For the first time since 2020, The FP Mailing Dealer Summit was held early this spring. The event, sponsored by GreatAmerica, Print Management Partners, and QTrak, took place at the JW Marriott in Nashville over Super Bowl Weekend. Things started with a Super Bowl party and then the next day, FP mailing got down to business.
Along with the keynote delivered by Managing Director Michael Hannon, and then the dealer program overview by National Director of Sales and Product Marketing Paul Buckley, there were breakouts for major accounts, operations, professional services, digital products, finance with GAFS, awards, a sponsor showcase and the dealer advisory council. We also heard from several speakers about decertification, digitization, and FP Mailing’s dealer program. Dealer sightings included POA, Loffler, Donnellon-McCarthy and All Copy. And no respectable dealer summit would be complete without a unique evening event (with lots of libations). FP Mailing did not disappoint with a private party at one of Nashville’s finest distilleries.
Michael Hannon, Managing Director, setting the stage
Hannon kicked things off by looking back at 2021. Like almost every business, FP Mailing struggled with supply chain issues and raw materials shortages. At the same time staff was getting acclimated to alternating between remote and in-person shifts, call volumes increased by 30% YoY twice — first in ‘19-’20, then again in ‘20-’21. Despite these challenges, FP Mailing was able to persevere and had a good year. Hannon said that dealer sales were positive, and that the install base is growing. He also reported that revenue was up 7% and equipment sales grew by 20.7%. The company was able to grow supplies sales as well.
Buckley reviewed the dealer program and highlighted the dealer channel’s success in 2021, emphasizing that channel is going to play a huge role in maintaining FP Mailing’s positive momentum moving forward. Buckley and his team were able to increase equipment sales by 15%, add more dealers, agents, and reps to increase sales capacity, and increase their average order value.
Buckley also set his sights on the future. “The world is evolving. We cannot be the old FP. If we’re not evolving, we are being left behind.” He said that while dealers are doing a good job with cross selling and increasing sales in existing accounts, new customer acquisition has a lot of room for growth. Buckley said that dealers should focus on mid-sized commercial clients. “That’s where the money is.” Decertification of non-IMI compliant PES machines should make things a bit easier for dealers to get in front these customers, as they don’t have a choice but to upgrade their unit or stop using it by summer 2024.
Mo Bowlus, National Product Sales Manager for Folding and Inserting Solutions, but also the “Demo Master”
The ridiculously lucky Jim George of Donnellon-McCarthy won a Super Bowl prize sponsored by GreatAmerica Financial Services
It’s an interesting time to be in the mailing business. Digital transformation is enabling businesses to rethink the way they communicate with customers. Whether it’s invoices, marketing materials, or account statements, digital alternatives are everywhere. Conventional wisdom would make you think that folks who sell hardware to optimize an antiquated process like mail would be anxious about competing with a modern, digital method of transmitting information (although some research would suggest paper is the best way to get someone’s attention, even if it isn’t the cheapest and fastest method). But not the folks FP Mailing. With decertification around the corner and a new digital platform in their portfolio and a dealer channel striving for portfolio diversification and growth, FP Mailing is poised and optimistic about the future.
Patricia Ames is president and senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. As a market analyst and industry consultant, Ames has worked for prominent consulting firms including KPMG and has more than 15 years experience in the imaging industry covering technology and business sectors. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community.