Sunday, January 25, 2009

Free advice about what to do next.

Of course you get what you pay for. So consider the source.

1. Design a transition program for Xerox people.

No doubt SG&A has to get down to succeed going forward. Probably WalMart's 16+% is a good target. Many Xeroids are ready to leave to try something else. Figure out ways they can work on line to create value with their deep knowledge and experience of the Company.

2. Cut any advertising or marketing that is not delivering measurable results.

But be very careful what we measure. The sales cycle is long for production equipment so it's going to hard to know exactly what the measure should be. But we have lots of smart people on board. If they are given the time, I'm sure they can do it. But TV broadcast ads on Meet the Press or other Sunday shows? That makes no sense to me.

3. Connect with the real creatives at our advertising agencies and stop paying for Print buys.

If the Print ads are in the service of deepening an ongoing relationship, that makes sense. But anything else is a waste of money. Start a Xerox channel on YouTube. (That's what Google is doing.) Make the videos cool and fun. Stop worrying about talking to organizations in ads. They don't watch ads. They love us any way and are sold by personal relations and the right price. "Nobody ever got fired for buying Xerox."

4. If 70% of our revenue is toner, supplies and post sales, align our investments with that reality.

Make it better, faster and cheaper to buy our paper and toner. Focus on delivering perceived value in return for click charges. If we don't, that's going to go away to box sales that don't have click charges attached.

5. Measure the results of our PR outfit.

Keep doing Google searches of the words that are used in the media to describe Xerox. Get a baseline on the number of "office equipment" or "copy" or the many other silly misconceptions out there. Then figure out the right words. My favorite is "world's largest color print manufacturer with a global reach" or Xerox manages a global information infrastructure with Print outlets all over the planet". I will leave the exact phrase to PR professionals.

Then negotiate a "pay for performance" compensation. As the use of the right words increase, their compensation increases. If not, then not so much.

5. Align the comp of XGS with the rest of the company or spin them off.

If they get comped on toner, supplies and post sale great. If not, give them their own P&L. And give shareholders a piece. They will probably produce better and faster. And the Market won't be so confused about what we do. Worked pretty well for Verizon. Not so much for ATT.

6. Incent the Global Imaging Systems sales channel to refer work to Xerox Print vendors.

While this might lead to some channel conflicts, perhaps a way to get this started is to do a regional division to Xerox Premier Partners. The pitch is "when it's too much to print here, send the work to X." X would still compete on price and service, but the value of the referrals increases the value of the Xerox network. Every MFP should provide an entry point to Xerox production equipment. Another thought is to connect GIS salespeople and Xerox Print vendor salespeople as teams that can cross sell to SMB.

I'll post more as I think of more stuff.

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