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Ikon is no longer selling Konica Minolta

April 9, 2009

Well, I have been holding off on posting this but I have now heard from two differnt sources, on two different coast (East & Left Coast) that Ikon is no longer selling Konica Minolta equpment as of 04/01/2009.

The way I hear it, it wasn’t Konica Minolta that pulled the plug. I can’t imagine it was Ikon, those guys are desperate to sell anything other than Ricoh, so who does that leave? Right, Ricoh corporate. And that makes sense to me. The word is out (from their end of year meetings) that the Ricoh Direct Branches (RBS) tanked their numbers for the last quarter of their fiscal year. So Ricoh is hoping, praying, begging that their bright and shiney new purchase (Ikon) will save them. Ricoh corporate doesn’t want Ikon selling the Konica Minolta production equipment anymore, when they have been pushing their competing product line. We shall see if this works, or if it simply hurts Ikon. Ikon is truly now a one trick pony. All their eggs are firmly in the Ricoh basket. They have no other products to sell. I heard one Ikon customer remark that for years Ikon was telling me that the only reason they carried Ricoh was to sell it to people who couldn’t afford to buy a Canon (Their main line of MFDs), but all of a sudden they are telling me that Ricoh is the best product on the planet!!!! What changed, other than the fact that Ikon can no longer sell Canon. Nothing. Do they really think that their customers are that stupid? Apparently they do.

Now that the Ikon sales reps only have Ricoh to sell we’ll see just how good of a sales force they are. If I was in the market to find a new sales job, which I am not, the last place I would go is to work for Ricoh Business Solutions (RBS) or Ikon. These are both two fairly large sales orginizations selling the exact same product line often time in competing markets. At least if you are RBS you can spin it by saying “We are the manufacturer”, what is Ikon going to say? We are better than Ricoh because……… we use to work on Canon & Konica Minolta.

What if you purchased an Ikon CPP MFD (a relabelled Konica Minolta MFD) where does this leave you? Unfortunately for you, Mr Customer, you are in even worse shape than your Canon \ Ikon customer counterparts because at least Canon did not allow Ikon to sell a customized version of the Canon MFD that only Ikon could service or sell you toner for. Konica Minolta Japan did just that. They allowed Ikon to purchase their relabeled Konica Minolta MFDs as IKON CPP equipment. They also set it up so that ONLY Ikon is authorized to get the firmware or the toner for these Ikon CPP versions of KM MFDs. It’s not like you can go to an independent Konica Minolta dealer or even to the KM Direct Branch and buy their toner or a service contract. The Toner bottles were made special for Ikon and the regular KM toner bottles will NOT fit in the Ikon CPP version of the same machine.

Now if I owned an Ikon CPP version of a Konica Minolta MFD, I would be calling Konica Minolta and complaining. I would demand that they allow all Authorized Konica Minolta Dealers be authorized to service and support these Ikon CPP versions of the KM MFDs.

That’s My $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@necs.biz
WWW.NECS.BIZ

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8 comments

  1. yup – the CPPs were nothing but trouble anyway –

    One Trick Pony is now in town – except all that talent in professional services…

    good post


  2. This situation was inevitible and the game has always been for IKON to only sell Ricoh manufactured product, in an attempt to protect Market Share and as a defensive move against Canon (or another entity) from buying IKON first. As you mentioned, major conflict between IKON and RBS will be a daily occurence and don’t forget the RFG (Ricoh, Savin, Lanier) Independent Dealers, who face new challenges. My heart goes out to them right now. I suspect if Konica Minolta is contacted by ‘IKON CPP MFP’ customers, they would be supported in some fashion, as this would be an opportunity for new business.


  3. The IKON Canon customers are getting hosed. IKON has already switched to generic toner and parts and the Canons are running poorly. IKON reps response? “These Canons just aren’t holding up, you need a new super-dooper Ricoh that will run better.” The Canon customers need to demand OEM supplies and parts. Isn’t that what they bought? Isn’t that what they’re paying for?


  4. I’m not surprised at all, as far as Ikon reps, i feel sorry for them to be selling and inferior product at this time. who knows in the future if Ricoh will step up to the plate and make a Quality product? This is just anothe opportunity for a rep like myself that represents many manufacturers to offer a customer a true solution , not just the product i have. I would guess that Ikon is not going to be selling MPS to anybody. All you have to do is sit a Ricoh product next to a Canon Minolta or Xerox and you don’t have to say a word. Just tell them to shake it and it will explain everyting!
    No offense guys but in this economy where the customer wants to buy Quality, you need to sit in the Chrysler line. On a different note , I guess the letter form Ikon’s lawyers I have will be framed for telling the truth! Last time I checked I did not see Mercedes selling BMW cars!


  5. Who has the information regarding the Konica Minolta not supporting the IKON CPP500? Please forward to me at llevine@documentsystems.com. I would appreciate because I am in a selling situation right now.


  6. Larry,

    I heard it directly from my KM Dealer rep, and then from an IKON rep in California. That was good enough for me to post.


  7. I’ve yet to see an official press release. I’m in a competitive situation and would love to have something super-duper official.

    Anyone seen it?


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