Create A Midvolume Scanner Sales Opportunity
Uncovering another VAR’s mistake led to a $50,000-plus midvolume scanner install win.
Even though being at the right place at the right time involves a little bit of luck, creating that situation is a whole different matter. Document and content management VAR iCaught Incorporated did just that with one of its clients by asking the right questions and discovering a costly mistake made by one of its competitors.
In late 2004, iCaught received a lead that Drilling Info, a firm that specializes in managing well logs for major petroleum companies and research firms, was in the market for a document management solution. After engaging the customer, iCaught learned the client wasn’t interested in a document management application, but it was in the process of purchasing document scanners. The iCaught sales rep inquired about the kind of scanners the drilling company was considering and discovered one of its competitors was proposing KODAK i600 scanners. “Our sales rep told the customer that the i600 wasn’t the right scanner for scanning well logs, which immediately got the decision maker’s attention,” says Kim Kuykendall, president of iCaught. After returning to the office, the sales rep did a search on its distributor’s (NewWave Technologies) Web site and learned that Kodak had another scanner, the i280, which was designed for capturing well logs.
Well drilling logs are not your typical 8.5- by-11-inch paper documents. The documents are up to 34 inches wide and can run up to 100 feet long, resembling an EKG (electrocardiogram). According to Kuykendall, the KODAK i600 scanners are very high-end scanners that cost three to five times as much as the KODAK i280, and they aren’t designed to accommodate the continuous feed scanning needed to capture well logs.
Scanner Performance Test, TCO Comparison Seal The Deal
After confirming the error, Drilling Info ousted the other VAR and included iCaught in the bidding process against one other VAR. Drilling Info was now much more skeptical about shelling out thousands of dollars for scanners that might not be a fit for its business. In order to make a final decision, it wanted to see a head-to-head demonstration between iCaught’s KODAK i280 scanner and the competing VAR’s scanner. The two VARs set up demo units side by side at Drilling Info’s facility and ran a series of tests using 60-foot-long well logs. The tests compared scanning speed, document handling ease, and image quality. “In all three areas, the i280 beat out our competitor’s scanner,” recalls Kuykendall. “The scanning speed was 8.8 inches per second compared to our competitor’s scanner’s 4 inches. Also, the i280 was pretty much hands-free after the paper was loaded, as opposed to the other scanner, which required constant attention to the hand feeder to avoid paper jams.” The final testing criterion, image quality, also went to the i280, which produced a much sharper image compared with the other scanner.
iCaught sealed the deal after the test by creating a TCO (total cost of ownership) sheet comparing its solution to its competitor’s, which had an initial cost of a few thousand dollars less. “By calculating the value of the time savings plus the labor savings over a two-month period, it was apparent our solution was the smarter choice,” says Kuykendall. Since winning the deal with Drilling Info, iCaught has been in contact with the customer about adding full-text search capabilities to its digitized well logs through iCaught’s document management solution. By earning Drilling Info’s trust during its scanner buying decision, iCaught is already the VAR of choice for the drilling company’s document management solution.