Search This Blog

Sunday, December 28, 2014

#3 & #4 Managed Print Services Truths: Be a Partner, Be Lean "Come With Me Now"

Continuing our journey into the 10 Truths of MPS we look now to partnerships and overhead.

3. Be a partner

The tough times are making everybody re-evaluate their position in the ecosystem, and the best way to survive is to gather together with like-minded people. Partnerships open up your services portfolio; good partnerships bring with them even more connections and synergy. Isolation leads to desperation. Partner with your clients, toner provider(s), OEMs and fellow employees. If HP can work with third-party toner suppliers, why can’t you partner with a managed services provider? Or better yet, how hard can it be to become a tablet reseller? Today, it is all about partnerships and teams. Build a team that includes players from all over — from network infrastructure experts, software application specialists, property managers, bankers and shop owners. Full press your personal network and choose those you deem worthy.

4. Be lean

Tough decisions are coming, if they haven’t already. The economy is making a rebound unlike any other time in history, and the recovery will not include a spike in manufacturing jobs or employment. Look to reduce your overhead.

Do you really require a demo floor? Really? No, really? It may look nice, but ... really? Is it a stipulation of your dealer agreement? If so, throw that Lyra chart in front of them and push back. Nobody holds inventory anymore, so why are you? How tight are you on trunk stock and warranty exchanges? How many service calls have you made over the past 12 months on your fleet of laser/cartridge-based devices compared to your traditional copiers? Do you need so many technicians? Do you need three dispatchers? How many people in accounting?

I am not recommending you fire everyone in sight. I am recommending you look at the costs that could be reduced or shifted over to some of your partners and possibly move traditional infrastructure talent into your sales team.

For example, in my practice, I did not want to stock toner, take orders or coordinate the shipment of and maintain an inventory of toner cartridges. I did not want to — nor did I believe I should have to — bear the overhead cost. I evaluated every single fulfillment program out at the time from front to back. I looked at their process and the infrastructure the value-add provided and talked with the people on the ground.

I made the shift and demanded much from my new, integral partner — from delivery and customer relations to report generation. When I found somebody I could work with, that company became a full-fledged member of my team. It worked and reduced my overhead immensely. Lean, agile, clear.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Contact Me

Greg Walters, Incorporated