My Take on the future of Konica Minolta's OneRate Program

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Konica Minolta is having a pretty good run these last few years.  While some other OEMs might be in panic mode with declining sales and profits, Konica Minolta seems impervious to the uncertain market we all face.  I think part of their secret is that they keep doing new things, they keep adapting to changing buying habits. One such example is their new “OneRate” program.  It must be making some people nervous because I’ve seen a few blogs that talk about how to sell against it.

So, what is the difference between OneRate and traditional Cost Per Page? A lot.  The primary benefit is for accounting, and here is some language about it directly from their website as well as my thoughts on each bullet:

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  • 100% billing accuracy:  Meters have always been problematic and one of the worst parts of running a cost per page program is that sometimes the meters are wrong.  KM’s fixed monthly fee gets rid of that problem.

  • One single, consistent payment:  Simple billing that anybody can understand.  Sounds good to me.

  • Predictable budget spend:  The ability to budget for print has always been tricky as print behavior can change month to month. OneRate fixes that problem.

  • No AP reconciliation, ever:  One of the things end-user customers don’t like about cost per page is that they have to reconcile meters and what they are paying, month after month after month.  Not with OneRate.

  • No hidden variable costs:  The billable contracted fee is all you pay.  Again, simple. I’m sure they have some language around volumes and number of users, but if the environment remains fairly static, so does the monthly bill.

  • No annual service escalators:  What?!  The life-blood of profitable service departments relies on annual escalators.  I’d be reading the fine print on this point.

  • No management and reporting of meter reads:  No more counting. Yay!

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Is OneRate groundbreaking? Well, for an OEM, yes, but not for the office equipment channel as a whole.  I am part of the SBB (Seat Based Billing) council and we’ve been delivering on this for over 3 years.  We have worked with companies like Print Audit, Clover Imaging Group, GreatAmerica Leasing, and a panel of over 29 dealers and partners to do exactly what OneRate does.  

Still, I have to tip my hat to Konica Minolta for leading the OEM’s by being first to offer a program like this.  I’ll be watching (and I’m sure you will too) to see the next OEM that gets onboard with fixed and budgetable billing for print.

What are your thoughts? Are you a dealer that offers the OneRate program? Are you one that is selling against it? Leave your comments and join the conversation!

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