Saturday, January 28, 2012

Reprographers, how much time and effort do you put into promoting and selling “scanning-only” services?

From a current “string” of comments in the IRgA Group on LinkedIn:

Two weeks ago, Mike Cully (of AIR Graphics) posted this comment…..

Kudos to the IRgA President Bob Roperti for his recent letter in the News Digest...

“Bob has eloquently sumed up exactly where our industry is today. Having had the good fortune to have breathed in the sweet smell of ammonia for over thirty years, it is now time for this generation of Reprographers to find our new direction and know that we will succeed.”

On January 26th, Niro Perera (of ARC) posted this comment

“I would also add Document Digitization/archival solutions. Companies like Iron Mountain are dominating, but we have the technology and know how to convert paper documents to smart searchable digital content. Customizing solutions for medium to large sized customers can be lucrative.”

Our friend, Niro, is correct, companies in the Reprographics Industry do have the technology, knowledge and wherewithal (and have already made investments necessary) to offer scanning (archival) solutions.

Certainly, one “target group” for scanning-only services consists of the many government agencies, all around the country (and internationally as well, considering our overseas reprographer associates).

Some government agencies put out requests for bids and requests for proposals for scanning services, but, in order to enter those competitions, you have to know that those competitions exist! Before the advent of the Internet, government procurement departments used to go out and find vendors to complete for their procurements. But, after the Internet became widely used for procurements, government procurement departments (sadly) leave it up to vendors to “find” procurement opportunities. (I call that being lazy.) It takes a lot of time to research government procurement opportunities …. and you’re never going to find all of the ones that are opportunities for you, no matter how much time and effort you put into your research.

Take, for example, a scanning-only services RFP/Bid opportunity that happened around 2003 in one of my former company’s markets (Orlando, FL). Just last week, I found out about this particular RFP/Bid. I don’t recall that my former company submitted a proposal/bid for this opportunity. (Shame on us for not knowing about it!)

After you find an opportunity, if it is an “RFP’ opportunity, you’re going to have to describe your services and detail your work process, if you’re going to convince the government agency procurement department that your company “is the obvious choice”.

For educational purposes, I’ve stored in my Google Docs library a copy of a document that contains all of the documents associated with a “scanning-only” RFP procurement completed by Seminole County Government (Florida). This particular document includes the “award,” the RFP and the Proposal submitted by the winning vendor (including pricing.) Note the detailed write-up of the work to be done.

Link to document:

Develop your scanning-only target list! And, happy hunting!

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