Print.IT Reseller - issue 110

01732 759725 48 Q&A View from the channel Q: How’s business; better or worse than 12 months ago? And how confident are you about the future? A: Our business has grown year on year since 2020. I think that the future is positive, but riddled with immediate challenges, for example, interest rates affecting lease business. As many have said, COVID has accelerated us to the hybrid/different ways of working that were inevitable, and like most, we have adapted well. We have also increased our business delivery in Western Europe. We still manage all device assets via our Cambridge helpdesk utilising Xerox’s direct engineering teams. This makes our cross-border value proposition very attractive. Q: In what areas are you experiencing strongest demand? A: We have a continued increase in clients requiring solutions that integrate effectively and reliably with cloud solutions such as Office 365 – Universal Print. We have lots of conversations around helping clients reduce IT burden regarding print, so our great analyst team offering specialist advice and ideas is vital. Security is still a popular conversation, although now shadowed by energy efficiency and sustainability credentials. Q: How have you changed/are you changing business operations to exploit new opportunities? A: We have organically become very consultancy-led as a business, which seems well received by our clients. Digital marketing has grown in importance since the pandemic and our team offers relevant and interesting news feeds to current and potential clients; this returns many inbound requests for further conversation. As a business, we have adopted a hybrid working environment, with most staff able to work remotely at some point. I believe that this flexibility has increased productivity without a doubt - and smiley faces, too! Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing channel businesses today? A: We like to constantly look at new Matt Bond, Sales Director, First Copy ideas and innovations to offer clients; choosing which ones to align precious time to is challenging. As with all businesses, growing the team can be extremely difficult and costly by way of finding the right person. For now, 90 per cent of our business still results in face-to-face meetings, this can be quite alien to some who are at the beginning of their career. Q: Could vendors and distributors do more to help you overcome them? And if so, what? A: I think vendors/manufacturers need to be as flexible as possible with the ability to listen and react quickly. Finding ways to say ‘yes’ is always better, although sometimes much more difficult than saying ‘no’. We are fortunate to partner with an industry giant that is a consistent leader in managed print. I think suppliers/manufacturers need to maximise classroom training programs. Whilst expensive, I personally think taking staff away from daily distractions to learn is much better than virtual training, especially for industry newbies. Q: If you could change one aspect of your job what would it be and why? A: Whilst it is vital, I would like to spend less time in front of my PC and more time talking directly with customers and staff... I will keep working on that! Matt Bond