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Print Management: A Dealer Essential

22 Mar, 2006 By: Gordon Hawkins imageSource

Print Management: A Dealer Essential

Print 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.

The convergence between the component-based copier and the cartridge-based
printer has left little differentiation—copiers act like printers and printers
act like copiers.

Still, most end users uphold the traditional roles by directing prints to the
printer versus the digital copier, and with increased output speeds and
functionality, printers continue to capture a greater share of page volumes.
This has created an erosion of page volumes in the copier industry and an
explosion of costs for end users using the relatively expensive cartridge-based
output devices.

Print management can rectify these issues. It can create additional revenue
opportunities for your business as you save your clients money by managing their
printed output.

Think about it, your dealership’s current revenue is gained from capturing less
than 30 percent of your clients’ document expenditures. What if you could
capture 50, 60 or even 70 percent of that revenue? In addition, clients can
realize real cost savings from 10-40 percent and see returns of $1-$3 for every
dollar invested.

More than meets the eye

Much of the industry simplifies print management to servicing and supplying
fleets of printers and copiers, but there is much more to it than that. Fleet
management is but one important managed print service.

If you consider that reputable industry analysts project printed output
represents only 10 percent of the total cost of document production, it becomes
obvious that there is considerable potential outside of simply managing output

All three print management components—assessment services, strategic planning
and managed print services—provide revenue opportunities for your dealership.


Many dealers approach print output assessments as if they are a final result
rather than a single step in a print management engagement. How you look at this
service will depend on your business objectives.

If you are simply trying to capture meter readings to uncover opportunities for
additional hardware placements or fleet management then you are limiting the
possibilities. You want to increase the scope of this service to unearth
critical data that will help you improve your clients’ document workflow issues.

The increased value to your clients allows you to bill these professional
services at rates from $100-$175 per hour—a sharp contrast to sales
professionals investing hours of productive sales time to provide free
assessments for prospects and clients.

Strategic Planning

Thorough analysis of this detailed client data will allow you to move beyond
suggesting placements of new MFD devices on a client’s floor plan. It will
permit you to design print output strategies and workflow improvements.

An analysis that identifies opportunities for improvement in your client’s
environment and recommends solutions not only drives billable professional
services time but identifies potential for ongoing appointments to implement
those solutions.

Managed Print Services

Throughout the document life cycle there are opportunities for you to impact and
capture client expenditures through managed print services, which are
implemented to ensure the client’s print strategy is realized.

These process controls and software implementations impact asset management,
user behaviors and production workflows to reduce costs, increase efficiencies
and improve productivity. They may be designed to meet specific objectives such
as improving security, reducing time to completion or improving quality.

Implementing managed print services carries the highest margin potential for
your dealership, and likely the greatest savings for your client.

Your clients realize real value in print management and you differentiate your
dealership when you solve their problems—not just tell them they exist with
simplistic print output assessments designed to sell them additional hardware.

A well-designed print management strategy will provide a compelling value
proposition for your client and deliver multiple benefits to you.

You can positively change the sales dynamics between your sales organization and
clients and create greater value. This will increase revenues within your
current client base, create a differentiated value proposition in competitive
sales situations, and provide an engagement strategy within your target

In addition, you will benefit from new professional services revenues with
potentially higher margins, increased hardware placements and greater
aftermarket revenues.

Armed with the knowledge, solid objectives and the necessary resources you can
plan a successful print management strategy. Understanding the importance of the
service, however, is the first critical step.

Six Essential Questions

Before entering print management services, ask yourself:

• What are my reasons for getting into it?

• What are my expectations and how will I measure success?

• What commitments am I willing to make to succeed?

• Are my clients requesting this service?

• Am I meeting competitive pressures?

• Am I looking for new revenue opportunities or am I simply trying to sell more

Once you have answered these questions, you can determine what investment you
are willing to make into print management.

Gordon Hawkins is a 29-year veteran of the copier business and is the
founder of Business Communications Group, which provides consulting services to
the industry. He can be contacted at480.596.3753or ghawkins@buscomgroup.com.


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