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ISM Article

Best in Breed vs. Total Solution

27 Sep, 2011

The MPS “total solution” model currently being marketed has some customers asking questions. Metrofuser investigated this issue and prepared this article to help educate and inform.

While MPS is an undisputedly viable method of managing and selling services, the execution of locking in a single vendor to provide toner, parts and service may effect your business adversely. Here’s why.
MPS has a substantial learning curve, and requires significant investment of time and money to implement and launch. It is extremely difficult to make changes once started down the path. It is no coincidence that companies are trying to bundle parts and services to capture/own the customer. Dependence on MPS may lead your organization to compromise quality, free market pricing and service for parts, toner and MPS.
All vendors have strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to know and operate with the right partners in their sweet spots and avoid the sand traps. The idea that one company can do all these things well is counter factual.
The goal of parts and services bundlers is to offer a laundry list of “Disneyland” services (some you will never use) with the hopes it will overwhelm the decision maker and overtake critical reasoning. History and recent events tell otherwise.
Critical Chain Weakness
One weak or undeveloped tooth on the cog of the MPS total solution might jeopardize or bring the whole system down. Poorly remanufactured parts or toner can wreak havoc on the entire system. While MPS is new and promising it is incidental to the customer. The service, parts and toner you provide are critical to the long term relationship.    
Historical Weakness/Threats of a Total Solution Model
•             Laggards in New Product Development within each cog.
•             Slow to no improvement to correct original engineering design flaws.
•             Multi person problem resolution challenges.
•             Possible abandonment or lagging versions of integrated technology.
•             Critical breakdowns more likely with over dependence.
•             Next integration cog may be your industry or your customer.
•             Layers of management between customer and leadership.
The Solution
Survival of the fittest. The best in breed model is time tested, proven and typifies the best of free markets. Vendors that underperform can be replaced like a puzzle piece as needed with little disruption to your business. Choice and the ability to pick up and switch is the greatest asset we all have and should be guarded as such.
It is notable that the Total Solution model is growing more and more out of fashion. HP is breaking away from the PC market and Motorola, ITT all split off pieces. Visit www.metrofuser.com or contact Will DeMuth [mailto:marketing@metrofuser.com].

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