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Friday, October 16, 2009

Into the Belly of The Beast: Managed Print Services Discussed at Purchaser Conference

Purchasing Magazine sponsored the Smart Sourcing Summit in Chicago, October 13-14.

On the second day, just before lunch, there was a session entitled, "Business Printing Solutions: Managing Print Services".

How interesting.

That's right, a convention of Purchasers.

A collection of folks, educated in the art of "grinding" you, bent on making your job more difficult, and reducing your commissions. These PA's with their CPM's were dedicating 45 minutes to Managed Print Services.

It's no secret, I really don't like purchasers.

I can count on one hand, the number of "Purchasing Agents" I have been willing to work with over the past 20 years, and two of those, I met just within the last couple of years. But hey, we all got a job to do, and purchasing is the lynch pin of every successful business.

And it's no secret that if you are selling ANYTHING to the Purchaser, you are a commodity - not the place to start a conversation around Managed Print Services.

Which is why this article piqued my interest and to my surprise, a friend of DOTC was carrying the MPS banner - Ed from Photizo.

Check the article out.

It doesn't surprise me that MPS is getting the attention of the Purchasing community.

The MPS message, printing costs are out of control and unmanaged is resonating at all levels in business.

From the show:

"...Crowley says the lifecycle for printer or copier is three years yet uncoordinated procurement allows for out-of-date equipment to remain in service and operate badly. The problem is exacerbated since "less than 10% of total corporate print spend is for hardware..."

Although the Purchasing Department may be the antithesis of value add, it is sometimes better to align with these folks - find a common area of concern - turning the advisory into a ally.

The common issue? Cost.

MPS reduces Costs. Period. Even the most stodgy and decrypt PA understands cost reduction.


  1. Greg, thanks for covering this. It's interesting that the group was very interested in the topic. One minor clarification. I actually said that printers are typically marketed for three years or less, however, they have a useful life of 5 to 7 years. As the products become older, many manufacturers raise prices on supplies for products which are no longer actively marketed - driving up fleet cost. The writer captured things I littel differently than how I said them. Regardless, it was a very interesting conference.

    And if you don't think purchasing is important, just look at Tyco. Their CPO (Chief Purchasing Officer) also spoke at the conference. He reports into the CEO (Tyco is a $20B corporation), and the IT organization reports into him. Wow, talk about purchasing calling the shots!

  2. Ed,

    It's funny, I was thinking the same thing about Tyco - that's alot of money.

    More importantly, I did notice that IT Services reports up to him, a Purchasing Exec. Unique.

    Thanks for the clarification on the 5 to 7 years of useful life.



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