Managed Print Basics – Becoming an MPS Champion …

Conducting Managed Print Service Business Reviews – Presentation
 
document-feederIn recent blog postings we have discussed preparation of business review process as it related to managed print services (MPS).  Readers have learned about introductory business review discussion sessions; discovered how site discoveries are conducted, and gained knowledge of how gathered information can be analyzed and an improvement plan prepared for presentation.  Now the findings need to be communicated to the customer.
 
The business machine dealer, value added reseller (VAR) or IT provider can bring his or her team – anyone who has provided relevant information included in the report – to the presentation meeting.  The providers team may include any or all of the following:
  • The MPS Specialist  (the Business Review leader)
  • The dealership Sales Manager, Director or VP
  • The Account Sales Representative
  • The Service Manager, Director or VP
  • The Dealership Manager or Director
As discussed in the first segment, a presentation date should already have been determined, however now is the time to send a “Save the Date” announcement reminding participants of the upcoming meeting.  The print environment business review is truly an event worth attending.   Send invitations to anyone in the customers’ organization who was involved at the onset of the project:
  • The business principle (owner, manager, decision maker, etc.)
  • The business financial manager (owner, CFO, decision maker, etc.)
  • The business purchasing agent
  • The business IT manager (network manager, CIO, etc.)
  • The business network staff
Finally – the presentation day has arrived … the rubber is about to meet the road.
 
Business Review Presentation
 
NOTE – Be sure the business review is presented as a benefit to the customer.  Done in any other way, the message will be lost.
 
How the review is presented and the format used is up to the individual business machine dealer, IT provider or VAR.  Most reviews include information in a slide deck, being presented electronically to tablets or pad devices, on interactive whiteboards using Google docs, PowerPoint, or shared in other similar methods.  If the dealership is trying to covey savings, the MPS business review should not be presented on hard copy!
  1. Build a foundation for the recommendations to come; describe processes used to gather the data:
  • Describe the technology used to discover and report on devices
  • Define the date range used to establish volume detail
  • Report how the device mix inventory was established
  • Inform how the supply and fulfillment process is working now
  • Identify departments where print originates
  • Describe where documents are printed, when they are printed and what machines are printing
  1. Continue by illuminating discoveries (good and bad):
  • Customer’s consumables inventory (safety stock and “bad inventory”)
    • Show which consumable stock on hand matches (and does not match) the fleet
  • Imaging device inventory
    • Device location / placement
    • Device connectivity
    • Overall fleet health (age, serviceability, etc.)
    • Device reporting capability
    • Monthly page output by machine
  • Isolate business machines that:
    • Need firmware updates
    • Stopped reporting during the discovery process
    • Have or had connectivity challenges
    • Number of non-reporting devices
    • Number of USB (locally) connected devices in the mix
    • Number of USB devices with sufficient volume to warrant management
    • Have problematic utilization over or under manufacturer’s recommendations
    • Do not report toner information in high accuracy
    • Need toner
    • Do not report maintenance information
    • Need maintenance and/or service
    • Were discovered but are managed or serviced by the MPS provider
    • Are unnecessary due to low volume, machine inefficiency, or manageability
    • Are non-manageable due to connectivity, age, reporting ability, or reporting accuracy
  1. Share monthly operational costs describing how the total cost of ownership and operation was determined.  Provide consumable supplies detail and include cost information if recommendations for a change from another supplier are going to be suggested.  Add detail about the current service process and again and include cost information if change recommendations are to be made.
NOTE – This topic will get the attention of the decision makers, setting the stage for any recommendations to come.  Be sure to check for buy-in and acceptance at this point … If the numbers shown are not believable or cannot be proven, anything that follows will be dismissed as unfounded.
  1. Move on to recommendations as a result of the discoveries made:
  • MPS provision for supply fulfillment
    • Just in time supply delivery with limited safety stock on hand
  • MPS provision for service fulfillment
    • Just in time service with regularly scheduled preventative maintenance checks
  • MPS provision for fleet management
    • Total cost of ownership recommendations
    • Network relevant USB connected devices to improve efficiency and reporting accuracy
    • Reassign underutilized equipment
    • Disposal/removal of “non-manageable” machines
    • Placement of more efficient business machines
  1. Identify long term goals to be accomplished:
  • Consolidation of the imaging fleet / reduce overall fleet size
    • Limit the fleet to similar models using common parts and supplies
  • Replacement of older, unnecessary machines with new efficient equipment in print centers
    • Disposition of unnecessary equipment
  • Reduction in print and associated operating costs
  1. Begin to wrap up the review by opening the meeting for questions.  Be sure to leave plenty of time for discussion.  Only when complete buy-in from the stakeholders is achieved will recommendations be accepted and long term goals be attainable.
  1. CLOSE – Ask for and get acceptance for the recommendations set forth in the review. Without this crucial request, the effort expended in the review process by all parties has been wasted.  Don’t be a professional visitor!
  1. Determine benchmark dates for implementing the accepted recommendations.
  1. Set a date or series of dates for the next review(s).  Follow up is needed to make certain the accepted recommendations have been or are being implemented and successes (or failures) can be measured.
  1. Conclude the review by stating, “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” or a similarly strong closing argument.
Follow up Reviews
 
Conduct follow up reviews on agreed upon dates determined during the MPS business review process.  Set meetings far enough out so actions taken can be measured.  Benefits cannot be realized if follow up occurs before accepted recommendations are implemented.  Likewise, if follow up is delayed, ineffective actions or actions that showed little or no improvement cannot be corrected and successes cannot be exemplified.
 
The follow up review is a great way for the dealership, VAR or IT provider to pave the way for implementing subsequent recommendations.  For example, when supply fulfillment successes are achieved, break/fix service can be added; once supply and service fulfillment is accomplished, device management can begin.
 
Device management will have its own set of benchmarks; consolidating the imaging fleet, replace older, or removing unnecessary machines will take time.  And over time, a consolidated printer fleet will result in a reduction in print output --- and in the end, investment in supplies and service will be reduced.
 
All of the above can only be brought about after the original MPS business review is held and follow up occurs.  Follow up reviews are the essential final steps in the success of any MPS business review process.
 
… In Summary
 
The managed print services review process strengthens business partnerships when they are conducted as benefits to the customer.  Good reviews take time, with better reviews encompassing all aspects of the print environment.  The MPS business review process should lead to tighter control of primary print costs:
  • Supply
  • Service
  • Equipment
Facilitated by the dealership’s MPS Specialist, the MPS business review should involve both the customer’s and business machine provider’s stakeholders as final outcome will affect both businesses’ bottom lines.  The success of the recommended improvements depends on involvement and buy-in from all parties.
 
Finally, implementation can only be measured with follow up.  The MPS business review may not be a simple task, but in the end is a crucial piece to an ongoing and flourishing business relationship.
 
 
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.

   

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