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Is There Still Tme to Get into MPS? Some Basic Advice.

29 Oct, 2011

Okay, let me give you some basic advice. Not on how to specifically deliver a good MPS program, but a take on why you should consider providing it. With analysts forecasting that MPS is still growing and hasn’t yet reached its saturation point, if you haven't already, there is still time to get into MPS. A startup is not too late as the interest in this initiative keeps growing, especially for the small to medium size dealers who have sat back cautiously.
Yet today, many dealers have their customers asking them to provide an efficient print program to save them money and heartache – while getting educated on the benefits of MPS from, yes, the “other guy” (your competition) calling them.  Dealers (and IT resellers) should seriously look into the benefits and costs of adding managed print services – but don’t wait much longer. The time is ripe to do so now.

First, develop a credible plan. Realize what it costs, what you can make, and how much you need to sell to get there. Know the resources you can commit to it, such as in sales and marketing to get your message out and your name recognized in this space. Talk to industry consultants who train in the MPS space, vendors and manufacturers of interest, seek education from MPS associations such as the MPSA, the BTA, the CDA and good tradeshows with tracks on MPS, such as ITEX,World Expo and the MPS Conference; Photizo, among others – but get informed to get armed.

Basic tips…once initiated
After you have initiated an MPS program, start first with your small, current customers first. You have traction here and it isn’t as overwhelming as a large account. Realize you will initially make some mistakes– but learn from them and grow stronger. And remember that managed print is a net-add revenue.

Focus on MPS among other services provided to your customers, but do realize you need to have a dedicated sales staff. It has a longer turnaround time and a method of compensation needs to be addressed. Don’t just tack it onto a sales reps list of services to get sold; otherwise it won’t. Find a champion or create one.

Yet remember that one of the most common mistakes is to assign people certain responsibilities in the managed print portion of the business, and then their managers and leadership don’t follow up accordingly. Team work is necessary to harness a smooth transition and outcome. They're not empty words - from sales team to service and supplies integration, management needs to stay informed - and lead by example.

Managed print is a company initiative, and there has to be focus on it specifically.  If a prospect is engaged in a managed print contract elsewhere you likely won’t get that anytime soon. So go find the many available that are not yet under contract, including those in your base. Get them under a managed print contract before someone else steals them right under your nose. Don’t let that happen. The window for MPS is still open…start now to capitalize on it.

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