ACDI Buyers Lab Article

Selling Solutions: PaperCut

Strategy Points from ACDI, North America’s Largest PaperCut Distributor

By Lee Davis, BLI Research Editor, Solutions

Courtesy of

When an organization’s client list consists of fortune 500 companies, prestigious universities, and various professional sports franchises, it must be doing something right. And doing it right has earned ACDI the right to call itself the PaperCut and solutions authority in every region they operate in.

 “Our customers are made up mostly of copier manufacturers and the dealers themselves, who in turn sell to the end customer,” said ACDI’s Director of Sales Matt Bennett. The success of ACDI is predicated on the success of its customers. To that end, the company isn’t just selling a product—it’s also preparing all of its customers to succeed. After all, the more its customers sell, the more ACDI sells.

 Behind the scenes, a lot of hard work and resources are dedicated to ensuring that ACDI customers become PaperCut experts. “We literally equip them with just about anything you can imagine, from our marketing to the training we provide,” Bennett said. ACDI creates its own marketing material, which it then distributes to its customers. Meanwhile, the company offers on- and off-site training, whipping customers into lean, mean, PaperCut-selling machines. To ensure its sales team is the most knowledgeable in the industry, ACDI President Josh Lane said, “Our team is well educated, not only on both PaperCut and ACDI products but on the competitors’ products, too.” This, he continued to explain, is a resourceful tool when consumers bring up competitors, to which the salesperson can highlight the differences between products.

 But most importantly, the folks at ACDI understand the ongoing changes in the document imaging industry. “For the past several years, it’s no secret that the manufacturers and their dealers are getting away from selling speeds and feeds,” Bennett said. “And now, they listen more intently to their customers, which is a great opportunity to open a dialogue about the long-term benefits that solutions offer.”

Addressing a Horizontal Pain Point: Print Management

“No two customers are alike—their infrastructure is different, and they have different types of printers from different vendors,” Bennett said. Despite these differences, though, he said they all have three things in common: “They all have employees, they all have employees who print, and they all have administration or department heads who have no idea who is actually printing and what they’re printing.” At the end of the day, these organizations need to ask themselves: Who is printing what, which printers are they printing to, and how are they printing to them? “Then,” Bennett said, “you have to ask them: In real time, can you login to anything and see who just sent a print job, where they sent it to, and how many pages it was?”

 These are the questions Bennett feels need to be asked of every single prospect in every single vertical—in short, every single potential customer.

 Let’s Go to School

While PaperCut fits into nearly all print environments, Bennett says the education vertical has one of the greatest demands. Because of this, the pitch depends on which segment of the vertical you are talking to. “Keep in mind that, within education, there is K–12 and higher education, and the conversations are very similar but they can also be different,” Bennett said. “For example, colleges and universities want a solution that can charge students for prints and copies, maybe even for scans and faxes, too.”

 ACDI’s pitch to the higher education segment comes under the guise of speaking for student needs, beginning with how printing is a necessary evil on college campuses. “Millions and millions of prints and copies are made by students, and I don’t know of one college out there who absorbs that cost,” Bennett said. It’s at this point where PaperCut can be introduced to show how it can provide the best print environment for students, while also optimizing the school’s cost recovery efforts. “PaperCut charges students to print, copy, scan, or fax. They can use their ID card to login to a device of their choice and easily see what print jobs they sent to the MFP and what the costs are associated with it. They are, of course, then charged for the job, which means it will be decremented from their account. PaperCut doesn’t only recoup print costs—it can also help turn a profit.”

 “PaperCut doesn’t only recoup print costs—it can also help turn a profit.” –Matt Bennett, ACDI’s Director of Sales

 Meanwhile, in the K–12 segment, potential PaperCut customers aren’t looking to charge their students. However, the conversation is similar to those held with the higher education crowd when it comes to recouping costs. “In classrooms, teachers are holding on to desktop printers, where they’re printing tests, homework assignments, notes, you name it,” Bennett said. “And what administration would like to happen, is for teachers to print less to those devices. From there, the focus isn’t on charging teachers, but controlling and limiting what they print, thereby reducing costs. The result, according to Bennett, is an ROI unlike anything they have ever seen or heard before.

 9 out of 10 Doctors Recommend Security and Cost Reduction Features

Cost recuperation isn’t exclusive to the education vertical. “In healthcare, security is the biggest concern,” Bennett said. “Because of HIPPA and all the other programs out there, hospitals and doctor offices have to make sure their environment is more secure than ever before.” ACDI approaches healthcare customers ready to explain the security benefits PaperCut brings to the table. “Far too many times, print jobs are left sitting in the paper trays for other staff members or patients to see, violating the laws that hospitals are supposed to abide by.”

 ACDI pushes PaperCut’s native secure print capabilities as a remedy to healthcare providers who are concerned about compliancy issues. Find Me Printing, meanwhile, adds the convenience factor of being able to pick which output device to use on top of ensuring nobody but the user who sent the secure job will see the document. Furthering the importance of secure pull printing is that it can also lower costs by significantly reducing consumables and paper waste.

 Another area of concern is being able to determine print costs to know what and where you’re spending in order to budget properly, as well as identifying and altering poor print behavior. “After all, they are a business and they need to turn a profit, too,” Bennett said.

Development Team

One thing potential customers will consider when purchasing a new solution is how it will integrate with their existing IT investments. Bennett provided a great example, saying, “When dealing with a company’s third-party billing software, there is integration that is required—and that’s where our development team comes in. We have over 20 APIs, which allow us to integrate with the more popular back-end billing systems.” For unique cases where an API doesn’t currently exist, ACDI’s development team can deliver a customized API for a one-time fee.

 A Bid for the Future

One thing Lane made crystal clear was that ACDI is not satisfied being an “order taker” to the dealers. He envisions adding complimentary products to the company’s portfolio of hardware payment systems, proximity card readers, card technology, and PaperCut, along with the integration and installation services they provide. Ultimately, it’s about sustainability and differentiation from other providers, so ACDI will continue to serve its customers while keeping a vigilant eye on the horizon for the next big solution.