Enabling growth through partnership

Document management specialist Blackbox Solutions is both growing its print-related sales and broadening its range of services thanks to a partnership with Samsung. The dealer’s MD, Colin Griffin, explains more to Austin Clark
How do Samsung’s print solutions fit into your overall business?
Since we signed an agreement with Samsung as our business partner for Managed Print Services (MPS) back in 2013 we have really embraced Samsung’s core print product offering; sales of Samsung products now represent roughly 80% of our total revenue.
The Samsung devices we offer are our most popular MFD product range. This popularity is due, in large part, to the reputation of Samsung – which is obviously a very well-known and highly regarded global technology provider – and, as such, one of the suppliers that customers associate with quality and cutting-edge technology.
With the advent of features such as mobile and wireless printing, coupled with the popularity of Samsung’s Android mobile ‘phone handsets, it makes a lot of sense to offer our customers a comprehensive range of technologies that are produced by a single manufacturer because this provides a further level of assurance that everything is going to work together seamlessly.
Why did you choose to work with Samsung?
Through our partnership with Samsung Electronics we are able to provide our customers the highest quality range of multi-functional devices, which we underpin with high levels of customer care and support.
Samsung was the first manufacturer to offer SMART, Android-based devices; these feature easy-to-use, touch screen tablet interfaces and a full range of wireless and cloud print functionality, so they really are at the forefront of technological development in the sector. This is a major attraction for us, as a dealer, as we want to bring our customers the best solutions, which make use of the latest technology, to help them improve business efficiency.
As one of our business partners for MPS we needed a supplier that offered a comprehensive range of document solutions; Samsung fits the bill perfectly. Through our partnership, we are able to offer a wide range of devices, including A4, A3, mono and colour printers, as well as cutting-edge tech, including cloud, wireless and mobile print. We can even develop bespoke Android-based business apps for our customers. This ensures that, whatever our customers’ needs, we have a Samsung product that will fit their requirements perfectly.
The partnership has been a good one for both Samsung and Blackbox – what are the secrets of your success?
We have developed a very close working relationship with Samsung and clear communication is one of the keys to the partnership’s success. We have always found them to be very flexible and responsive to our needs. The crucial point that underpins our success is really down to the quality of Samsung’s products, coupled with our ability to offer our customers consistently high levels of customer service. The products ensure that we are able to win new clients – after that it’s our job to keep them happy and, so far, we’ve been doing that very well.
How do Samsung’s print-related products help you to grow your business?
Samsung has enabled us to offer the very best in terms of both products and delivery and this has allowed us to double our revenue each year since we launched Blackbox Solutions in 2012 – and to expand across London and the South East. Indeed, we have consistently increased our Samsung sales year-on-year; when we first partnered with Samsung in 2013 we were 30th on their dealer rankings list – by 2016 we were ranked third in the UK. In 2015 we were named Samsung Electronics’ Smart Print Partner of the Year.
MPS is a core part of our business and the MFD units we offer through our partnership give our customers excellent quality, affordability and reliability. We have extremely high levels of customer satisfaction with the Samsung products which ensures that we are able to retain a very high proportion of our customers when leases expire and the time comes to negotiate a new contract.
Most dealers talk about service as being their most important attribute – how does your relationship with Samsung help you stand out from others?
Customer service is of paramount importance to us and Samsung’s products have certainly helped in that regard. In terms of keeping customers happy, ensuring that their devices are fully operational is crucial. Thanks to Samsung devices’ exceptional build quality our customers report very few problems and we generally find that any downtime is minimal.
You’ve recently achieved ISO 27001 and 9001 certificates and you’re already fully GDPR compliant. How does this fit in with your partnership with Samsung?
From the point of view of our relationship with Samsung the key benefit of the ISO 27001 and 9001 certifications is that they demonstrate our ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements – and that we are able to mitigate the risk of a data security breach. The certification helps to reassure Samsung (and, indeed, our customers and other suppliers) that Blackbox Solutions follows best practice business processes.
What advice can you share with other dealers thinking about partnering with Samsung?
We have been extremely pleased with our great partnership with Samsung and I’m sure that other dealers would enjoy a similarly positive experience. We’ve always found Samsung to be extremely open and honest and they are also very flexible and supportive in terms of working with us to develop products and services that meet the needs of our customers.
The wide range of Samsung products available, and the company’s reputation for build quality and technological innovation, result in lots of enquiries which has really helped us to grow our business as a competent and efficient document solutions provider.
All-in-all, would you say the decision to partner with Samsung has been a good one?
Most certainly. We’ve been able to expand the business in large part thanks to the choice of Samsung products that we are able to offer to our customers. Of course, print is the bestseller, but we have broadened the range of services to include TVs, ‘phones, tablets and laptops.
We position ourselves as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all office technology requirements and being able to offer the broadest possible range of product options, as well as flexible leasing and finance, means we can cater for any business, from start-ups to SMEs and large blue-chip corporations.
We look forward to continuing to work closely with Samsung for many years to come.

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