PrintFleet Case Study: MT Business Technologies8 Sep, 2008 By: Printfleet Printfleet imageSource
PrintFleet Case Study: MT Business Technologies
Since 1918, M.T. Business
Technologies has been serving the office output needs of organizations in
mid-Ohio Family owned and operated, MTBT
are one of Ricoh Corporation's top dealers in the United States and are one of
HP's Solutions VIP Elite partners. M.T. Business Technologies employs 300
persons across Ohio.
The Problem: How to Protect Your Customer Base
M.T. Business Technologies was a
traditional copier dealership in every sense of the term: they were placing
Ricoh hardware and gathering the clicks. Around 2004 they started selling and
servicing HP devices and supplies, and Vice President Don Cole notes they were
doing a reasonable job. It was at this time that they began to notice a trend:
everyone had begun talking about new technology in remote monitoring. Given the
industry buzz, M.T. Business Technologies opted to take a closer look at this
technology for a few different reasons:
- They were looking for a way to automate meter read
collection so as to streamline their processes and reduce their costs.
- The market was clearly moving forward with a Cost per
Page (CPP) model. M.T. Business Technologies saw this as an opportunity to
provide a CPP offering as a value added service for their current customers.
They saw this as a strategic way to protect their customer base.
Around June 2006 the executive
team met to look at various offerings in the area of remote monitoring software.
Among the other vendors M.T. Business Technologies researched, PrintFleet
software stood out in their minds, and they choose PrintFleet because overall
the company and the product offered everything they felt they needed in order to
undertake this organizational change. Don Cole states, "Our PrintFleet
representative really seemed to know the product better than the other reps we
met with from competitive vendors. He had experience in the copier industry, he
knew the product, and he could explain the various features comprehensively; we
could envision what we could potentially achieve using this technology."
M.T. Business Technologies had
previously sold products a la carte, and were looking for a way to "get sticky"
with their customers. Don Cole states, "Bringing PrintFleet technology into
this equation made a lot of sense; we could bring more value to our offering by
leveraging the data gathered from our clients' output environments."
The Solution: True Visibility
into Your Clients' Output Environment
MT Business began to install PrintFleet Data Collection Agents (DCAs) and collecting vital information from
their customers. Initially their strategy was to include DCA installation with
every new sale and every new machine placed. Some clients raised objections
against installing software on their network. M.T. Business Technologies faced
these objections with PrintFleet's security documentation, which explained
clearly how the DCA communicates on the network, what information is collected,
how the data is transmitted to MTBT's secure server, etc. This security tool was
critical in gaining trust from customers in the initial stages of rolling out
MTBT's Total Output Management program. After the sales team began to get more
comfortable with using and talking about the technology, it became easier to
install the DCA on clients' networks, as they could confidently address
Whereas at first customers were
leery of the technology, gradually they became more and more excited about MTBT
using PrintFleet software to provide visibility into their previously
immeasurable printing habits. Brian Harris, Total Output Management Consultant,
states, "Our reps gradually became more comfortable talking to customers about
the technology, and end users became more interested in the idea of seeing
everything that is on the network, and the volume of certain devices."
Through a general assessment of a
customer output environment, to stake out the overall status of the imaging
fleet, reps would suggest the solution to the confusion and chaos: one cost per
page for printers and copiers, including supplies and service. The Output
Assessment was provided as a complementary service. Don Cole states, "We would
start by saying, 'This assessment will not cost you anything, but if you agree
with the strategy we recommend, we can move forward with a cost
control/reduction plan.' Our initial goal for this program was to protect our
existing customer base, and thus we did not want to charge them for the
assessment. We were eager to make printing easy for our customers, and they
identified this service as valuable. PrintFleet allowed us to 'get sticky' with
our customers." Brian also noted, "This service we provide for customers may not
necessarily net us new revenue immediately, but it is inevitable that after
building this partnership, new hardware will come down the road. When you come
in as a consultant, your customers will be more likely to let you refresh older
devices with your hardware, and let you bring their output fleet under
M.T. Business Technologies began
to gain traction with customers who were purchasing supplies from competitors.
"We began to have a dialogue with our existing customers about how to be more
cost effective with their printing," states Brian Harris. "This is a
conversation most customers were interested in having, because it was based on
real information about their printing habits, and not based on what we wanted to
Don Cole notes that after
installing the DCAs in their current customers' environments, they were not
surprised by the existence of competitive machines in their accounts, but they
were surprised by they amount of volume that is produced by printers. Overall
they found printers to be doing 3-4 times the volume of copiers. "It is really
amazing how much volume is produced by printers," states Brian Harris. "The
first thing we wanted to do was take over the printer clicks." This new
consultative approach has become a team effort between the sales reps and Brian
Harris. The Sales Representative has an existing relationship with this account;
bringing knowledge about the output environment, contacts within the
organization, and having cultivated relationships over the years.
Together the Sales Representative
and the Total Output Management Consultant can review the data and strategize on
how to manage the environment to the benefit of the customer. The Sales Reps can
see the value this brings to their relationship with the customer; they are
compensated on hardware, so they know they will reap the rewards down the road.
M.T. Business Technologies approaches the process in stages:
- Start with installing the DCA.
- Provide an assessment over a 30 day period.
- Make recommendations and find opportunities to place
Rearranging the fleet is not
something that has to be done instantly; it is more of a gradual evolution. The
customer can also see that M.T. Business Technologies' reps are making
recommendations based on their actual volume, and not selling unnecessary
equipment. In some situations MT Business Technologies may recommend reducing
the number of devices, by converging printers. This is a new and different
relationship of alignment the reps can build with their clients.
The Result: A Symbiotic Relationship
Between Dealer and Customer
M.T. Business Technologies has
achieved great success with their clients, building a record of notable
anecdotes along the way. One such success story involves a larger national
organization that was at first skeptical of M.T. Business Technologies'
intentions to help regulate output chaos. Brian Harris had initially met with
the Controller and the IT Manager of this organization to give them an
introduction to the Total Output Management program and to explain how the
software could automate their meter reads. Brian notes, "At that time, our
proposition was not that interesting to either of them."
Some months later Brian
approached this organization with a bit of a different tactic: he focused his
efforts on the IT end of print. Brian emphasized more of the technical aspects
of the software with the IT Manager, demonstrating the technology, and showing
the IT Manager how he could leverage the data collected to better manage his
current output assets. The IT Manager bought into the value and the potential of
the technology immediately: he had visibility into all the printers and copiers
that he had not seen before; he was amazed to see the volume of certain devices.
Brian suggested they gather information for 30 days, and reassess the situation
to see if they could devise a cost effective strategy for their fleet. While the
IT Manager was excited, the Controller was ever the skeptic. He did not believe
he was going to learn anything he didn't already know.
After the 30 day assessment, it
became apparent this fleet was replete with chaos and confusion:
- There was selective buying of competitive toner and
- Printer procurement was haphazard.
- There was selective service and maintenance kit
replenishment for some devices, but not others.
- Several of these service agreements did not make sense;
in many cases this organization was being gouged on costs.
- Different individuals were all doing different things
when ordering toner or service.
- Within this environment there were 32 printers doing
80,000 clicks per month.
The entire situation was
confusing: the value of M.T. Business Technologies' proposed solution became
evident when this organization learned how confused they were when it came to
M.T. Business Technologies'
recommendations have in many ways become their Mantra:
- Establish current costs
- Devise a way to be more cost effective without
- Go forward with an output management plan
The initial buy in from IT proved
to be successful. Brian notes, "The proposition to the client was, 'This is your
project: let's see how we can leverage this information together, so we can
collaborate on the best solution that works for your unique environment'." The
result in this particular case was 21% savings. There were rewards for M.T.
Business Technologies too: initially they only had 4 of their copiers in this
environment, doing 20-25 thousand clicks per month. They are now able to take
over more of the existing volume, while providing benefits for the customer:
- One vendor
- Building fleet efficiencies
- Proactive service and supplies
Don Cole states, "Once you start
to peel the onion, you are amazed at what you find."
The Controller admitted to Brian
that he thought he would find holes to shoot through this proposal, but he could
not. Brian states, "We considered this to be a win for us and the customer: this
Controller was extremely skeptical at first, but after seeing what we were
capable of doing with PrintFleet, he was convinced this could help to manage
their fleet. We have since been able to place more of our hardware in this
environment, in high volume areas that will help the customer print more
efficiently. They only need to work with one vendor, and they know what to
expect for service and supplies for all devices."
In another scenario, M.T.
Business Technologies provided an assessment for a college with one area of
particularly high volume being printed. After gaining visibility into this
situation M.T. Business Technologies recommended better technology for this
area, as they suggested replacing the printers with machines capable of
The benefits were threefold: the
college experienced tremendous savings on the cost of paper, M.T. Business
Technologies gained the extra volume for these devices, and from a green
standpoint, they saved 36 cartons of paper per month. The visibility PrintFleet
Technology provided enabled them to put the right technology in the right place,
providing financial and environmental benefits. Don Cole states, "This was huge
for this client. They saw that we were not just pushing gear for the sake of
pushing gear; we were able to make a difference."
PrintFleet technology has
provided a win-win scenario for dealer and client. Don Cole reflects, "Our goal
for the system was to protect our customer base, and we have succeeded in doing
so while at the same time bringing value to our offering." M.T. Business
Technologies also wished to measure their success by tracking the additional
clicks gained. In their first year they targeted to gain an additional 10
million clicks: they accomplished this. Their goal for the end of 2008 is to
gain 20 million net new clicks.
M.T. Business Technologies is
gradually taking over more volume in their current accounts. In many cases they
are moving towards owning 90% of the volume in their accounts. In one scenario
they completed a lengthy assessment for a hospital, and have taken over
management of all their printers. For this one hospital M.T. Business
Technologies is managing 1.6 million clicks per month. M.T. Business
Technologies has also used PrintFleet to decrease their costs of collecting
meter reads; Don Cole states, "We could not have gained as many new clicks as we
have without this technology. PrintFleet has made it easy for us to grow our
The Last Word
Don Cole states that PrintFleet
has delivered what M.T. Business Technologies expected and more: "PrintFleet has
helped our business grow. The ongoing support we receive is phenomenal.
PrintFleet backs the product; their technicians do great work if any issues ever
come up. There is a lot more involved in this type of change than one thinks:
the technology is great but it is important to note that PrintFleet has
continued to support us through the process."
M.T. Business Technologies is
looking forward to new initiatives such as the PrintFleet User Group, so they
can share back and forth with other PrintFleet users their trials and successes
with the software.
Where They are Today
As they manage over 9000 devices
across 660 locations, MT Business Technologies have experienced approximately a
5-7% increase in revenue from sales which include their Total Output Management
They believe that this will
continue to increase rapidly as they build success with this initiative. MT
Business Technologies also believe there has been a slight reduction in the
costs of executing their core services which will continue to decrease as they
continue to utilize all the PrintFleet tools.