Selling managed print services (MPS) can result in substantial benefits for your business, including recurring revenue, stronger customer relationships, and the opportunity to provide complementary solutions and services. But to sell managed print, you need the right business model, training, and resources.
Jim Joyce, Vice President, NA Channels MPS and Innovation for Xerox, explains that “true MPS” differs from selling cost per copy (CPC), which some providers call MPS. “A true MPS offering is a financial model used to acquire print technology and associated supplies and services,” says Joyce. “MPS goes beyond CPC and offers extended value in print and document security, cost savings, environmental impact, employee productivity, and workflow automation. MPS also bridges the physical and digital worlds, helping companies transform their operations.”
Managed Print Services are Managed Services
If your business primarily sells copiers and printers and provides services on a break-fix basis, selling managed print will require changes throughout your business — from the top down. “Success in the expansion to MPS from the traditional copier/printer and the cost-per-print world is the outcome of a full and dedicated commitment by ownership,” says Joyce.
Providing managed print services — or any managed service — requires you to shift your focus from reacting when something goes wrong to monitoring hardware, providing preventive maintenance, offering help from a support desk, and managing consumables purchases. This requires new processes — often supported by automation tools — that enable you to meet the service level you commit to while operating profitably. “Owners can be successful when they commit to training their teams, having resources available, and maintaining a dedicated focus on a formal MPS business,” says Joyce.
A Qualified Team
If you currently provide copiers and printers, your team may have the technical expertise to deploy new equipment, offer technical support and provide repair services. Still, your technicians and sales team may not have the training to use their skills to offer managed print services successfully. Likewise, if you are a managed services provider (MSP), your team may be experienced with providing services via a recurring revenue model, but they may not be trained and experienced in printing systems.
Joyce advises, “To start, identify an MPS subject matter expert – either from within or hired from outside — who has the desire, skills and commitment to learning MPS and becoming trained and certified. Success in MPS requires more than a part-time effort and a casual approach. Success in MPS is based on a series of best practices that are continually employed to drive success. Attempting to move forward without this knowledge and commitment is like a doctor, plumber or lawyer attempting to practice their trade without the proper training, tools and mentorship.”
Your MPS vendor partner can be a valuable resource for getting your team the necessary training and support. Xerox Managed Print Services, for example, offers an extensive MPS accreditation program that includes MPS operations training, consulting training, and sales training. Xerox also offers a 4.5-day training course on innovating on the MPS platform and an ownership forum where participants learn and share best practices. In addition, Xerox Intelligent Workplace Services shows MPS providers how to expand their businesses by leveraging workflow automation, content management and print infrastructure optimization for more efficient and secure workplaces.
The ROI of Managed Print
MPS solutions can help expand your customer base to include businesses with limited in-house IT resources, green initiatives that demand reduced paper consumption, or the need for predictable monthly fees versus unexpected repair costs. It can also allow your business to sell complementary security solutions and analytics offerings. So, besides building a monthly recurring revenue stream and breaking the cycle of trying to cover monthly expenses, MPS may lead to additional digital transformation sales opportunities.
To reap the greatest benefits from providing MPS, you must implement the right business model and processes and invest in skilled, well-trained staff.