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Why did Amazon buy a grocery retailer? The real question is, what capability did Amazon just buy?

21 June 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

Last Friday Amazon acquired high-end grocery retailer Whole Foods. This move was so over the top brilliant, that it immediately drove down the stock of Walmart and other food retailers by as much as 10%. Apart from the potential affect of how this might change where you buy groceries, I...




68% of Customers Don’t Want to Talk to Your Sales Team

07 June 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

68% of your customers would rather find out information themselves online instead of with the help of your sales team.     Are we witnessing the end of the sales people in our industry? It’s a scary thought, but when I looked at the above graph, I decided that it’s...




Staples' new strategy is targeting your SMB customer base-and winning!

24 May 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

Make no mistake, this is land grab. SMB customers are the battleground. Staples is preparing itself for a post-retail world. Over the past several months they have been hiring twenty-something college grads with one goal: go out into businesses with between 10 and 200 employees and get them set up...




How will you change your sales model?

11 May 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

When HP launched its next generation of PageWide ink-based office printers on March 8, 2017, it could have been passed over as just another new product launch. It wasn’t. PageWide MFPs will have the same game-changing effect that their LaserJet ancestors caused in the late 1980s—only these products will deal...




What Do 70% Of All Tech Data Orders Have In Common?

19 April 2017 | Caleb Huard

They were bought online through Tech Data’s e-commerce website. I cannot imagine a B2B technology distributor that does not offer e-commerce to its customers being able to sustain itself for too much longer. Tech Data is a great example of a B2B distributor from which to review financial performance: I...




The Richest Opportunity for Revenue Growth: Small Business and MPS

04 April 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

“If we don’t define how this meeting will help our customers in the first 10 minutes, I’ll leave.” I once had a CEO that said this simple line every time he walked into a meeting. And on one occasion, he actually did get up and leave. This made a pretty...




Let’s Talk About How You Can Use Your Feet On The Street (aka leather shoes) To Increase Product And Service Sales.

23 March 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

At what point did it become a good idea for B2B technology resellers to turn away from selling products and focus on services? Is it because you can’t make money selling hardware like printers, laptops, and other technology? Or, is it that you can’t make money selling hardware with your...




If You Want Your Business To look Old School, Send The Customer An Invoice And Ask For A Check.

09 March 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

Many B2B technology dealers have baked invoicing and checks into their business operations. The problem is that many of your customers don’t even own a checkbook, or stamps, or envelopes. If you look at your business operations there are a few key areas that likely result in an over-reliance on check...




Is It Time To Look At MPS As A Dead-End, And Start Looking At E-Commerce As A Better Option?

23 February 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

The inertia of MPS is tough to counter and there is an entire industry dedicated to it, complete with consultants, software developers and OEMs telling dealerships that “they need to be there.” I think MPS reduces the potential value of your customers. Here’s a case against MPS and for e-commerce....




3 Tips To Help You Create The Best User Experience For Your Customers And More Sales Conversions From Their Visit To Your Website

09 February 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

You’ve got 30 seconds. That’s how long it takes a website visitor to decide if they will stay on your site or go somewhere else. Customers and prospects are making an evaluation on whether your site can provide them with what they are looking for. If you sell technology, there...




The Local Aspect Of Google Search Is A Huge Advantage To Your Business

26 January 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

If your website tells the world you are a managed print services provider, you could show up in about 5 search results in Google this month. If your website can sell printers, ink and toner, you could show up in 50,000 search results. Translation: the only people that know what...




These KPIs will help your sales team increase revenue in 2017 and beyond.

12 January 2017 | NORM MCCONKEY

Will your current strategy result in your business achieving its revenue goals from 2017 through 2020? When you start planning for 2017 and beyond, it’s the most important question every business owner should ask. If you are a technology company that provides hardware and services, your product offerings over time...




The Value Of Your Company Is Now Tied Up To The Number Of E-Commerce Customers You Have

14 December 2016 | NORM MCCONKEY

When Unilever bought Dollar Shave Club a few months ago, many saw it as an industry powerhouse company taking out an upstart e-commerce merchant to knock out the competition. A clean, simple acquisition strategy. After all, Unilever sells blades for $5 each in a store, and when an online competitor...




All you need to know about the importance of Digital Marketing can be summed up by Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn. It’s go time.

30 November 2016 | NORM MCCONKEY

You’ve been selling digital technology products for years, but have you been selling them digitally? To a certain extent, we all have some digital processes. We use tools like email and social media platforms like LinkedIn, and maybe your website has some digital workflow. Your sales team probably has a...




Partner. Contractor. Consultant. What’s the Difference?

03 November 2016 | NORM MCCONKEY

So, a consultant, a partner, and a contractor walk into a bar -no, it’s not like that. A contractor would walk into the bar for you (because that’s what he/she is paid to do), a consultant would tell you how to walk into the bar and charge you for their subject matter expertise, and a partner would walk into the bar, negotiate a better price for the beer, keep half of the savings, and share the rest with you. A good partner would likely stay and drink the beer with you. This may be unpopular to say, but you should probably fire your consultant.




Move All of your Business Transactions Online in Less Than One Year

20 October 2016 | IT Admin

I have two longer term customers that pay me via a monthly check. Other than that, all my customers do business with me via my website

My business is 100% service. Here are three things that made this possible..




Massive Growth Continues for Shopify: The Marketplace is Betting on E-Commerce. Should You?

30 September 2016 | IT Admin

Question: What has a market cap of $3.2 Billion, E-comm sales of $3.4 billion, and over 300,000 customers?

Answer: Shopify. They are the biggest e-commerce platform in the world. Here’s why you should care. has become the choice of Small Business (Read: your business) e-commerce systems. Tangent/ is proud to announce that we have been certified as Shopify Experts. Last year 150,000 businesses opened up a store with Shopify.




Inception Selling: The art of planting an idea in your potential customer’s mind

01 September 2016 | IT Admin

Recently, I had an unsuccessful call with a potential customer in the imaging industry. From a sales point-of-view it was great because I got a firm no and thus little time will be wasted. From a business in 2016 and onward point-of-view, it was troubling -yet another dealer firmly telling me his customers do not want to buy his products online. I know that this call isn’t likely to go anywhere, but I always try to leave it with a couple simple but helpful questions:

  • How do you know your customers don’t want to purchase your products online?
  • Have you asked them?



Digital Marketing vs. The Old School Sales Rep

11 August 2016 | IT Admin

Digital Marketing vs. The Old School Sales Rep

I got a call the other day from a company professing to be experts of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). They said they could transform the way my company generated sales leads. Funny thing though, when I did a Google search to find “SEO and SEM marketing help” they did not show up. So I asked the sales rep on the phone “If you’re so good, why are you calling me? You say you know everything about SEO and SEM, but why aren’t leads streaming in? Shouldn’t the fish be jumping into your boat?” Crickets. No response. It drove home the point that sales people are not going away any time soon, but it also reminded me that the activities of sales people need to change if they are going to succeed.

Here are three things that sales people they need to embrace in order to be successful today:




What Will Be The Print Industry Equivalent to ‘Uber’?

20 July 2016 | IT Admin

At a recent dealer meeting, I was asked to include in my presentation an answer to the question above. It really is a great conversation starter, and forces us all to think about how our industry can (and will) be fundamentally disrupted. We often think of change as incremental, but eventually all industries get knocked on their collective behinds. I’ve seen a post that explains that the biggest hotel company in the world owns no rooms (Air BnB) and the biggest taxi company owns no vehicles (Uber).

So how will print change?




Before You Adopt Seat Based Billing or Change Your MPS Program, Fix This Sales Model

20 June 2016 | IT Admin

In 1995, the richest man in the world, and the CEO of the (then) most powerful company in the world, Bill Gates, wrote a book called ‘The Road Ahead.’ In it, he predicted what technologies would change our lives, and how. In the original publication there was one concept he missed completely: the World Wide Web.  While the second edition was laced throughout with the profound changes brought on by the Internet, it’s clear that sometimes we miss the most obvious things when we look too hard at minor fixes. Still, the CEO’s lack of understanding where business was headed cost Microsoft its position as the world’s biggest company. What’s the equivalent concept or word in the imaging industry today? E-commerce.




If you are an imaging technology dealer, then the Staples and Office Depot blocked merger is a HUGE WIN FOR YOU.

26 May 2016 | IT Admin

The Staples – Office Depot non merger may have slipped under your radar as a non-event, but I think it has the potential to be a significant turning point in your business. Their loss is your gain. This might take a bit to explain, but give me a minute and...




Why you need to know the difference between an E-Commerce portal and an integrated E-Commerce website.

10 May 2016 | IT Admin

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a raving advocate of B2B imaging and technology dealers having an e-commerce website. So much so that I’ve thrown off my MPS jersey for an e-commerce one. If you don’t have an e-commerce site, you are being left behind. Not going to be left...




Thinking about selling products through Amazon? Here’s three reasons why that may not be a good idea.

24 March 2016 | IT Admin

I got a call last week from an Amazon sales rep that wanted me to list some of my products on Amazon. One of my companies is HP authorized and since HP and Amazon don’t have an agreement, Amazon is soliciting dealers to list their HP supplies and hardware on...




Is your definition of MPS getting in the way of new business opportunities?

17 February 2016 | IT Admin

The MPSA ( defines MPS as: the active management and optimization of business processes related to documents and information, including input and output devices. It’s important to revisit this definition periodically and ask what it means to your dealership. I talk to dealers on a daily basis, and my sense...




At what point do you stop putting emphasis on MPS and start getting serious about E-Commerce?

16 December 2015 | IT Admin

Raise your hand if you think MPS has been a rousing success at your company? I’m underwhelmed, but not surprised. Unless your company has been built on a foundation of MPS –from the ground up, it’s probably been a difficult undertaking. You are, of course, not alone. In spite of...




Why fixing a printer can make your customers unhappy.

06 May 2015 | IT Admin

Good news! I can fix your printer. Bad news: you still have a twelve year old, big, noisy device that can only print, and only print in black and white.” If you think this is an extreme example, then ask your parts distributor why their most popular product is a...




Ink Will Win Over Laser. This is Why.

22 March 2015 | IT Admin

I’ve just returned from the recent ITEX show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Before going to the show, I’d been looking to see if there was anything new that may change the traditional business model of the MPS industry. Sometimes what you don’t see at a trade show is just as...




Stop doing these 3 things if you want to cut your service costs in half.

04 February 2015 | IT Admin

The enemy of great is good. We have been doing good things in our businesses for so long. They have prevented us from doing great things – like making more profits. Take a look at this actual customer fleet to understand the business logic. Click to View Larger The graph...




2015: The year of the revenue harvest

07 January 2015 | IT Admin

It’s no secret: OEMs are reporting declines in print volumes and lower revenues from their traditional business. This means that it’s time to move your sales strategy away from one reliant on expensive sales reps to generate “new opportunities,” to one that allows you to pinpoint opportunities in your current...




Print Tracker™ announces strategic partnership with Tangent MTW Incorporated

04 January 2015 | IT Admin

December 29, 2014 - Boise, Idaho USA and Ontario, Canada Print Tracker is proud to announce that information gathered by Print Tracker Pro can be integrated into Tangent MTW Inc.'s MPS Toolbox™. "MPS Toolbox helps office imaging dealerships manage customer accounts more efficiently and profitably, all while maximizing investments already...




The number 1 reason NOT to outsource your toner fulfillment is…

03 December 2014 | IT Admin

Because you only have so much margin to give away. The primary reason that customers outsource the management of their printing fleet to you is because managing supplies and service themselves is hard. They have a business to run and they are not printing experts. I’ll bet your sales angle...




MPS Toolbox™ software released from Tangent MTW Inc.

22 October 2014 | IT Admin

Ontario, Canada - Robust software tools to support office imaging dealerships and their print management programs have been released from Tangent MTW Inc. Designed for office imaging dealerships to increase profits and revenue, MPS Toolbox is a unique solution for the market as it is architected to leverage existing MPS...




I have a hard time sitting still…

16 October 2014 | IT Admin

With over 20 years spent in office technology, business productivity software, software development and architecture, I am always thinking about business optimization and simplification that drives profit. Give me a marker and a white board and I’m in my glory, mapping out software strategy. As the founding president and CEO...




What’s the right service cost per page?

15 October 2014 | IT Admin

As more and more companies move toward a cost per page program for the laser and workgroup printer fleets, there seems to be a lot of conversation about how companies can determine what their service cost per page should be. Having worked with dozens of companies on this topic, here...




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