Managed Print Basics – Becoming an MPS Champion …

Training People to Achieve Print Management Success
 
EDITOR’S NOTE – This post is updated for 2017 and is a requested re-blog of a popular topic.  We will be back with a new post soon.
 
Selling vs Delivering.pngAhhh … Springtime … When a young man’s fancy turns to turns to … print management … Wait, what???
 
Here in North America, Spring is just around the corner … already many of us are seeing happy signs: robins are returning from their Winter retreat, snow piles are melting (albeit slowly in some places), temperatures are climbing out of the deep freeze, grass is greening and baseball players are returning to Cactus and Citrus League Spring Training camps in Arizona and Florida.
 
I mention baseball because each year, players participate in the time-honored ritual of Spring Training; it’s been around nearly since the sport’s inception.  Even the repeating World Champion Chicago Cubs are going back to camp to limber up and relearn the basics of how to catch, hit, run, slide, and throw.
 
Why shouldn’t we in the imaging industry take a page from professional playbook and brush up on our MPS knowledge once a year?  Is it too much to ask our people to go back and review their MPS knowledge?  Are we positive our people are doing the “right stuff” and are presenting programs to the best of their ability?
 
“Back-to-Basics” Print Management Training
 
Just like baseball players, people involved with MPS have different skill sets and experience levels:
  • Some might be “rookies”; people new to the MPS team
  • Others might be new to their “positions”; transitioning from other departments or have been assigned new responsibilities
  • New “players” might be seasoned MPS veterans; but are coming to the team from a competitor’s organization
  • Last year’s “teammates” may need to stretch out and “brush up” on their techniques
In short, everyone benefits from back-to-basics training.  Putting the customer first so the business can provide cost effective services should be a common goal of any business effort.  The key then is to present the curriculum in such a way that everyone on the team improves their skill set.
 
MPS Instruction and Resources
 
Just like a baseball team, the dealership has diversity in its MPS players.  To get the team into “playing” condition, MPS training should be facilitated by qualified “coaches”:
  • Dealership principles
  • The dealership’s OEMs
  • The dealership’s MPS software provider’s training and support staff
  • Imaging industry MPS training professionals contracted by the dealership
  • The dealership’s trainers and/or MPS staff members
  • The dealership’s parts supplier
  • Imaging industry MPS tool provider’s training staff contracted by the dealership
 
Dealership management should take into account their team members’ abilities and determine where training can most impact the bottom line.  Consider the following groups when scheduling MPS training:
  • The business’s management team
  • Service managers and staff including:
    • Field technicians
    • IT staff
    • Help desk staff
    • Dispatchers
  • Accounting managers and staff including:
    • Data management staff
    • Meter and accounting staff
    • Software users and administrators
 
  • Sales managers and staff including:
    • Account administrators
    • MPS professionals
    • Sales professionals (inside and outside)
    • Supply fulfillment and sales staff
  • Public relations including:
    • Media officer
    • Reception staff
In smaller dealerships and businesses, people may wear multiple hats and the training may require extensive involvement over multiple sessions.  In larger dealerships training topics can be focused to specific individuals through several targeted sessions.
 
In addition to people, management should ensure the proper “equipment” is in place.  Everything must be ready for successful implementation of the MPS program.  Resources may include:
  • USB keys for software installation or data storage
  • Help desk checklists
  • MPS contracts for service
  • MPS Support documentation
  • Website links for fast software download are working
  • MPS sales checklists
  • MPS contracts for sales
  • MPS contracts for supply fulfillment
Basic MPS Training Topics
 
Training for the dealership staff will vary depending on the dealership’s MPS offering and staff member skill sets.  Smaller dealerships or businesses offering limited MPS such as Supply Fulfillment or Break/Fix Service, may find that a simple data gathering overview might be sufficient.
 
Basic training may center on how the data gathering software is deployed and what deployment options are available.  Deployment training should also include a discussion about company and industry compliancy and how to overcome common deployment objections. 
 
Training may also include a segment on software configuration so that the data collected will be routed to individuals or team members for appropriate action.  Most data gathering software allows installation configuration and management of reporting schedules and the ability to activate/deactivate alert settings.  Administrators should be comfortable with this process.
 
Discussions should include the service staff as it is a perfect time to talk about alerts and alert management.  Good training promotes natural exchanges between helpdesk coordinators, account managers and business administrators; in short, everyone responsible for device management, report generation and data analysis.
 
Conclude basic MPS training sessions with short segments on where to find support documentation and where to get quick personal support.  Better solution purveyors offer instructional videos and one-on-one product support with simple phone conversations or direct conversations with engineering staff.
 
Advanced MPS Training
 
For larger businesses and for dealers offering advanced MPS including Supply Fulfillment PLUS Break/Fix Service; Supply and Break/Fix Fulfillment PLUS Equipment Management; Supply and Break/Fix Fulfillment, Equipment Management, and more … an across-the-board approach may be required.
 
Advanced training may begin with basic training for the management staff … like in baseball where managers and coaches report to training camp early so everyone can be on the same page when the players arrive.
 
Dealership Management Team training may begin with a “30,000 foot overview” and include training for:
  • Access points to information
  • A high level Service Info Viewer overview
  • How to access MPS and ERP reporting
  • How to ensure accounts are being well managed
  • A high level Meter Viewer overview
  • How to access eLearning, ePortal and other CRM tools
Focused deployment training for field technicians, IT staff, and service managers may include:
  • Deployment training videos
  • Download of collection software from providers’ website
  • Download from custom dealer branded deployment link
  • Scheduling deployment assistance with the customer and the MPS dealer’s software provider
  • Overcoming deployment objections
  • Installing from USB keys or thumb drives
  • Installation configuration
  • Advanced deployment for locally connected devices
Focused training for sales staff, MPS specialists, MPS data management and sales managers may include:
  • MPS presentation / MPS delivery
  • Collection software overview
  • Deployment options
  • Data management
  • Volume analysis reporting and data management
  • eLearning access
Help desk, supply sales and service and support team training topics may be made up of:
  • Account configuration for alert management
  • Changing settings for device management
  • Supply sales quote generation and management
  • eLearning access
Focused training for office and accounting staff
  • Account cleanup / Updating outdated installations
  • Meter report scheduling
  • Device editing, classification and management
  • Configuration of email recipients and scheduled reports
  • Meter reports and report management
  • Scan counter management
  • eLearning access
  • Managing/restoring non-reporting accounts
  • “One–Click” Deployment to restore account reporting
  • USB key setup for on-location deployment
  • ERP training for accounting staff
  • Data Processor reporting
  • Updating billing database with meter reads
  • Linking the data to the appropriate devices
… In Summary
 
While there really is no “season” to help customers save money, annual MPS training, conducted at regular intervals can elevate the dealership’s MPS performance to that of Championship caliber.  The MPS provider’s management team should take control of their MPS program, outline training needs, assemble the resources and training coaches, then develop and implement the MPS education plan.  Those willing to learn and apply the fundamentals are in far better positions to anticipate and overcome challenges as they arise.
 
While there are many print management topics to cover, training resources abound for businesses in the MPS arena.  Some MPS service providers can look internally and rely on their own professionally trained staff.  Others can call upon their software providers to present solid product knowledge.  OEMs and parts suppliers can also be vital resources as can imaging industry professional services providers and trainers.
 
By defining specific goals, management can then coach their teams to achieve positive results.  To be successful, effort must be made and time must be taken to teach and learn what is needed.  Once the basics are covered and training complete, the knowledge gained can be put to into practice.
 
A wise mentor once told me … You can learn everything there is to know about any given subject, but until you go out and apply what you’ve learned, you’ll be no better off than someone who knows nothing.
 
Put together an annual MPS training curriculum that addresses and promotes your MPS program.  Gather the trainees and assemble instructors.  Help the participants absorb the material and understand how to use the tools available.  Then get the MPS team out there, coach them to apply what they’ve learned.  Encourage them to hit MPS out of the park and drive revenue to the bottom line … making champions of us all.
 
 
 
Written by Brian Dawson, Sales and Marketing Director, Print Tracker, LLC
 
Brian is a productivity specialist, sales coach, mentor, and offers managed print solutions world-wide with Print Tracker software.

   

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