Monday, February 28, 2011

The 2011 Global Managed Print Conference - Why You Should Not Attend

Ed and the gang over at Photizo are going to kill me for the headline, let alone the picture.

Let me explain.

Three years ago few talked about real Managed Print Services - but Photizo was.

Toner re-man guys were saying, "...we've been doing MPS for 25 years..." - this before most defined MPS.

I am not kidding, at ITEX, 2009 one schmoe had the gall to say this to my face, and then try to sell me on remanufactured, color toner cartridges.

Indeed, so many folks tried to define MPS in their likeness, it became really funny to watch. And those doing all the defining had never DONE MPS.  But Photizo had The MPS Adoption Model.

Back then, copier guys were simply trying to stay alive - not much has changed today - the OEM's had no clue and the IT sector saw nothing wrong with 2 point printer deals, attached to CarePacks.  Okay, so maybe that hasn't changed all that much either.

The 2011 Global MPS Conference is going to be huge - to date, the number of registered matches the number of attendees at the 2009 Conference. 

When most  charge for the honor of speaking and need to piggy-back with other, failing conferences, how many shows do you know that are experiencing an INCREASE in attendance?

In the Imaging Industry?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Repeat After Me: "Managed Print Services is Business Process Management, MPS is BPM, MPS is BPM"" - FireWork

First published, 2011

Stay with me on this.

Remember in the "olden days" when we would set requirements with our prospect? The requirements we would "demo" toward? Like copying on both sides, job build, stapling, multiple paper sizes, and all that? 

By the way, do we still demo "scan once, print many"? ( I guess so)

OK.  Now remember the next generation of questions?

"How often do you print?"
"Have you thought about color?
"What document types do you print?"

And then finally, the last iteration includes:

"...show me how you generate and process invoices..."

Are you asking these questions today or simply letting your DCA(or whatever the hell you call it) run your analysis?

Are you tabulating a CPI, presenting "auto-fulfillment", power reduction, green initiatives, a lower monthly cost, getting a signature and moving on?

Really?  How are those Quarterly Business Reviews working out?

How many copiers in your funnel this month, how many boxes are you landing before the 28th and how many ex-dates do you have this quarter?

And they say there is "no difference between MPS and CPC".

Wow.

The first wave in the great Managed Print Services land grab is in full swing, taking pause as the more committed eye their next move.  What are you doing with your existing engagements?  Are you firmly entrenched in Stage 1, itching into S2, and not even able to envision S3?

Welcome to your 'commoditized' world - feeling special?  In another 36 months, you'll be losing all your engagements to the MSP's who fold MPS into their portfolio of services. They'll be ridding their clients of the Last Copier Salesmen and "locked" contracts.

Let's review The Three Stages of MPS -

Stage 1: Control - Track what you have now, determine one decision maker for the fleet

Stage 2: Optimize - Balance the existing fleet, create a Print Policy

Stage 3: Enhance - Enhance the Business Process, EDM, Workflow

S1 and S2 seem to be where most of the action is today.  Supplies management, service fulfillment and fleet balancing.  The easy stuff, to be sure. And also the areas that offer up the most bang for the buck in terms of immediate savings and waste reduction.

Should you stay in S1/S2?  If you do, will you outrun the commoditization or contribute to it? S2 is a bit more "technical" and although not the Space Shuttle, does require specialized skills in complex selling.

There is a place between and around all the stages - in the 'white spaces' - where you set yourself apart from the others.

Back to my query: do you ever ask a prospect questions like these:

"...can you show me how you generate and process invoices..."
"...can you show me how you process an invoice for payment..."
"...how are orders processed and how is inventory received...

These are sophisticated questions which deserve more thought.  And in my opinion, should be part and parcel of your Stage 1 and Stage 2 interview process. 

Let's assume you ask to see how your client processes incoming invoices for payment. And let's take a look at, for example, how the lease and overage payments are processed for your client's existing copiers.

Or maybe you want to see how your prospect orders up and pay's all those Staples invoices each month.

Standard stuff. 

In your Mole Skin notebook, just like Hemingway, Van Gogh and other famous MPSr's before you, your thoughts are jotted down.

Perhaps you draw little pictures, outlining the decision process, paper flow, work-flow with arrows and lines and such - maybe even in different colors

I know, your looking for bottlenecks, old devices, mismatched volume to machine and machine to employee ratio's.

But guess what else you are doing. You're plotting and exploring in the 'white spaces' between and around all the stages of MPS - the first step in basic, Business Process Optimization.  Entre into S3, S4 and beyond.

"Get the F*, outta here! No..., It's serious..."



Yes, it's true - you're doing basic systems analysis. How would I know? Because about a million years ago, I paid for and attended a Systems Analysis Class, CIS450, back in college.  We even had flowchart templates.

No Visio for decades. You may not be looking to improve work-flow, but you are modeling the existing processes and components: Business Process Modeling.(BPM)  Pretty cool, eh?  Oh, and resume enhancing too - bonus.

MPS is all about the "M", not the "P" - Draw it out and begin to manage.

This takes little time, just as much as needed to write down your notes, i.e., SN#, volume, location, asset number, etc. There is no better way to chart your future than to see your 'present'. One thing,  you won't hear this in any "How to Sell Copiers" or "How to Sell MPS" classes, will you?


In between all those cold calls and roll playing, not one of your managers is going to sit down with you and show you some basic flow diagrams - hell, it could even be on the back of a napkin, over adult beverages.  Don't hold your breath.

Instead, check this little three minute, BPM video. The voice is bland but an Order Entry process is outlined.  And yes, there is a bit of selling, but not too much; I am sure that if you have ever been through an EDM presentation, some of this well be a bit of deja vu. After, feel free to flush your brain, with o bit of Hot-Katy.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Managed Print Services, Detroit & Eminem - "This is Who We Are, This is What We Do."

2/2011

[Commentator]

"I got a question for you.

What does this industry know about recovery?

What does a market that’s been to hell and back know about the finer things in Managed Print Services?

I’ll tell you, more than most!

You see, its the hottest fires that make the hardest steel, add hard work and conviction. And the know how that runs generations deep in every last one of us.

That’s who we are. That’s our story.

Now it’s probably not the one you’ve been reading in the trades. The one being written by folks who have never even been in the trenches selling and don’t know what we’re capable of.

Because when it comes to MPS, it’s as much about where it’s from as who it’s for.

Now we’re from the imaging industry – but this isn’t Xerox. Or Ricoh. Or Canon. And we’re certainly no one’s RiKON.

This is the Managed Print Serivices. And this is what we do..."
-----------------------
It's been in the left corner for a few weeks now. Honestly, I posted it there so I could play it whenever I wanted.

I like it.

Yes, it's a commercial.  For a car, no less.

The vehicle was on the drawing boards, 3-5 years past. The campaign ideas, camera angles, story boards and re-writes most likely occurring months ago. Possibly created by a crew of marketing majors who never worked the line, a 12 hour shift, or maybe have never, ever been to the D.

No worries.

The intent is to sell a $20,000.00 automobile manufactured in the Sterling Heights plant, from a company that gave us the K-Car.  The car that rescued Chrysler last time: brainchild of Lee Iacocca

No such luck today. 

What Iacocca and the US Gov't. saved so many years ago, is no longer.

Today, the third of the "Big Three" is owned by the UAW, the US Gov't and an Italian automaker, Fiat.

It doesn't matter. 

Because this commercial is about more than a car, a car company, or even a recovering Rap Star.

Unintended consequences, unforeseen responses, what happens on the Edge, in the margins is what resonates within a nation.

The post Superbowl buzz around Em's two commercial appearances(he did another spot for some iced tea company, in claymation) accelerated after his potent rendition during the Grammy's.  "I need a Doctor" anyone?

Sure his personal story is about redemption.

But it isn't about him.

The vehicle looks interesting, but it isn't about the car.

Detroit, looks like...well...Detroit - but it isn't completely about a community eternally on the ropes.

Its about the long gone steel mills of Pittsburgh or Allentown, the lonely hotels in South Beach, the out of work scriptwriters in LA, the soup lines off the Loop, the ID 10-T's in DC, the awe inspiring towers on a half-empty strip in Vegas, its about an industry, country, and global economy that's been to "hell and back..."  - its about you and its about me.

And the timing couldn't be better. 

When Marshall stands on stage in the Fox Theater, that wonderful choir as a backdrop pointing his finger at the world, declaring, "This is the Motor City, and this is what we do...", it isn't just him out there, its each of us. 

And it isn't just the Motor City, its the Big Apple, the City of the Big Shoulders, Sin City, and the City of Angels, from Philly to San Fran, Portland to Miami. DC to Tokyo, Vancouver to Ndabeni to Sydney to Buenos Aires to Moscow.

We're tired of layoffs, higher taxes, people getting paid for doing nothing.  We're finished with a leader who bows when he shouldn't, who apparently doesn't believe in our exceptionalism.

And we're pissed.
America loves anybody "recovering" and making it - we love the comeback kid because we as a nation are the epitome of that underdog who keeps coming back.  We Never Give Up.

Sure MPS is fading(no its not).

Of course MPS is a flim-flam(could be)

Sure copier sales will come back(no they won't)

The only constant here are the people within this niche, this market, this industry, this economy.

Us.  We the People.

This is Managed Print Services, and this is What We Do.

------------------------------
[Commentator]


I got a question for you.

What does this city know about luxury? What does a town that’s been to hell and back know about the finer things in life? I’ll tell you, more than most!

You see, its the hottest fires that make the hardest steel, add hard work and conviction. And the know how that runs generations deep in every last one of us.

That’s who we are. [View of The Spirit of Detroit] That’s our story.

Now it’s probably not the one you’ve been reading in the papers. The one being written by folks who have never even been here and don’t know what we’re capable of. [Campus Martius outdoor skate rink.]

Because when it comes to luxury, it’s as much about where it’s from as who it’s for. [Chrysler 200] Now we’re from America – but this isn’t New York City. Or the Windy City. Or Sin City. And we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City. [Eminem driving Chrysler 200, then walks out of the car, and walks into the Fox Theater.] - Source: LYBIO.net

[Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972)]




This is the Motor City. And this is what we do.
-----------------

The Inside Story: Chrysler's Risky Eminem Super Bowl Commercial
Almost Didn't Happen

An excerpt:

"Over the past decade, rap legend EminemEminem music catalog and has one-third of the writing credit on the song.


But that was until Chrysler chief marketing officer Olivier Francois started selling Martin on how much he wanted the music, and how he had an idea to show off Detroit to the Super Bowl audience, the largest TV audience of the year. To seal the deal, Francois drove a new Chrysler 200 to Martin's office in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale a few days into the New Year. The car was fresh off of the assembly line in neaby Sterling Heights, and hadn't even gone on sale. Francois had Martin and Eminem (whose real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III) drive the car, as well as a new Chrysler 300, to try and get the music legend to play ball..."

Rap Experts Weigh In Here.
Imported from Detroit Here.

Click to email me.

 

Toner dust cited as cause of minor fire at Konica Minolta

Published: 1:52 PM - 02/17/11
Last updated: 1:55 PM - 02/17/11

recordonline.com
Times Herald-Record

GOSHEN - Hazardous materials officials gave the all-clear after examining a structure fire at Konica Minolta in Goshen where copy toner dust had caught fire.

The building’s 40 employees were evacuated from the building at 51 Hatfield Lane just after the fire began at about 11:15 a.m. Thursday.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lexmark, Ikon, and the University of Kentucky Part Duex

As the dust settles around Ikon's spiriting away the University of Kentucky from Lexmark, there is time for reflection.

As sad as this sounds, I tend to discuss MPS, imaging, and output devices during off hours; which means there really aren't "off hours".

At one point, I had the bright idea of recording some of these conversations to capture the ideas bantered about.

Crystallizing conversations; making clear the obvious.

Ideas solving the worlds woe's; ending poverty and hunger, accelerating the economic recovery and defining Managed Print Services. Again.

So I roped two volunteers, who would be suffering through another MPS pontification anyway, into putting together some microphones, music and dozens of 3x5 cards.

This is adult time, opinionated time.

My opinions.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Not in Our House!...er...no...wait..." Rikon Takes One Right out of Lexmark's Backyard - U of Kentucky, in LEXington

Managed Print Services, she's a fickle beast.

Always moving, like smoke.

One minute she's with you on the dance floor, all yours.

Three months laters,  she's calling you for bail.

Of course you go back. 

But you'll never introduce her to your parents; she's just THAT kind of girl.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Jig is Up, The News is Out, IT Budgets Grow in 2011 - More Managed Print Services Opportunities?

I just read a great article over at CRN here, regarding The Everything Channel survey of VAR's and service providers.

The study was conducted back in November and surveyed 384 senior level managers within VARs/IT providers.

The survey calls the available North American IT market for solution providers at $428.1 billion in 2010, up more than 6 percent from $402.1 billion in 2009.

Remember, the North American MPS market is calculated at around $25b(Photizo).

The channel accounted for 68 percent of IT sales, and direct sales making up the remaining 32 percent.

The survey found that many VARs are dependent on a small number of SMB customers for a majority of their business.

"...Nearly 30 percent of solution providers had fewer than 25 customers while 10.9 percent had between 25 and 49 customers, 9.9 percent had 50 to 99 customers and 9.9 percent had 100 to 149 customers. Only 20.1 percent had 250 or more customers..."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"No Rules Managed Print Services" - Who Do You Think You Are?

The Mafia, does not exist. Never has, except for in the movies.



The "Illuminati" is another example of propaganda and marketing. Fear motivates, just ask Little Red Riding Hood.



The Free Masons, Skull and Bones, Templars, The Thule Society, The Black Hand, and my personal favorite, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, these groups, these societies, whether real or imagined, were formed to fill a vacuum.

And nature abhors a vacuum.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Cowboys And Aliens

OK- I am not sure how I can figure MPS into this, so I won't even try.

James Bond, and Indiana Jones.

In the Western US fighting Aliens. From outer space.

I ain't kidding, either.

The cast is interesting, and I would smell flop, but, the director gave us Iron Man, Ron Howard is one of the producers and Spielberg is an executive producer.

Big, Friggin, Guns.

Coming July, 2011.



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2011 Managed Print Services Outlook - Photizo drops a metric-ton of MPS/ITO Information. The Year of the Metal Rabbit.

This is a webcast discussing 2011 outlook in MPS.

Presenters were in Kentucky, New York,   the Carolinas and Singapore - The Photiz/MPS World.

Tidbits -

  1. The Fourth Stage of MPS is described.  A bit more on this here.
  2. Interesting point of comparison between the three stages of MPS and the three stages of IT management.
  3. From the ongoing, three year, MPS Decision Maker Tracking study, respondents place MPS/Imaging Projects in the Top 3 IT priorities.
  4. Non-MPS Stage Zero, "click" charge, transactional market revenue is declining as S1 and S2 revenue is growing and growing quickly. Numbers and trends supported by information present at the Lyra Symposium, last week.
  5. Europe, by 2014 will be the largest MPS market; shifting to channel driven from direct supported MPS.
  6. The Asian Pacific area offers huge MPS potential; Japan referred to as the "sleeping Giant" a huge market leading the region.
  7. "Multinationimbles" - leaders will combine scale with agility...
  8. "...Profits, like sausages..are esteemed most by those who know least about what goes into them..." Toffler
  9. 2011 is the year of the Metal Rabbit
  10. What is "Prosumer-Driven"
This is good stuff.

Check out the MPS Insights here.


Market Research Spotlight: 2011 MPS Outlook Webinar from Misty Hamel on Vimeo.

Click to email me.