, their body “bonks” into sudden fatigue.  The legs – depleted of all energy – wobble to a halt. The mind begins to shut down. Some runners even collapse.

Replenishment is a key factor to endurance.  In the duration of a workday, your copier is the workhorse athlete of your office’s workflow, running consistently at full speed to copy, scan, fax or print your critical documents promptly. If you unexpectedly run out toner, your device is down. And you’re down, too.

Topics: Key Acccounts Office Equipment Productivity Tips and Tools Print Management

Web-2-Workflow: Raising the Bar in Production Print Automation

The questions for in-house print operators becomes clear: How can I keep my jobs running consistently, maximize my productive potential, and spend as much time as I can away from auxiliary tasks that don’t immediately relate to production?

Much like athletes are becoming bigger, faster, stronger every year with the advent of technology (more aerodynamic bikes, lighter shoes, high-performance swimsuits), print operators today feel the same performance pressure (shorter runs, increasing demands, more submission channels) as technology continues to "press" forward.

Topics: Production Print Office Equipment

Small Businesses Can Think Big With Cloud-based Technology

Is your SMB ready to think bigger about the technology you deploy? Are the practical advantages that come with cloud-based solutions a right fit for your organization? 

Author Tim Ferris says “Life’s too short to think small.”

Many ambitious, hungry start-up entrepreneurs begin with nothing other than a huge dream.

Naysayers may accuse them of having their head “in the clouds” when it comes to their business vision, with their seemingly unrealistic, impractical ideas and expectations.

Either way, business owners having their heads in cloud technology is both practical and advantageous. Given the right technology partner, utilizing cloud-based tools can boost productivity and demand minimal management effort on their part.  

Topics: IT Consulting Cloud Technology Data Back-Up Productivity Tips and Tools Network Management