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Methodology

We work along the following methodology, which is a 4 Stage Change Process

The first step is the “Data Gathering and Assessment” part.

To the dealer who wants to get an objective assessment of the readiness of their business for Change, we can provide a scorecard, based on self-completion of a Questionnaire. This is structured around Operational and Financial Data and the objective is to provide a detailed picture of the current business.

From experience, dealers do not always have ready access to analytical data within their own organization. There has not been until now, enough margin and price pressure to justify the time investment in creating such a reporting system. The assessment process provides a mechanism for dealers to identify key operating ratios, and benchmark their scores against those of dealers who have made the transition to a service-based model.

Recognising that dealers reporting systems vary widely, and that they may interpret measures differently, we can also offer, as part of a Consultancy add-on, to provide help for dealers in understanding and completing the questionnaire. Experience shows that by providing this help, we can ensure that the results are consistent with a standard set of definitions. This allows them to be compared against best practice benchmarks, in order to give dealers a meaningful picture of the current status of their business.

The output of this first step is a scorecard showing the dealer’s results on a series of key measurements, relative to best practice benchmark levels.

This is the first step of the Change Process, and the benefit is for the dealer to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of his business, and the gaps he needs to address in order to become an effective MPS provider.

 

Once the scores have been obtained and assessed, the second part of the Change Process is “Analysis and Benchmarking”.

Statistical comparisons are made against best practice scores, using a database of results from dealers who have successfully transitioned to a service-based business model. This process takes the individual measures from the score, and combines them to give each dealer a profile on key aspects of his business. These include the overall Financial & Performance Profile, the Customer Profile, the Device Fleet Profile and the Go-to-Market Profile, which will be compared to peer companies throughout the World.

An external advisor can provide a broader range of experience

Some OEM partners have decided to create their own pool of dealers in order to compare to a benchmark of similarly positioned dealers. Like all comparisons, this has indicative value and allows dealers to identify and address key discrepancies more quickly and more effectively. The advantage of working with an external advisor is that we can provide a broader range of experience and a more objective assessment.

In addition, as part of the Consultancy add-on which we offer with the scorecard, we can provide help for dealers to interpret the results, work out what these mean for their organization, and the changes it needs to make.

This is the second step of the Change process, and the benefit for the dealer is to understand what the scores and benchmarks provided in the first step mean for the key areas of his business, and the issues he needs to address in order to bridge the gaps.

 

This leads logically to the third step of the Change Process, where we start to formulate a programme of actions for change.

Here we can use our experience of implementing and managing MPS programmes to help dealers to put together a co-ordinated set of actions, which will effectively move their business and organisation to a service-based model.

The format of a “Recommendations and Action Plan” usually comes in a series of actions organised according to a time scale. Once the direction is agreed, and set by the Dealer principal, we see it as very important to implement the plan rapidly, but in a disciplined manner.  A typical action plan may be divided into short, medium and longer-term elements, over a time frame of 6-12 months. An example is as follows:

Short Term (1-2 months)

  • Define and articulate MPS Offering
  • Customer Segmentation and Targeting

Medium Term (3 months)

  • Targets and Compensation Plans
  • Marketing Plan

Longer Term (6 months)

  • New Organisation Structure for MDS
  • Strengthen Technical Infrastructure

This is the third step of the Change Process, and the benefit for the dealer is a clear Roadmap and Action Plan for Change.

 

The fourth step of the Change Process is to provide support for the implementation of the Action Plan. The first stage of Support is usually delivered in the form of workshops, where we provide training both on a strategic business plan level and on an operational level. The purpose of the workshops is to show dealers how to implement the changes needed, based on real-world practical experience, and case studies of dealers who have made the change.

MPS requires a change in sales habits, value proposition & business structure

It is important for Dealers to understand that this represents a fundamental change in the way they do business, and that this is not just another technology change. The reality shows that it is different and harder than, for example, the change to digital or colour.

MPS requires a change in sales habits, value proposition & business structure, and in many cases will involve difficult decisions about the organization, and people in it. Sales people, in particular, need to learn how to sell services as a core part of the offering, rather than an add-on which is often given away to help sell hardware. In turn, principals need to structure customer targeting, the service offering, targets and remuneration plans in order to focus sales effort on this.

And last but not least, the key to success in MPS is delivery of the service, so operations need to tuned to provide effective and efficient management of SLA’s.

Experience shows that training workshops on their own, provide a start point, but are not enough to secure the implementation of change.

This is because only 2% of training is retained after a single exposure while up to 62% is retained from 15 years to life with repeated exposure & internalization.

We therefore recommend that workshops are followed by a programme of mentoring or coaching, which can help dealers think through and overcome the challenges and obstacles they will undoubtedly encounter, when they effectively start to implement change. This never goes smoothly, or exactly according to the training manual – because of course customers and competition create new questions and challenges on a daily basis, which often need experience to address.

This is the Fourth step of the change process, and the benefit for the dealer is practical help based on real-world experience, to ensure that the change plan is implemented successfully.

 

When we deliver to organisations, the elements needed to go through the various stages, we use a series of options to meet individual needs such as

  • Introductory Seminars – the high level picture
  • Individual Dealer Assessments – formulating business plans
  • On-going Mentoring and Support

 

Now you may ask yourself about what can you expect to get from this?

The goal is to successfully get your company out of the quagmire of decreasing HW and supplies margins by understanding quicker and faster the business issues to address. But we do not stop there; we enable you to make a Business Plan for Change and support you in implementing the priority Action Plans for your Business.

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This article was written on 05 Feb 2013, and is filled under .

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