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What are the key issues for traditional office products resellers to consider when venturing into MPS?

By Steven Swift

It involves a fundamental change of business model.

First I think they need to make a realistic assessment of the state and preparedness of their existing business, as a basis for understanding what they need to change, and the issues they will need to address.

This is not a simple transition, or just another programme, it involves a fundamental change of business model – which can bring significant rewards in both revenue and margin growth, but which requires investment and changes in organisation, people and infrastructure. Before starting, they should ask themselves if they are really committed to making this change, because to succeed requires absolute commitment from the top down.

There are many issues that will need to be addressed, but some of the key ones are:

  • Deciding which customers to target, and creating an offering which meets their needs. MPS involves a longer sales cycle, and it is vital to be selective in deciding where to invest time and resources.
  • Adapting the organisation structure to a service-based model. The organisation needs to act as an integrated team in constructing and delivering a complete service, which both maximises the reseller’s profitability and optimises the customer’s document infrastructure.
  • Aligning targets and remuneration plans with the business goals
  • Building an infrastructure to support the business, including software tools
  • And perhaps most important, but also most elusive, creating a service-based culture in the organisation.

This is not easy, and many resellers will find it valuable to seek well-qualified outside help to make this change.

Those who do this successfully will reap significant rewards

But those who don’t may face a bleak future as their businesses are squeezed by increasing commoditisation of hardware and supplies, and the resulting pressure on revenue and margins.

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This article was written on 05 Feb 2013, and is filled under Business Forecast, Managed Print Systems.

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