MPS Benchmarks for Success3 Nov, 2014 By: Don Dixon, Xerox
The managed print market has been the model for growth in the print market for many years with typical print providers benefiting from the double digit market growth and strong margins it provided. But as the market matures it’s no longer enough to simply focus on well-provisioned maintenance and low cost toner.
Businesses today face similar challenges regardless of the industry. They are trying to balance an even more complex information management challenge due to the changing behavior in the user base, including multiple user types from the new digital natives to the baby boomer executives. Often this leads to complexity as mobile devices, cloud services, legacy applications and paper all collide in the workplace. This is leading many clients to ask their managed print services (MPS) providers to help them print less paper while getting rid of the paper that already exists in their business.
How daily tasks are handled is increasingly being examined with businesses seeking an IT outsourcing (ITO) and MPS program that offers opportunities to get the right information to the right people at the right time. Increasingly in this area, the digital information management issues are being resolved and are leaving the problem firmly at the role of paper and the MPS program.
This means that working in the new model as a managed service provider (MSP) takes a concentrated and diverse approach. This is not a one size fits all approach – a customized strategy focused on the client’s specific business objectives is needed to achieve a successful outcome. Successful MSPs position themselves as catalysts for growth, continuously adding value through constant collaboration. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Be flexible with the fleet: In any MPS deal – from large enterprises to small businesses – the first step is to help customers manage their existing fleet of print devices. Naturally, this includes printing devices from all manufacturers. Clarify upfront that you will help maximize the technology already in place by getting control of the devices and reducing costs. Use software to automate support processes and get a leveraged supply chain in place for parts and supplies.
- Ask the right questions: Look to understand the role of the paper once it exits the device. Are there specific security requirements? Is it going to a client? Will it need to be scanned at a later date? Understanding the purpose will help to maximize the value.
- Show you’re in it for the long haul: Build projects that illustrate how you will not only help the client print for less, but also help them print less. In doing this, migrating paper-based information to digital workflow services will not only deliver client satisfaction, but will also enable your business to continue to grow.
- Keep it simple: Many MPS engagements fail due to poor implementation in the first three months. So, plan carefully, look at the physical working environment and not at just the costs. Print is a physical item and where it’s available can make or break the client service. Use advanced modeling tools to come to an understanding with the client so that when implementation occurs everyone knows what to expect.
- Deliver: The crowded market means that service and delivery can vary drastically across providers – be prepared to show proof of proactive, reliable service and deliver it consistently. Accurate and reliable reporting and analytics is the key in this area and ensuring it is linked to your service management processes keeps it simple.
Putting Information to Work
Optimizing an existing printer fleet is a critical first step to winning over the customer. Most do not know how many devices they have, how they are being used and if they are even right for their business. Advanced analytics and new assessment tools are available to help with this task; they shorten the sales process and show the customer key data and benefits upfront. MPS veterans point to hard data from assessments as one of the biggest factors in showing the value of MPS and getting buy-in from customers. With cost management and control being a primary factor in almost all customer decisions, an upfront assessment that captures direct and indirect costs, enables analysis of performance and shows real-time comparative data with “what if” scenario modeling shows that you understand the problem and know what to do about it.
In crowded markets these assessments become even more critical. Getting a leg up on the competition isn’t going to be just about the cost of each device and where it is placed. New value will be delivered from understanding the role of the device and the paper in the business process and how that is impacting productivity and client satisfaction. Optimizing these documents in the processes can have a direct impact on the top line through customer retention as well as the organization’s bottom line through improved process speed and reduced errors.
The way businesses get work done is changing – driven by cloud access, virtual collaboration and other technologies. So, it’s only natural that the way employees and clients interact with information – paper or digital – is evolving too. Through a careful assessment of existing business processes, MSPs can identify areas of inefficiency and improve it over time, with consideration for the customer’s needs and budget realities. There is always an opportunity to automate and simplify paper-based processes and develop a new, streamlined digital workflow.
For example, a wealth management division in a bank used MPS to reduce processing time of new clients from over a week to just 20 minutes. The automated process now involves scanning documents through a multifunction device, which is routed to a back-end business process outsourcing facility. Background checks are handled automatically and a new account is set up in minutes. That’s a dynamic workflow that is not just about managing print. It’s about putting information to work that benefits the company and customers.
Standing out in the MSP market over the coming years is going to mean stepping from effective cost and service management of software and hardware to understanding its role in the administration of the client business being served. For the first time, analytics are available to enable a view of data across the whole information landscape linked to the organizations’ business processes. Now, MSPs can leverage this data and use the emerging market of workflow automation and digital alternatives to have a tangible impact on a client’s profit and loss, offering new ways to grow their revenue while driving incremental cost savings for the customer. The first pioneers are already reaping the benefits of this market shift by investing talent and capital into integrated document services. Xerox is committed to helping these companies and others like them within its partner programs and hopes your business will join us in helping to simplify how work gets done.
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