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Wasteful with no Remorse.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Stop saying you're going to save customers 30% in print costs.

It's been said for over a decade. It is STILL posted on websites and printed on data sheets from dealers and OEMs - some OEMs state “40% savings.”

I remember when the claim first made the scene - not sure who brought it out, maybe Photizo back in 2009. The data pool then was fluid and more reflective than predictive. Regardless, the statistic stuck. 

My argument against spouting any savings is based on real-world experiences:

  1. Why set the stage with a reduction in revenue?
  2. Why set any expectations at all?
  3. How in the world would anyone know how to save anybody money without getting to know the account beforehand? Without an assessment?

I'm not denying the savings but uttering this degrades your approach and salespeople in general. They're smarter now. They can spot a pitch a mile away and they don't like being sold.

In the beginning, my clients experienced over 50% savings - the reasons were less about MPS prowess and more about how they were being oversold and OVERPRICED by the current dealer. Back then, it was easy finding bloated costs.

Stop saying “30% savings” and take it out of your content.

#MPS is Not Dead: The Renaissance 

I killed it back in 2010 because #MPS had sunk so deep into a price-only argument, that there was no value.  

The devolution resulted in:

  1. Automatic toner replenishment holding no value. 
  2. Proactive service holding no value. 
  3. Promoting Sustainable/Green supplies holds no value.

An so #managedprintservices faded into the past just ahead of #managedITservices. Until post-Covid.

Prospective MPS clients are reaching out to dealers asking for help managing and this is why:

  1. Internal IT teams have reduced headcount.
  2. Printers and copiers are still in the office and employees, although not as often, still print.
  3. IT focus has shifted to supporting remote work vs. output.

Today, the cost savings isn't where it once was. As always, moving information on paper is both slow and costly - hard and soft costs – unlike in the past, your prospects understand the impact of keeping paper in the workflow.

The new MPS is the old MPS only better.  This renaissance is driven by prospects.  Fewer IT  people mean less support for the depleting and mundane processes.  

When there were five IT support staff members there are now two and they are trying to pull together remote workers' environments, VPNs, and teaching how to use Zoom.  Nobody is thinking about toner and laser printers.  So they pick up the phone and ask for help managing supplies and servicing the shrinking collection of output devices.  "Down the street" dealers respond by gladly managing sub-fifteen unit fleets.

This is happening all over America.

CAUTION: This demand has a shelflife - it won't last for long and here is the real opportunity - once we're in managing toner, we need to jump on the wagon with them on the track to less paper-based workflows.  Simple workflows which can be easily digitized away from the copiers and printers.  Your clients are going to reduce paper usage on their own, we may as well help them.  

This is the renaissance; to move from toner to workflow and beyond under the managed print services banner.

SMB is ripe - go get your share and then pivot into more.

Where will MPS growth come from?

The world after Covid reveals much:  

  1. Workspace is where you are, not what company your work for.
  2. Mid-management is redundant.
  3. Local business is better than big, corporate monstrosities.

In the realm of MPS, indeed B2B businesses, demand will grow at the microeconomic vs. macroeconomic level. 

It's simple math and geography - more specifically, local geography.  Let the big guys pursue and put up with long decision cycles, political infighting, and narrow margins.

Where Will MPS Growth Take You?

This is where it gets good - if you implement MPS as a solution supported by analysis - I'm not talking about measuring 1000 data points over 36 months -  simple business conversations reveal a great deal.  

Solving business problems is a staple of the process.  As the industry slides into oblivion, looking for and creating partnerships with alternative service means surviving and thriving in the near and extended future.

Here's the gold - as you evolve, look for services you provide that can be RESOLD by your customers. Maybe the plumbing company would like to offer 'remote monitoring' for its customers.  You've got the expertise and hopefully, you've joined the DOTPE - use those relationships to bring your customers value for THEIR customers.  

Fortune favors the bold. 

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Greg Walters, Incorporated