It’s pretty normal for anyone who needs a new bank of printers to want to start with the printer itself. Yes, we might go online to browse the latest and greatest from Zebra, Honeywell, Epson or others, or we might call the authorized partner we usually purchase from to make a recommendation for us. However, most of our resellers in this space aren’t heavy USERS of this equipment. While they may have expertise on some process insights or label technology, resellers of one brand will all have pretty much the same products available to work with, and when you put out the RFP, the bids will (generally) all be a reflection of how much margin each of them is willing to give up for the deal.
Now, if we are grouping that RFP with other value-added pieces, then perhaps the resellers will be able to differentiate themselves better with some expertise in those other areas, or the integrated approach to deploying everything that is in your RFP. But as for the printers themselves, they will all be the same printer in many cases, and you are only getting differentiation on price.
As for our own team on the floor, replacing the label roll and ribbon might be a skill set that some of them excel at, but how likely is it that we will have someone on the floor who has expertise on all facets of the printing solution – and its optimization – while that experience is limited only to what we have for our own current solution? Our best people will most likely know only our own solution and won’t have any way to know if we are missing out on a better one.
But what about your service repair person? They, on the other hand, might know everything.