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Monday, May 2, 2011

Managed Print Services Stuck in Stage 1&2 - And I Know Why...


I bet the folks at AIIM know why too, if they even care.

Stage 1 - Control

As you know, S1 includes establishing a baseline cost, fulfilling service and supplies on the fleet(usually everything but the copiers) and billing on a cost per image basis.

Stage 2 - Optimize

Again, simple. Optimize the existing fleet in terms of age, function, work load, document flow, on and on.

Both stage 1 & 2 are supported by a continuous revenue streams - as long as the fleet keeps printing, even when volume decreases, meter reads are traded for invoices.

With this in mind, it is no surprise how easy it is to stay right there.  

Much like a deer in the headlights...

I know.  MPS is difficult.

Getting the right toner to the correct end user at the right time, requires a great deal of infrastructure with lots of moving parts.

Guaranteeing your tech will show up under SLA but not the influence is taxing.

Ordering parts from HP, Lexmark, Dell, Xerox, et. el. has its challenges.

Coordinating all this and maintaining 49% gross profit a gargantuan task.

And still you do.

Nobody would blame you for staying right there in S2.

You know Stage 3, "Enhance the Business Process" has something to do with EDM software and document flow and that new 'cloud' thing. Still, like the early morning fog, your vision is not quite clear.

I have the answer. I know why you can't get your head around all this S3.

S3 requires software, and expertise beyond speeds, feeds and deal crafting. Different, but not that different.

Here's the big reason - S1 and S2 create revenue streams, the relationship although shallow, is ongoing.

S3 is PROJECT based; projects that need to be designed, implemented and managed.

S1-2 is Continuous, S3 is Job Shop.

To illustrate, consider the difference between how your Ford 250 was produced versus how the Maybach  is hand crafted.

The Ford moves through a continuous process, down a production line.  As the chassis moves   everything is attached and assembled. At the end of the line, a complete pickup truck is driven off the line, out to a lot. Hundreds leaving the plant each day.

Compared to the Maybach - the automobile is built completely(mostly) in one spot as a project.  Technically, each Maybach could be unique.

Indeed, the volume of Maybachs compared to Fords is very low.  But quality, price and margin should lean toward the project.

There you have it.  Getting into S3 requires a shift from continuous revenue to project based thinking.

A challenge for some.

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