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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Does Your MPS stand for "Maybe, Probably, Sometimes?" or Does it Just Suck?


What's new in MPS?

Xerox, HP, Ricoh, and Canon have MPS programs now. I believe at the last count, there are no less than 11 major MPS Programs available for providers and clients.

Is IKON done hiring MPS people yet?

Dealer infrastructure has been built, and the tools are in place.

But why are there still the same old questions?

How is it that LinkedIn is filled with "MPS Definition" debates and some of the best MPS questions are coming from OfficeMax and Staples?

Or better yet, where's all that promised Gold?

It's been over two years, at least, since this new iteration of Managed Print Services hit the streets.

Apart from HP and Xerox pumping the media with announcements of incredible, gargantuan, installs and sponsoring their way into the magical, "upper right" corner, what is going on in the real world?

How is the independent dealer fairing in this new, partnership-based selling cycle?

Is there really a "new" breed of Selling Professionals taking advantage of MPS?

Are there any Hybrids out here? (not the iTex version)

Granted, there are successes in the MPS Ecosystem.  But with an estimated 7,000 dealers jumping into MPS, one would figure everybody would be out in the field, assessing, presenting, and engaging.

Yet the MPS Sales training classrooms are filled, the consultants remain on retainer and owners are frustrated.

I get emails every week that begins with,

"...I've been doing this for over "x" decades, sent my team to "fill in the blank" MPS training, attend the weekly, "manufacturer de jour" dealer's con-call, and still, my team doesn't implement.

"...WHAT PLANET do those "advisors" reside - can you translate what they say into everyday, applicable examples?..." - huh.

What gives?

Managed Print Services, real MPS, is difficult to do. This stuff is hard.

For copier dealers, MPS may have been thought to be just another way to place gear. The "sharper" copier folks saw early on that MPS really looked like CPC for printers - simple. How's that working out for ya?

Toner guys looked at MPS and thought, "Hell, we've been doing CPC on printers for over 150 years!" That's Toner Management Services, TMS; not MPS.

Computer VARs looked at MPS as just another monitoring service, "Service printers? no problem, we can image 250 laptops in 3 hours, we have 25 technicians, how hard can it be to service printers? MFP's? What's the difference?" There is a difference between onsite and depot.

Tsk, tsk, tsk...

Meter reads aren't enough, and remote monitoring, monthly invoicing, assessments, and Data Collection Agents, aren't enough.

What is needed is EVERYTHING. And the kitchen sink.

You need Selling Professionals who can truly put together a complicated project, marshal the resources of your company, price, and package, and present this unique proposition, to your prospect, in a simple manner.

And not take forever.

You need service folks who understand selling, you need warehouse people who can think through your system.

And you need to talk to people who have already made the same, MPS mistakes you are going to make - not successful ex-copier dealers who cashed in and now want to tell you how they did it, ten years ago.

Here's a list of Ten Reasons your MPS Practice Sucks(there are many more reasons)as mentioned to me, by DOTC readers:

1. You have no clue what you are doing, but you think that you do
2. Ownership/Executive management finally admits MPS isn't really, in the core
3. You have no clear, concise, fair sales compensation plan
4. You haven't taken the time to put together a CPI price sheet
5. You hired "consultants" whose only concern is the monthly retainer
6. You listen to and believe in the same, old skool, copier consultants
7. Your internal process is cumbersome and designed around Transactional sales
8. Your company leadership has no vision
9. You are trying to convert Copier reps into Solution Experts
10. You are trying to boil down MPS into CPC

If you are an MPS Selling Professional and you see some of the above at your practice, be alarmed. Pay special attention to #2 and #8 and brush up on the resume.

Do you want the answers to the challenges posed above?

Break out the American Express and email me.

Click to email me.

Contact Me

Greg Walters, Incorporated