Konica Minolta held its 2022 dealer summit on April 26 at its corporate headquarters in Ramsey, N.J. The theme “Full Throttle” represents what Konica Minolta says is a renewed commitment to helping dealer partners focus on growth opportunities and enhancing digital transformation offerings.
Konica Minolta chose to make their new Client Engagement Center (CEC) the centerpiece of the event, giving them the first real chance to show it off at an event since its opening in 2020. In keeping with the times, however, the summit was a hybrid event, with more than 200 attending virtually — a “digital twin” of the CEC allows them to experience the showroom as well.
The need to continue to accommodate a hybrid environment is just one of the challenges Konica Minolta – and the channel in general — faces, and Konica Minolta’s leadership was prepared to address those challenges. Also key to the event was the introduction of the new dealer performance program, Rev’d Up, designed to reward dealers for diversification with focus on overall revenue plus production and industrial print and DX (digital transformation) solutions.
The supply chain, of course, was a primary topic addressed by new CEO and President Sam Errigo, hosting his first meeting in this position. (Errigo is no stranger to challenges – see his interview with BPO’s Patricia Ames here). There are challenges, he acknowledged, and they aren’t over – there is at least another six months of this in front of us. As an organization, he said Konica Minolta must do a better job on the execution of its strategy, offering its dealers better communication and the best information at the right time and promising 75% of Konica’s inventory in this first quarter will go to dealers, while also striving to do a better job on toner fulfillment.
In case you’ve missed the last couple of years, however, no one is going to succeed on hardware alone, and this is where the diversification message is coming in. And Konica has a game plan for that too – Laura Blackmer, President, Dealer Sales, presented the new dealer program. As mentioned, Rev’d Up was designed to reward dealers for diversification – so what does that look like?
First of all, the definition of digital transformation (DX) solutions has been expanded to include Konica’s new FORXAI video security solutions, unified communications, and intelligent information management (ECM) solutions, allowing it to greatly simplify its menu of offerings. Then, the Rev’d Up performance program has been simplified, tracking total revenue performance, production print/industrial print (PP/IP) revenue, and DX revenue, taking into consideration dealers of all sizes selling a mix of products and services.
Blackmer also announced Konica Minolta’s MSP Partner Program, which she described as a “highly intense” partner program representing advancements within the All Covered IT Services division; a key element of which is Konica’s investment in dedicated dealer support teams. Blackmer said she 20-25 dealers to be involved in this program.
Konica will offer a lot of marketing support for dealers as well. Konica Minolta’s SVP, Marketing Kay Fernandez and Director, Marketing Programs Elisa Esposito shared the overhaul of a variety of marketing assets and sales enablement tools dealers can use for support.
The dealer channel loves their sports stars, so the event of course included a little bit of big-name star power. Wayne Taylor and Ricky Taylor of Wayne Taylor Racing shared perspectives and lessons from the racing world during the general session, and football great Eli Manning was part of the evening event, participating in a Q&A with Errigo as well as photo ops with the guests.
The afternoon portion of the day was broken up into three tracks, allowing visitors to attend the sessions of most interest to them — production and industrial print (including a tour of the CEC), and digital transformation, cloud, and vertical strategies.
The second evening included dinner, Broadway entertainment, and the presentation of Konica Minolta’s dealer awards.
There are no simple answers these days, and anyone who pretends otherwise is probably ignoring the questions. The best thing any OEM — or any organization with a responsibility to stakeholders — can do is be as honest as possible. Konica Minolta’s leadership team was upfront about the challenges created first by the pandemic, and more recently by the supply chain. We’re mired in difficulties these days — ships are backed up at ports, cities in China are locked down — and solutions are not simple; you can’t simply move a container onto a different ship to avoid a congested port.
What you can do is make it simpler for dealers to offer more solutions with as little pain as possible, while looking for long-term alternatives to some of the most pressing problems. Konica is giving its dealers paths into two areas of strength – production print, and its myriad of solutions offerings. Bundling solutions, IT, security, UC and video security into an umbrella “DX” category allows dealers to focus on what works for them in an equal-opportunity reward system.