Even as employees return to the office, part of the modern workforce will always be remote or hybrid, meaning that office technology companies and dealers need to offer products that reflect how work now works. As digital transformation continues to rise in remote and hybrid work, concepts such as everything-as-a-service will play a critical role in how organizations choose to invest in technology such as printers and scanners. In addition, we predict that in 2023, manufacturers will continue utilizing their dealer channels with various perks to build better customer relationships.
From a product perspective, a continued acceleration in the digitalization of documents leads to more need for high-capacity scanners, and there will also be a need for cloud solutions that increase workflow productivity. The shift from A3 to A4 will accelerate, particularly on color machines, so decentralized and distributed print will continue to be a trend. The need for smaller yet robust printing solutions will continue to be in high demand compared to larger A3 copiers made for work of days past.
Different companies have different needs in the printing arena, such as fluctuating print volumes. There are companies with a more constant print volume who appreciate the simplicity of their outsourced business model, which usually translates into flat rates, hassle-free, and easy-to-manage business models. In contrast, other companies value flexibility due to a variable print volume need. Dealers with the tools to cater to various markets will be in the best position for 2023. As a result, we will see dealers going beyond their traditional scope of providing technology to their customers by working with manufacturers to create streamlined experiences for companies looking to outsource their printing needs.
However, running that type of dealership will not be without its challenges. Two critical challenges we see for dealers in 2023 will be compensating and motivating their sales reps as the climate changes. Today’s sales forces call on various generations with different styles, and successful dealers continue to listen and understand the best way to communicate with all of them.
Since many manufacturers are offering new ways for dealers to generate consistent revenue with subscription programs, different models will inevitably evolve. Manufacturers will develop by providing the technology and the resources for dealerships to implement the models that make the most sense.
Manufacturers’ goals will revolve around supporting the contractual business with dealers utilizing tools from infrastructure needs, such as hardware and a supplies program designed exclusively for contractual business, to solutions that help them access, design, and implement managed printing services. In addition, a team of pre-sales consultants that allows them to maximize the contractual business offer is also part of the plan.
As society continues to migrate towards a hybrid workforce, it is more important than ever for dealers to standardize their offerings to ensure they will be secure and remain nimble. A dealership that is flexible, focused, innovative, truly comprehends their customers’ atmosphere, and is willing to go the distance for their accounts will be poised for success in 2023.