The PrintFleet Approach New Strategies for Big Changes4 Nov, 2010 By: Sand Sinclair, Editor imageSource
The PrintFleet Approach New Strategies for Big Changes
Wanting to learn more about the latest changes at PrintFleet, imageSource spotlights the leading MPS software solution provider to shed light on the organization’s current business strategy:
imageSource (IS): PrintFleet has undergone some fairly big changes recently, where do things stand for the organization now?
PrintFleet (PF): Yes, as you would expect of a fast growing business operating in a global marketplace, PrintFleet has undertaken changes to ensure we continue to prosper. Change, while positive, can present challenges. In spite of these, PrintFleet has enjoyed substantial growth over this past year and is in an excellent position to fuel double digit growth this fiscal year and in the future. Additionally, we are fortunate to have Brian Cosgrove, the founder and principle owner of PrintFleet, re-engaged in the business as Chairman. Brian, a pioneer in the print industry, has been a driving force behind PrintFleet since its inception and will continue to help us lead the industry.
IS: What’s PrintFleet’s strategy to fuel that growth?
PF: As part of the change process, we’ve significantly increased investment into our product development to ensure that our technology continues to be ahead of our competition with regards to the collection of the most accurate, reliable and relevant data in the industry. In this regard, our expanding relationships with OEM’s are integral to ensuring we get the most relevant engineering / software information from them in a timely manner. We will continue to place a significant focus on our relationships with our distribution partners in the channel and work to increase our collaboration efforts with them. Many people don’t know but PrintFleet is the technological driver behind six of the biggest distribution and well known leasing organizations within the MPS industry. LMI, Synnex, Supplies Network, PartsNow!, West Point Products Canada Inc., and GreatAmerica Leasing all utilize PrintFleet technology as part of the backbone behind their individual MPS offerings. PrintFleet will also continue to invest heavily in technical support services as well as our MPS Advisor program. We currently meet the needs of over 1600 dealers via our Distribution Partners and we know that in order for any dealer to successfully launch and execute an MPS offering, they require support that goes beyond the software.
IS: Can you expand on how the OEM’s fit into your strategy?
PF: The OEM’s are a key piece to our focus on technology. One of the advantages PrintFleet has is our ability to provide customers with a remote monitoring and data collection tool that is truly agnostic. PrintFleet has successfully increased the number of our contractual OEM partnerships and will continue to focus on this area of our business. We need to be ahead of the curve with new device technology before it is launched into the marketplace. Our success in this area ensures that PrintFleet users are able to utilize our tool to monitor fleets across OEM brands, regardless of model.
IS: Globalization is a term easily tossed around. What is PrintFleet’s approach to this type of market expansion?
PF: PrintFleet will continue to focus on our North American marketplace as well as invest in the necessary infrastructure to successfully further penetrate the European market. We have already seen significant growth in Europe, with our software already being used in over 20 countries. As you know though, successful global expansion requires more than just the opportunity to grow. Certainly it is easier when the market potential exists but without establishing the necessary support structures while properly localizing the product, expansion and financial results will inevitably struggle to meet expectations. PrintFleet has therefore decided to hire at the Director level, a person to manage the relationships with our growing list of clients. This person will be joined in our new offices by the existing team of business development directors and technical support staff. The product is now available in five languages and we’re able to provide localized technical support, therefore we’re confident we’ll see significant growth in Europe.
The other part of the world where PrintFleet sees a growing interest in our product is the Asia- Pacific Region. The OEM’s in particular are eager to see PrintFleet establish an office in Japan. We have recently signed an agreement with Graham Harman who runs PrintFleet Asia Pacific Pty Limited in Australia, and are working with Graham to determine how best to meet the needs of both PrintFleet and our partners in that region.
IS: Getting back to the technology, is there anything new that you can share with us about the product and any key benefits it might provide for the dealers?
PF: Over this past year we’ve increased scalability in order to help support the continued growth of our clients. We’ve also been making performance enhancements through improved database techniques that are used in other industries and are working on numerous refreshments to our reporting and alerting capabilities. Users will find additional functionality and usability that are better tailored to their needs as well as the flexibility to support various MPS programs. We’re also excited about our new public web service and the benefits that this provides to our dealers, as well as our ability to offer the software in five languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese.
IS: Many dealers are providing MPS; why are some companies more successful than others?
PF: They key differences between successful MPS programs and those that are underperforming are a lack of coordination between departments at the dealership (sales and service for example) and inexperience in building and running an MPS program. PrintFleet has discovered that in order to launch and run a profitable MPS program, dealers need support in key functional areas beyond our software. That’s why we provide support to all of our Enterprise customers that goes well beyond the software. PrintFleet’s technical support personnel are often key to having our solution successfully integrated within a dealer’s environment. Additionally, our MPS Advisor team provides dealers with the early training regarding sales, service and compensation to better ensure that all aspects of the dealer’s business are integrated into their MPS program.
IS: If a dealership does not have their own service team or support services to aid their customers, do you provide them assistance?
PF: Yes, we help them with this quandary. PrintFleet dealerships have a number of options in regards to service support assistance, including some of our distribution partners who offer this service as well as large service organizations such as Barrister and SA IT Services with whom PrintFleet has a business relationship. We are confident that our existing partners can provide excellent services to such dealers.
IS: Does PrintFleet provide dedicated training or a mentoring program to assist dealers or partners?
PF: At PrintFleet, we measure our success by our customer’s success and as such invest significant resources into our support services such as training and the MPS Advisor program. So yes, beyond the software we offer extensive onsite technical training to ensure our customer’s get the most out of the technology. Beyond this training, dealerships have access to our in-house technical support staff for answers to on-going questions or support requirements that they might need. We also provide 2-day MPS training to management and sales teams to ensure all the elements are in place to effectively meld a dealership’s back-end operations and front end sales efforts. In regards to mentoring, when a customer becomes part of our customer network, they are assigned a specialized MPS advisor who works alongside them during the early stages of the program and mentors them for the life of our partnership, working towards continuous improvement and profitability, and in the end, success for both the dealer and PrintFleet.