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Mastering Print Management Fundamentals

1 Jun, 2006 By: Richard Piper imageSource

Mastering Print Management Fundamentals

management is a business opportunity that can no longer be ignored or merely
contemplated. Marketplace drivers have made it  a hot industry topic as
well as a necessity for you and your clients. Almost all who write and/or speak
on the topic provide success stories with some – albeit limited - detail.

However, what is consistently missing from articles and speaking engagements are
implementation fundamentals. In other words, what are the baseline
characteristics these programs share that you can master to ultimately enjoy
similar success?

Employ the Basics

To identify and master the fundamentals of print management, begin by defining
your objectives. Ask yourself why you are electing to implement such a program.
Is it because of explicit customer demand? Is it a competitive response? Are you
looking for ways to sell more of your core products and solutions? Are you
looking to grow your top-line revenue? Are you looking for ways to stop margin
compression, which directly impacts your bottom-line?

If you are like most, then you
probably answered yes to more than one of the previous questions. Good. Defining
your objectives is the under-pinning of strong print management programs.

However, print management means many things to many people. Therefore, before
you act you need to also characterize print management. This step is to ask
yourself, just how do you define print management? Is it simply a cost-per-page
program? Is it performing a print assessment? Is it automating print asset meter
collection and submission?

The next step is to then question your resources. For instance, “What resources,
both money and human, will I need to implement such a program?” In addition,
“What is my expected result and when will it be realized?” This will help
determine financial characteristics of your program(s).

When you have answered these questions, you will be in a position to identify
the baseline needs and know which to build on to execute a strategy. Ask
yourself, “What are the common things shared among the programs?” Once you have
mastered the implementation fundamental, you can confidently begin implementing
each program.

Common Scenario

ABC Company, a business technology dealer, has identified the need to implement
print management programs. Specifically, their objectives are to cost
effectively respond to customer demand, achieve a competitive edge, and
ultimately establish your critical-mass sales pipeline to migrate up the value
chain, resulting in incremental top-line revenue capture while increasing
margins for bottom-line growth.

The customer demand comes from a major account requesting a fleet management
program to save money and enhance productivity, equipment, break-fix service,
and aftermarket supplies. In addition, ABC Company has recently lost competitive
deals because their competition offered such a program. More importantly
however, they lost them because their competition knew more about the customer’s
current print environment and therefore were able to better accommodate and
justify changes. Last but not least, they recognized the need to increase
productivity and become more cost effective when it came to accurately and
timely collecting meters and billing the customer accordingly.

In short, they need three print management programs: one for fleet management,
another for print assessment and a third automated meter collection program.
They determined resources for each, and concluded that they:

1. Could easily accommodate a fleet management program if they had a way to
quickly and easily understand the customer’s current environment to ensure the
engagement is profitable for both themselves and the customer.

2. Could achieve a competitive edge through strategically arming qualified
employees over time with market available tools to perform print assessments.

3. Using similar tools to perform print assessments, migrate the customers to
automated meter collection and submission processes.

The go-to-market strategy then came to life. It is a baseline-and-grow approach
that addressed the customer demand, helped achieve a competitive edge, and
increased incremental revenue capture and enhance margin, simultaneously.

They base-lined their print management programs’ implementation through
leveraging market available tools to address the print asset identification, and
collect their associated meters. In other words, they implemented a fundamental
‘Rapid Print Assessment’ program to ‘know before you go.’ This satisfied all
three programs because it captured critical data quickly and easily, requiring
little-to-no customer IT support and working non-intrusively with the customer’s
network. In addition, the products removed the human element of collecting
meters for accurate and timely billing. Furthermore, it enabled them to achieve
critical mass with employees and customers, while reducing exposure and
positioning for maximum ROI.

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