Conducting Managed Print Service Business Reviews – Preparation
In Part II – Discovery, focus was brought to the process with the topics of “Attendees”, “Objective Review” and “Discovery” being discussed. It was also suggested that the dealership put a leader in position to oversee and drive the process for inception to presentation.
This segment will offer ideas to consider when completing ‘Data Analysis’ and developing an ‘Improvement Plan’ … Or in other words, preparing for the business review. The series will conclude with a discussion on ‘Business Review Presentation’ and ‘Review Follow up’ sessions in Part IV.
I am often asked, "How long should the assessment take?"The goal should be to return relevant information to the end user in a timely manner from data recently obtained.If one gathers reported information for 90 days then takes another 30 to assemble and analyze the data and weeks more to prepare a report, the account review will be stale as more than four to five months may have lapsed since it was begun.
The key to an effective manage print services review is to gather relevant data and process the collected information quickly.Conducting an assessment during the summer at a school or university would be ill advised as would a review of the printing habits of a business that has multiple closures during the holidays.Information should be gathered and analysis completed during times when printing is done.
Likewise, it is important to gather data from ALL printers, not just the ones that are easy to locate.An effective review takes into account not only machines in printing hubs or copy centers, but those attached to people’s workstations as well.If data is missing from any of the machines that print, it will be impossible to make effective and cost savings business recommendations.
So let’s assume data can be gathered from all the printing devices at the business location, and let’s further assume this data is obtained during normal printing cycles … i.e.: during billing cycles when invoices are printed or during inventory management sessions or when product shipping occurs.
Each business will be different, but all will have typical or “normal” printing cycles.When information is obtained during these times, the review can be given in just four to eight weeks after it was begun.The review can begin when the data collection software (DCS) is installed.The dealership's MPS team can start the analysis as soon as initial volumes start be flow in.
The customer’s supply inventories (safety stock and “bad inventory”) can be discovered
The device inventory can be confirmed
Device connectivity can be established
Problematic device reporting will be uncovered
Configuration pages can be generated on devices not connected to the network
Problematic device utilization will be discovered
Cost of ownership / cost per page analysis can be prepared using:
Gathered page volumes
Entry of cartridge fill ratios
Input of gathered supplies and parts costs
Entry of labor / preventative maintenance costs
Verification of cartridge yield accuracy
Entry of recommended equipment realignment, parts, supplies and service costs (showing potential cost savings)
Device status reporting along with reporting accuracy will be revealed
The data collection software will provide metering detail for volume analysis to be completed. There is little reason for managers to do manual calculations any longer; some software products have built-in Total Cost of Ownership utilities, while others may have options for import and can upload to widely used industry tools.
Dealers should use the tools they have available, assembling the data into usable presentation formats. Reviews can be prepared with slides or plates showing “Current State of Imaging Fleet” followed by “Discoveries (good and bad)” and conclude with “Corrective Actions to be Taken”, “Recommendations” and/or “Long Term Goals to be Accomplished”. Consider including the topics below in the business review:
Current State of Imaging Fleet
Discoveries (good and bad)
TCO / CPP analysis
Disposition of “non-manageable” machines
Disposition of unnecessary equipment
Network devices for greater efficiency and reporting accuracy
Provide supply fulfillment
Provide service fulfillment
Provide fleet management
Long Term Goals to be Accomplished
Consolidation of the imaging fleet / reduce overall fleet size
Replace older, unnecessary machines with new efficient equipment in print centers / hubs
Reduction in print and associated operating costs
Managed Print Services …
… raises cost awareness;
… provides opportunity for a proper device mix;
… allows proposals for machines based on actual output volume; and
… helps make the provider a better business partner.
… In Summary
Preparing the business review is an essential part of the upcoming presentation. Without key components, the business receiving the review will be left with an incomplete solution. During the discovery phase the pieces of the puzzle can be fitted together so when analysis begins, much of the work is already completed.
Be sure to gather information when print cycles occur as every component is affected: printers, MFPs and copiers are in use, toner is depleting, and devices may be getting service updates. Conducting a review during an off-peak printing time will not yield beneficial results.
When laying out the data for the review presentation, be sure to include a current state of the fleet so a baseline can be established. From there the review can detail other findings and be sure to include the bad with the good. After all, the goal is to offer an improved process over the one the customer is currently using. Finally make recommendations that show long term improvement.
How the improvement plan is laid out is up to the person or people that will be presenting. Be certain the development of the plan takes into account all of the findings and is presented in a way that shows benefit to the customer.
And remember, preparation is an essential part in the overall MPS business review process.
Posted by Brian Dawson, Sales and Marketing Director, Print Tracker, LLC
Brian is a productivity specialist, sales coach, mentor; offering managed print solutions world-wide with Print Tracker software.