Tuesday, September 15, 2009

12 Things I Hate About Managed Print Services

12. How some I.T. people think "printers" are below their intellectual standards.

11. How some purchasing agents think of MPS Providers as a resident in the Big Spreadsheet.

10. The dealership/VAR owners who don't allow MPS Sales Professionals access to the company's existing customers.

9. Manufacturers who still think MPS is CPC.

8. Bad copier sales people.

7. How some in the industry focus more on themselves than the customer.

6. Lease agreements

5. Newbies who don't think they are Newbies

4. "Experts" who haven't been in the field for over a decade.

3. MPS training text that has been generated through the simple Search and Replaced function; "MPS" for "copier".

2. MPS Practices that are better than mine

And the Number One thing I Hate About Managed Print Services -

1. The word "Print" in Managed Print Services.


Reactions:

10 comments:

  1. Greg, Which name do you suggest instead of mPs?

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  2. Docu -

    Good question and I really don't know just yet.

    But, "Managed Service Provider", seems to be the natural fit for MPS Practices that gets to the Fourth Stage...

    Even this is too generic - Managed Document Services may work.

    But anything that does not pigeon-hole us into "marks on paper" only.

    Thanks for reading, keep coming back.

    g

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  3. Wow! With that racy picture I thought it was going to be some post on harassment in the workplace. Overall, rockin' post, but I'm walking a line with you dude!

    On one hand you strike me as a pretty darn good consultant / sales person (very focused on the win-win for you and your client). On the other you are coming across as a purist - not a pragmatist - still hung up on the semantics of "MPS" as something separate from either the IT space and Output spaces.

    I can hear hints of your heart in your words, and there is no question there. But what makes a GI doc better than a ENT?

    The answer is, "It depends," right?

    I used to get hung up on the fact that I worked for a company that sold copiers - and would always correct people that we sold document solutions.

    The truth is, I realized it was our team going out and fixing customer problems that was important - and the method tended to be an MPS strategy. But guess what, we do use a CPC strategy, but instead of taking over an existing fleet (which is still MPS) we just chose to give the customer a more comprehensive strategy.

    My point is not to say I do MPS and you do not. It is not divisive in the least. I still assert that while there are indeed hallmarks to look for in a solid program/company - the biggest one is simply applying the correct skill sets in alignment with the customers goals and objectives. Or applying a more fuzzy and friendly phrase, "take care of the client."

    I would never argue you don't, as you strike me at the opposite end of number 7!

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  4. LOL! Ken -

    Here's the dirty little secret - I started this list back in May.

    While looking for a pic for one of my previous posts, I found this one, saved it and waited for an appropriate post - the two collided, and viola!(LOL)

    The list is somewhat tongue in cheek and yet not - the post is what I consider "fodder", "fill in", a collection of words scheduled to be used when I have nothing else to post. DOH!

    Are you ready for another secret -?-

    MPS, CPC, MSP, PMS, Document Management, Copier, Digital Workflow - it doesn't matter.

    It just doesn't matter.

    All the discussion swirling around, to which I am a party and contributor, the pure or pragmatic view of the niche, is much ado about nothing. Trivial excursions in banter and bloviation.

    Entertainment.

    What matters to us, should be, what matters to our prospects.

    The rest is just icing.

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  5. From LinkedIn -Kory Freshwater comments.

    These are his words, not mine:

    I've recently read several of your discussions...Wow, you are hard on us lowly copier sales folk. I sell copiers, printers, MPS, CPC, document management systems, folders, inserters, wide format printers, and just about every other document oriented business machine or solution that a customer might want or need.

    I am not ashamed that I sell Copiers or Printers. These are not bad words to me, they are symbols of my chldren eating well and sleeping with a roof over their heads. I do it with integrity, and a help the client first approach. This is the way I believe the majority of the industry works.

    You bash copier sales folks as if you do not sell the same thing. Copiers are simply a printer with a scanner on the top. I do not doubt there are shady dealings out there in the copier world, but is MPS that much different (it's still sales). I thrive in a market with 5 other major Independent Dealer players, and I have not heard such horror stories as you are presenting as common practices on your Discussions.

    In the end, I believe your blog is doing more harm to our business than good. It may help to line your pockets, but at the expense of the integrity of our profession. It's a sales business, in the end we all need to sell something to make money. By bashing each others integrity and products, all we do is create and build this image of slime and distrust that we are pigeoned holed into. It's clear that you are an "HP salesman", yes I said "HP Salesman" do the other players not have the right to compete in your eyes?

    If you believe I am wrong, please explain to me how MPS is so much different, other than it helps you move more HP's. I am in the business, and yes MPS is a an exiciting new opportunity for us, but in the end it's about moving boxes, software, collecting clicks, and building our customer base.

    By Kory Freshwater Berks County Sales Consultant

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  6. Kory – great comment. I mean it.

    You're walking though the door of a business and creating wealth; for you, your employer, your client, your family, community and country. If I have shamed you, I apologize.

    You say that I, “…bash copier sales folks…”

    You are wrong. I loathe idiot, short sighted, “churn and burn” selling techniques –the useless, mindless, sales people who practice them, the backward thinking, old skool acting managers who direct from their cube and the penny pinching, sales-people-screwing owners that hire and promote those managers. And let’s not forget the overpaid consultants who pontificate from the sidelines; espousing stories of yesteryear’s glory days.

    A subtle point- stating fact is not “bashing”. John Adams said, “facts are stubborn things”. Check out my posts about copier crime. I don’t make any of this up, I simply report the actions of others in our industry and the clients involved.

    But “bashing”? No. I re-write more comments then you have ever read because I don’t want to come across as harsh or snarky – bashing? If I ever start bashing, going nuclear won’t be an option, it will be a plan.

    You say in the same sentence, “…as if you do not sell the same thing…” again, if you think MPS equals CPC, that MPS is “just a way to move more HP…” or in your case, Kyocera, then you are on track for sales management. But give up those dreams of coaching – need to do sales forecasts, not show kids how to block off tackle.

    You say, “I believe your blog is doing more harm to our business than good…”

    You’ve a shallow understanding of “our business” if you believe this. I don’t have the hubris to match yours to think my slice of the internet is doing any business harm. Your humorous comment, “…it may help to line your pockets…” makes me laugh. Not dime one, has come in because of my blog, or my presence on the web.

    You state, “…It's clear that you are an "HP salesman" … do the other players not have the right to compete in your eyes? ...” The answer is no, other players do not have the right to compete with me. But they still do – it’s a free country.

    I take offense from the HP thing. I do not consider myself an “HP Salesperson” just a salesman. Fact is, my clients could care less what label is on the box; boxes don’t matter, they are all the same. (GASP!)

    You fail to understand, because you haven’t read all of my blog and perhaps harbor a degree of insecurity, is I believe copier sales people are tenacious problem solving people. The greatest managers and the best selling professionals I know are in the industry. This is a great place to be.

    You close “…If you believe I am wrong, please explain to me how MPS is so much different, other than it helps you move more HP's... in the end it's about moving boxes, software, collecting clicks, and building our customer base…”

    I don’t think you are wrong, just miss-informed. Alas, I am not inclined to explain the difference in great detail. Let’s just say pure MPS strives to reduce all the cost associated with documents. Today, MPS reduces costs by REDUCING THE NUMBER OF MACHINES IN FIELD. My current ratio is for every machine I place, I am removing four.

    Finally, I agree with Ken admiring your passion. I see you are new to this gig – one year in - so your passion is predictable, if not a bit romantic.

    Be open to more than the box – listen and nod your head when your manager tells explains cold calls and that MPS is just ‘another marketing ploy’. That copier sales is “all about numbers” or “capturing the clicks”. Have your “elevator pitch” down cold, get your value statement printed on the back of your card, study all those spec sheets and get your “leave behinds” ready – practice your demo’s.

    But late at night, when it’s just you, and the stars above, imagine the possibility that there may be more here than moving boxes. Your boss doesn’t want you thinking like this –he defines MPS as a marketing ploy and there’s no reason to pay residuals on a marketing ploy, is there?

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  7. This makes me VERY happy. I believe I am one of the rare copier sales people out there that "get it" and it is nice to see someone else point out so articulately how many of them don't.
    Traditional Cold Calling is the most self demeaning form of "marketing" sales people do. Please just STOP!
    I also love the people I work with who throw around the word "solutions" like they know what that means. The "solutions" I see from these people are usually, "Yeah I have one that runs the same speed as that one that will fit in that same space." Think outside the box already!
    Here's to sales Professionals!
    Trish
    Canon Business Solutions, CA

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  8. Trish -

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Right on!

    Keep fighting the good fight.

    G

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  9. I've been out of the digital commerical print world for a few years..while my background was facilities management (markering and product management) I did see enough of the copier world to state the following:

    Much of the distrust, low opinion and antipathy towards any print/copier sales folks (I don't care if it is FMs, CPCs, copiers, printers, fleet management, or now MPS) was driven by Xerox. The Xerox model of having sales people with ZERO ethics, the Xerox model of screwing your customers by rolling one lease into another, by overselling capacity and on and on...the marketplace has been so conditioned by Xerox behavior that unfortunatly customers now consider copier or anything printer or copier related as shaddy vendors at best....Xerox as a company paid the final price..they are on their way to oblivion just like GM but the culture they created will live on for many providers for years.

    My second observation is print is going away...yes it took much longer for the volumes to fall but it will all be about expanding your share in a shrinking market..printing is also just not very value add..seriously put a web browser on a digital copier to do what? Find a place to eat? (seriously I think that was a Ricoh ad a few years ago)...sorry but everyone either has an IPod touch or cell phone with GPS and web search capability...in some ways this industry is boxes in..no tech developments because there are already better substitutes out there...

    Don't mean to be all doom and gloom but this industry is a commodity...and it isn't going to change...

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  10. Anon -

    Thank you for your comment.

    Yes, Xerox did move through the business world with an "air" of arragance and yes, some of it still lives...but, the world has moved on.

    In some of my comments, I state that there will be a day when HP doesn't sell printers and not that long ago, Xerox stopped R/D in copiers.

    They are all moving to IT services, just like IBM did.

    It's some sort of convergent phenomena.

    Keep coming back, and if you feel it, you can use a name too.

    g

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