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Differentiation key to the Print Management Process

8 Dec, 2009 By: Rob Gilbert imageSource

Differentiation key to the Print Management Process

Almost every dealership is in the throes of coming to grips with some sort
of print management offering for their customer base.  Each available tool
offers ideas and training on how to implement each piece and part of an MPS
offering.  But how will you position that offering in your market?  What
strategy is your competition using to contact the same base of accounts?  What
are they saying?  What will you say or do differently to both create interest
in, and demonstrate the value of, your offering?  The key lies with how you
differentiate yourself and your print management process.

The type of dealership you have, the components of MPS you offer, your
product line, your coverage area, and service model all help form the process
you will ultimately implement.  While all companies have these same issues to
address, how you package it all up and present it to a prospect will make the
difference in how you and your MPS program are perceived.  Another item to
consider is your mission statement.  Do you have one?  Does it incorporate any
of the core values or benefits that are inherent with a MPS type of offering? 
Does it match or mirror any of the mission statements of prospects you will call
on?  Does MPS have its own branded name in your company, or is it part of the
lineup of products you currently offer? 

A CONSULTANT FOR THE CUSTOMER. This means you should:

• Create a process to utilize the tools you have chosen to gather
information during the MPS sales cycle to put together a process by which you
will engage prospects. 

• Develop a talk track that explains the particulars of your process. 
Outline what you do that is different from your competition; discuss the details
behind it, etc.

• Highlight accounts that you have helped, and the benefits they
gained as a result of partnering with you on a managed print services contract.

• Show them samples of the data that you intend to collect and how it
will look.  Build an expectation of valuable information that the prospect can
expect to gain from your analysis.

• Set timelines for managing and completing your process. Be
respectful of the time decision makers give you, but also make them be
respectful of yours.

Look for ways to improve processes that don’t involve selling anything.  How
many times do you see a copier with three printers beside it, and a fax machine
beside that?  Is there redundancy of process that could be fixed?  Is equipment
strategically placed in key areas to maximize productivity?  Do they have a copy
center that is still in use, but could be de-centralized because so many people
have individual printers they print to?  What about color production?  Are there
key applications that have deadlines and are printed to specific devices at
specific times?  Does that create a bottleneck in the organization?  Who is
responsible for printer service?  Is it handled internally?  These questions and
more are key to performing a thorough analysis.

Create a floor plan.  Map out where devices are and how they could be better
utilized.  This also gives a complete inventory to the C level decision maker,
who may not even have a complete inventory list.  It also gives a good visual
image of how you can help them.

Identify information you will need and have a list for them.  When performing an
analysis, you need information like printer supply data, lease information,
service information, soft cost data, outsourcing, etc., and providing the list
will help ensure that it is provided to you as you need it.  The value of your
analysis will only be as good as the data you collect, and the information they

Set yourself apart as a consultant, not a copier or hardware sales rep.  Asking
different questions about processes, workflow, and how information moves through
an organization will help you stand out as you talk with decision makers.  Most
companies are looking for cost savings and productivity enhancing measures,
especially now.  Be objective and look for every possible avenue that can save
money, help solve a problem, be more productive, and you will be on your way to
implementing a successful MPS contract.

Rob Gilbert, Sr. has 23 years experience in the office equipment industry,
implementation of CPP programs from consultation to implementation, and performs
sales and management training & consulting including MPS program setup. Contact
him at: rgilbertsr@gmail.com.

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