Monday, November 8, 2010

Are You Looking For a Good Managed Print Services Provider? How Would you Tell?

Congratulations, you see that you can reduce the costs associated with printing by 30-40% - now what?

Nestled out here, are some very good MPS providers.

Behind the device manufacturers' flowery marketing and dense poser-like foliage, the real MPSr's are here.

Here holding true to customer-centric values - evangelizing MPS as a process not a collection of machines.

Your search is challenging.

Should you call your current IT VAR, have purchasing get with your office supplies vendor, or, god forbid, call the copier dealer who roped you in for 60 months?

Do you really want to be negotiated into an agreement?

How about product demo's or assessments worth exactly what you pay for them?

Honestly, should Purchasing, who is probably responsible for the 30-40% waste in the first place, be in charge of an MPS project? Really?

No - REALLY?

This isn't to say that your copier dealer or supplies vendor or IT VAR can't implement and support a good MPS Engagement - some can.

Might I suggest you query any prospective suitor, as to the status of their MPS Certification?

What, you didn't know?

Right now, on this side of the desk(MPS provider)Managed Print Services training may simply consist of how to maneuver you(the prospect) along the sales cycle. Students do not learn the difference between the Business Process and the Selling Process.

Case in point: The below paragraph, from a real MPS course, is typical of what is covered in your run of the mill, standard, MPS Training -

"...this two-day educational workshop is designed to provide dealerships with the tools they need to establish a managed print services strategy that will allow them to significantly increase the quantity of captured prints, lock in customers, distinguish themselves from competitors and, ultimately, sell more hardware.

See it here, and here, and here.

Key phrases -

"...increase the quantity of captured prints...",

"...lock in customers..."

"...ultimately, sell more hardware..."

To summarize, this class will teach your copier/VAR/toner rep how to capture you, lock you in and sell you more stuff. - Huh.

On the other side of the coin, if I am a dealer and I have hardware quota's from my suppliers(Kyocera, Lexmark, HP, Xerox, Ricoh, Canon, etc., etc., etc.) and if I make more from the "back-end rebates" than the hardware itself, this class is for me.

Sign me up, take my sales staff, and get them "MPS Certified".

Back to your 30-40% savings, which I consider waste.

Other than your archaic purchasing process, who else do you think helped get you in this position of wasting 30%, month after month after month? Who do you think designed the copier sales techniques that include 60 month leases, "flexing", cheap CPC and huge overage charges, automatic lease renewals, yearly price increases, and built in obsolescence?

The same ilk teaching some of the current crop of MPS Sales Classes.

Some. NOT ALL. Not every MPS class is lead by charlatans.

Sad thing is, I know the carpetbaggers are filling up classrooms and securing training projects with the OEMs, every, single day.

Buyer beware.

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