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Managed Print Services: Copier dealer doing fine… how would they know? 2/5

By Jean-Louis de la Salle

This article tells the story of a mid sized copier reseller that looked as if it was doing fine and whose boss accepted readily the idea of external guidance. It was an exciting engagement for us as the team was very willing to explore new opportunities.


Learning 1

The first element that was extraordinarily disquieting was the lack of data. This is a company that has been many years in operation, quite successfully so, even acquiring other companies. Its finances are based on good old common sense, which is not bad… but as the business expands and middle management gets involved, this is showing serious limitations.

The requirement from MPS is as you deliver a package of hardware, supplies, software and services to a customer is to have a close grip on how much you receive from this customer (revenues) versus how much you spend (all direct expenses generated by that account). To execute on this, get data easily and regularly and be able to review and correct variations, you need good data, not the traditional set of data.


Learning 2

As with many traditional copier resellers, sales people are incentivised on the initial contract sale. Human nature being what it is, sales people forced into customers bigger machines than really needed. The client discovered that at a later stage. And Sales had no real penalty if a client did not renew. In this tough world, we cannot afford to lose a customer without fighting for it. Also sales people had no interest in winning the entire estate, as the product set was incomplete so quite unwillingly, the opportunity per sales call was limited.

MPS is not about selling hardware or a contract to a client, it is about establishing a long-term relationship that ensures you capture the revenues from the entire estate. This sets instantly the question of having the right catalogue of devices, which are seldom found in one single brand.


In this series of real life examples, we insist on one or two key take-aways that we found important in this particular dealer environment. We stay high level, so as not to disclose any confidential information. What is important to you is that when we go in, we address real strategic problems. If they are not addressed in time, the company could become at risk.

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This article was written on 30 Apr 2013, and is filled under Managed Print Systems.


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