Konica Minolta Hosts High Velocity Dealer Meeting

Konica Minolta Business Solutions held a dealer meeting in Sarasota, Florida, Feb. 12-14, specifically for its east and south communities of mid-market dealers. The event, themed “High Velocity,” was the first in a planned series of roadshows designed to allow Konica Minolta’s leadership to interact with its dealers in a more intimate setting.  

The event opened Monday afternoon with a group lunch, followed by a welcome from President, Dealer Sales Laura Blackmer. Blackmer then introduced President and CEO Sam Errigo, who discussed the company’s priorities for fiscal year 2024 as well as giving an update on financials. 

Errigo stressed KM’s focus on growth and innovation despite industry challenges. “How will you take market share and how will your OEM help?” he asked. He emphasized the importance of manufacturing and a booming market for production print, and the need to transform from simple hardware sales or cost per copy, stressing the importance of monthly recurring revenue in the form of solutions sales.

Turning to financials, Errigo discussed the Q3 numbers released on Feb. 1 and addressed the slight decrease in revenue, noting that the company took an impairment loss of $11 million in its planetarium business. Overall, he is optimistic, noting an increase in operating profit driven by the business technology segment. He addressed supply chain issues, explaining that production had been shifted out of China, and that over time production for all high-end products will be based out of Japan. The company has product in stock now, he said, and dealers are buying for inventory, not just to try to fill orders. In general, the company has taken steps to stabilize its business and should be right on plan with its forecasts, and should even overperform. 

Next up was Chief of Operations and Sales Enablement Michael Mathé, who discussed KM’s Rev’d Up dealer program, and Director of Marketing Programs Elisa Esposito, who talked about the programs available to dealers. Mathé emphasized the importance of communication and building relationships with Konica Minolta dealers, and programs that are designed to promote diversification. 

SVP, Portfolio Management and Planning Dino Pagliarello took the stage to talk about KM’s product roadmap and technological enhancements in the office space, highlighting the company’s growth and updates on the product line. Keep your eyes peeled for some new launches in the upcoming months, as well as one that just landed — Dispatcher Stratus, a fully cloud-based, KM-made solution that automates cloud workflows, leveraging RPA, ML and AI.

AI, naturally, was a big topic at the event. Pagliarello pointed out that KM has been using AI for five years, leveraging it in many technologies and products, such as its sensing technology business (“making the invisible visible”) and its Mobotix video surveillance devices. Many of Konica Minolta’s new solutions incorporate the AI as well, along with cloud and IoT data, to drive digital transformation and diversification, and in the product showcase, we were able to see firsthand how the company is integrating these technologies into its office product portfolio.

There were three educational tracks during the summit as well, one each tailored for dealer principals, sales and service. They offered guidance on opportunities in verticals such as healthcare, education and the public sector, and delved into specific technology around cloud transition and document security. A live, virtual demonstration from the company’s Client Engagement Center showcased the cutting-edge technology installed in Konica Minolta’s print production and industrial print products, and a sales presentation from Blackmer, “Sellers of the Future,” also incorporated virtual presentation from Gartner’s Doug Bushée, who specializes in the application of generative AI in sales.

A couple of evening events — a rooftop cocktail hour the first night and a group dinner the second — wrapped up each day. Dealer feedback was positive, with many saying they enjoyed the smaller event that offered a better chance to interact with each other and Konica Minolta leadership. Errigo stressed the importance of those relationships, noting, “Work closely with us and allow us to help you grow your business. We are in this together.”

amy weiss

is editorial director of BPO Media’s publications Workflow and The Imaging Channel, and senior analyst for BPO Research. As a professional writer and editor, she has specialized in the office technology industry for the last 20 years. Prior to that she worked in public relations and has a master's degree in communication arts.