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Keys to a Successful Enterprise PRINT Assessment

14 Apr, 2008 By: Jason Baselice imageSource

Keys to a Successful Enterprise PRINT Assessment

We've all heard the promises. While enterprise print assessments may be the
golden key to securing larger accounts, some deliver and some don't. Improperly
managed, they often produce less than stellar results.  Many print and imaging
sales professionals are already aware that a print assessment targeted to a
single department will generally produce quick sales while an enterprise print
assessment will keep the pipeline full.  But those large-scale assessment
projects are hard  to manage.  How do you maximize sales results from an
enterprise print assessment while minimizing challenges? 

As a document analyst and project manager for a global document solutions
provider I have spent over 10 years successfully conducting  enterprise print
assessments which have helped sales teams:

  • Grow revenue by uncovering opportunities from their existing customer
  • Close national contracts by presenting customers with new opportunities to
    increase cost savings and operational efficiencies. 

Over the years I've tracked and compiled key factors common to the print
assessments that got results. Listed below are the keys to make sure your print
assessment delivers: 

1 - One of the most effective and simplest tools is called a Statement
of Work (SOW).  A well-written SOW is used to clearly define assessment goals,
results, variances and time-lines for all team members.  It requires both your
VP and a key customer to sign it.  This increases the level of executive
'buy-in' into the goals of the print assessment and helps to secure the support
required to complete a large scale project.  When developing your SOW it is
important to follow a few guidelines:

  • Success criteria must be focused on achieving simple measurable, and
    realistic results.
  • Clearly define what is “success” for all stake-holders.
  • Secure executive “buy-in” on the “success criteria.”
  • Enroll the Customer in defining “success criteria” for their organization.
    These will be used later to create metrics to track and report on progress.

2 - A Roles & Responsibilities Matrix helps to ensure that:

  • Key team members clearly understand their role in the assessment.
  • Resources are appropriately assigned activities based on their role.
  • Defines key deliverables assigned to each team member.

3 - Dedicated Analysts: Using sales professionals to conduct a small
print assessment can sometimes be cost effective--but not when conducting
enterprise print assessments. Enterprise print assessments are time intensive
activities. Using experienced analysts dedicated to performing the assessment
from the beginning to the end of the project will improve results.

4 - Complete an asset inventory that captures data for all print and
imaging equipment. Many print assessments focus solely on network laser printers
and neglect to capture data necessary to develop a 'Total-Cost of Ownership' for
your customer's print and imaging inventory.  A physical asset inventory
supported by software tools allows you to capture the necessary data to develop
a more complete' Total-Cost-of-Ownership'.

5 - Complete cost data. Obtaining cost data for equipment can be
challenging with any print assessment, regardless of size, but those challenges
tend to grow exponentially when the assessment is enterprise-wide. 

Many print assessments attempt to circumvent this obstacle by using 'industry
standards' to develop an ROI that focuses on the basics such as lease/purchase,
toner, maintenance and supplies rather than attempting to capture the more
difficult to obtain cost information such as:

  • Outsourced print services
  • Paper purchases
  • Inkjet cartridges
  • Associated costs: network ports telephone lines, overnight courier charges

Unfortunately, customers  often view ‘industry standards' with suspicion. 
This leads to a lack of confidence in your recommendations. If your
recommendations are not adopted, you will then have disappointing sales results.

Many customers view using “real numbers” in the ROI as an indicator of
credibility.  By making a solid effort to capture 'real numbers' you maintain
the credibility of the study and subsequently increase customer adoption of your

Even if your customer ultimately chooses to use 'industry standards rather
than provide you with cost data, your sincere efforts to capture actual cost
data will improve the likelihood of your customer adopting those standards. It
will also strengthen the credibility of your recommendations and ultimately
yield greater sales results. 

Many enterprise print assessment results are disappointing because a low
percentage of the recommendations are adopted or implemented.

This lack of customer adoption can be directly attributed to:

  • Poorly defined expectations
  • Difficult or unrealistic success criteria
  • Lack of customer buy-in or executive support
  • Recommendations lacked credibility because the data captured was not
    believed to be accurate or the source was not perceived as credible

 Maximize the credibility of your recommendations and they will be adopted. 
Take the time to develop an SOW that clearly defines assessment goals. Secure
executive and customer buy-in. 

Make sure everyone is aware of their assigned roles and responsibilities.
Utilize experienced analysts to manage your assessment project.

These keys will help you unlock the promise of new opportunities, minimize
risks and maximize your sales results.

Jason Baselice has 20 years experience in the document industry.  Prior to
starting DOCUMETRX, Jason had spent the last 7 years as a Project Manager,
Technology Analyst and founding member of a national accounts program. Jason was
responsible for the development of C-level client relationships, applications
and processes which significantly contributed to the program's rapid growth to
over $600 million in annual revenue. Jason has also held the positions of
Applications Engineer, Electronic Document Production Manager and Strategic
Solutions Executive with a national printing imaging solutionsVAR/Dealer.
www.documetrx.com 866.444.2075 

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