Craig Behm, with Image Net Consulting, joins us to talk about becoming more efficient in the office and about his consulting firm that deals in printers, copiers, and office equipment.
Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.
Jay W. Curry: We’re back. Hello, Texas. Welcome back to Texas Business Radio. We got a great program going today, and this segment’s gonna be especially special. Very interesting technology we’re gonna talk about at a very interesting consulting firm, probably like you’re not thinking when I say consulting, but before we get started, let me remind everybody to go to texasbusinessradio.com, and everything about us is there. Everything about our sponsors, everything about our guests, every interview we’ve done, it’s all right there, texasbusinessradio.com.
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All right, let’s get started. We have a special guest. Craig Behm, who is the south president of Image Net Consulting, very interesting business. Craig, thank you for joining us. Tell us, what in the world is Image Net Consulting?
Craig Behm: Thanks, Jay. Image Net Consulting is a 150-million-dollar consulting firm headquartered out of Oklahoma City. We specialize in imaging products, such as MFPs, multi-functional printers, which people consider as copy machines, and the technologies that go with them. What’s kinda cool about Image Net Consulting, besides being in all 50 states, 40,000 end users, is we bring a consulting approach to our business. We represent manufacturers such as Canon and Ricoh and HP and Konica Minolta. As our customers need a imaging device, we can bring the right device and the right technology to the right place. We combine that with softwares that allow us to eliminate printing whenever possible and streamline the workflow process, so ultimately, our technologies help impact our customers’ bottom line and make them more money.
Jay W. Curry: We talked a little bit before we came on about huge costs of printing and things, and it’s companies like you who use the technology but bring the consulting in to really refine the cost and to bring the right … You’re agnostic about the equipment, so you bring the right equipment that fits the need.
Craig Behm: That’s exactly right. Some law firm may need a Ricoh machine because they’re producing to [summation 00:02:51] software, for example, but a healthcare organization might have a different set of softwares they need to produce to, so we bring whatever’s the best for our customers at all times.
Jay W. Curry: You’re not bringing copying, per se, right?
Craig Behm: Yeah.
Jay W. Curry: Those days are gone. What’s going on?
Craig Behm: In fact, copying is almost gone. Most of our equipment scans more than copies and prints way more than it copies, and it’s all importance of fitting on the network and combining all the other things that we bring to it, with service and technology.
Jay W. Curry: You’re kinda like an IBM for copying. You come in, and you bring in the expertise, you bring in the consultants, and you are running quite a sophisticated control center, so you can track when things are gonna break. You’re tracking all kinds of technology going in the back office there. Can you tell us a little bit about what’s that all …
Craig Behm: Yeah, our software will help our customers manage their printing devices. They can tell which device is maybe producing too many color copies or too many black and white copies or scans, and so at the end of every quarter or every month, we can supply our customers with a report that says how many copies were made here, how many were made there, what they were made on, how many scans were made, what software was scanned into, and all the other great things that’ll help us manage the customers and most importantly, impact their bottom line by reducing the number of copies made.
Jay W. Curry: Yeah, I noticed that your home is in Oklahoma, but you’re the president here in the south, the Texas, and that’s a big part of your business, so this is not like a little company up in Oklahoma. This is a huge, blue chip type company that services a big area.
Craig Behm: Yeah, we’ll do 50 million here in Texas, if I do my job right, in the next year or two. The oil companies, they recently were hit with some were downsizing, some were up-sizing, and our company does our own financing, so we have the ability to maneuver machines around. Maybe this machine needs to be smaller ’cause this company’s not producing as many prints or scans, so we have the ability to do that since we finance our own equipment.
Jay W. Curry: You do that because you know what’s going on. You’re not coming in, and the customer’s going, “Well, I think we’re not using this …” You know before you walk in if there’s potential errors or problems that are gonna come up you gotta fix. The back office of this thing is very, very sophisticated.
Craig Behm: Yeah. We pride ourselves. Our customers can expect their toner to be delivered 14 days before they need it, before they know they need it.
Jay W. Curry: Yeah, don’t you love that?
Craig Behm: Yeah. The old days, you had to call them up, “Hey, would you deliver toner?” Maybe you did it; maybe you wouldn’t. Our customers don’t have to worry about that. It gets there when they need it, and they plug it in and play.
Jay W. Curry: You started with kinda the reason, the difference for you. There’s very uniqueness in that, not just the consulting, but the financing, and some of the other things that bring you up for that.
Craig Behm: Yeah, our business is very technical. There’s lots of different partners and softwares, so what’s unique about Image Net is we do our own financing. We have a large leasing portfolio that we supply our customers with the banking. That’s important because it gives the chance to put the software and the hardware all in one area, along with service, and so our competitors, for example, you might have to finance through a bank out of New York, and that bank in New York may not care if that copier’s breaking or the scanning is not going to the right softwares, but our company, all the financing and all the solutions are all in one place.
George Walden: Craig, if I may ask … We were talking in our earlier conversation about the fact that the business today has real issues with security and that copiers, unfortunately, are very hackable. What are you doing to change that dynamic in the marketplace?
Craig Behm: Yeah, that’s probably the hottest button right now in our business, and we’re lucky to have partners such as HP and Ricoh and Canon and Konica Minolta that are extremely good at getting their equipment secure. Copiers nowadays hang off an IP address. They’re as easy to hack as a little computer would be, and accessible. However, each of these companies have given us great security, such as overwriting the data every time it’s printed so that nobody can see what was copied, also, keeping the networks secure. You couldn’t ask for better partners than the four I mentioned, as far as bringing us the latest and greatest security to make sure our customers are taken care of.
Jay W. Curry: There was one thing about our discussion we had earlier that I found very fascinating, and that is the way you bonus your maintenance people based upon no-fault type of service. That’s first class.
Craig Behm: Thanks, Jay. We started in 1956, servicing typewriters. You guys may not remember typewriters, but they used to be a business around here. We have carried that service forward. In fact, we start our presentations with service and end in service. In Houston, we average about a two-hour response time getting a machine up and running. Our service technicians are all bonused by how well that stays up and running. Other companies might come out and fix your equipment really fast, and it might break again in a week or two, but with Image Net, we have our service technicians bonused by if that machine made it 90 days without another service call, they actually get more money in their pocket, and it drives them to do a job of making sure all the problems are eliminated as they come out and visit with you.
Jay W. Curry: Again now, it’s a consulting firm. You will attack the problems in all elements. It’s not about just copies. That’s old.
Craig Behm: In fact, most of our service calls today, most are still probably on the hardware, but somewhere maybe around 40% are on the software now. It’s not scanning a PDF properly, or it’s not paginating properly. We also have our own IT company that brings a lot of value to our company. That helps us as we service our software issues for our customers as well.
Jay W. Curry: It’s almost as essential as anything else. If you’re gonna protect your customers in security, better have your own IT operation going, right?
Craig Behm: 100% right. We started in Albuquerque in one of our offices out there; we’ve expanded to Oklahoma and now in Texas with our IT division.
Jay W. Curry: We are talking about you do your own financing. You provide a consultant for the entire market. You have your own IT firm. You’re hardware agnostic. Man, what could go wrong with this? This is good stuff. Thank you, Craig, for joining us.
Craig Behm: I’m gonna mention one last thing. We picked up, as a new customer this year, a little company called the Houston Astros, and without Image Net, 52 years without a World Series. The first year of supplying them with their manage print services, a World Series is in the bag. Enough said.
Jay W. Curry: There you go. What more can you say? Folks, anything having to do with imaging, these are the folks that you wanna call. Craig, if somebody wants to learn more or see more, I’m sure you got a website, telephone, how should they contact you?
Craig Behm: Yup, yup. Start with imagenet.com, and that’ll get you anywhere you might need. Our technologies are on there, as well as phone numbers to contact our local offices.
Jay W. Curry: That’s great. Thank you so much for being with us. George Walden is joining me in the studio. Thank you, George, for your help. Matt stepped out.
George Walden: It’s a privilege to be here.
Jay W. Curry: This is Jay Curry, your host. We’re gonna go pay a couple bills, and we’re gonna come back and bring you another fascinating story. This one has been quite interesting, Craig, and we really appreciate your time and you joining us.
Folks don’t go anywhere. We’re gonna be right back.
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Jay W. Curry
Along with hosting “Texas Business Radio”, Jay is a Professional Certified Coach and Master Chair facilitating four Houston-based Vistage peer groups. In addition to being a best selling non-fiction author, the 2015 release of his award winning novel, Nixon and Dovey: the Legend Returns, adds novelist to his title. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics from Oklahoma State and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State. You can learn more about Jay HERE.