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Managed Print Services : On the way…. still a lot of organisational reforms to go through 4/5

By Jean-Louis de la Salle

 

This has been a large engagement, one of our largest. It is a multimillion company that executes already large MPS contracts and we had met some of their staff at various conferences where they had been speakers. Were we not going to be preaching to the choir ?

We found a profitable company, which shows they have a good grip on the business in a traditional sense. As a large organisation selling to large organisations, they have quite a bit of strategic thinking available and they want to move their business forward. The devil lies in the execution and this was our task. This is always a fine line to walk, especially in a large organisation where silos exist and the global view is often lost. A part of the answer is to be able to help a bigger part of the organisation understand clearly the MPS market place and articulate the new value. We contributed to create change without disruption.

 

Learning 1

It is not because the business is doing well and sales people achieve their quotas that the organisation could not do more within its existing clients. Traditional metrics are “provider focussed” and say how much you sell. They seldom focus on the existing client’s opportunity. How do we improve the market potential with the client where we have already earned respect and reputation? What more could be sold into them?

This is key when we move to MPS. MPS is not just selling into the client; it is managing the entire estate, kicking the other incumbents out. To do that you need to have a well-framed value proposition, that is presented to the right decision makers and you need to execute very well against it, which implies delivering excellent services at very competitive costs.

There is less money in printing today than yesterday.

A sales call is just as expensive as before. Dealers need to sell more. And as selling more of the same (hardware and supplies) is almost impossible, this is where services come in. But selling services means executing on it at every stage so it can become the future of the company. To do that you need to make informed decisions like monitoring clients’ estates and providing good recommendations. Failure to execute well at any stage makes it an expense not a revenue generation engine.

 

Learning 2

When you move into services, you need to create processes that your staff need to adhere to. This is not a bureaucratic idea but a need to clarify what is being delivered to whom.

Delivering a product is a fact. Once there, it sits there and does what it should against the specifications and price levels agreed. Expectations are, within reason, standard.

Delivering services is a promise. Usual terms are simplicity, ease of use, responsibility, etc…we strongly recommend that all this be defined properly with the various parties at the customer during contract negotiation, but also in the implementation phase. Expectations are loose and can vary a lot.

 

Learning 3

Service organisations have to be run in a lean fashion. The days of throwing service technicians at devices without too much qualification of the issues are now gone, due to the heavily competitive environment. Rules, automation and a constant drive to improve are needed. We usually find that, but it is still not enough. Pushing the envelope and Benchmarking are key as this is a large expense to the organisation and every penny that can be extracted whilst delivering the promise is good news.

 

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 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.

One Comment

  1. […] By Jean-Louis de la Salle This has been a large engagement, one of our largest. It is a multimillion company that executes already large MPS contracts and we had met some of their staff at v…  […]

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This article was written on 06 Jun 2013, and is filled under Managed Print Systems.

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