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, US Channels Unit, MPS for Xerox, explains that “true MPS” is different than 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 service,” says Joyce. “MPS goes well beyond CPC and offers extended value in the areas of 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 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 that you 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 still operating profitably. “Owners can be successful when they make the commitment to have their teams properly trained, have resources available and maintain 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 service, but your technicians and sales team may not have the training to successfully use their skills to provide managed print services. 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 hire from outside — who has the desire, skills and commitment to learn MPS and become trained and certified. To be successful in MPS requires more than a part-time effort and 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 training and support they need. 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 you 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 paying for unexpected repair costs. It can also give your business the opportunity to sell complementary offerings such as security solutions and analytics. Beyond building a monthly recurring revenue stream with those services that breaks the cycle of your company trying to cover expenses month to month, MPS may also be the key to keeping your business competitive as more of your clients advance their digital transformation initiatives.
To reap the greatest benefits from providing MPS, however, you need to implement the right business model and processes and invest in a skilled, well-trained staff.