Saturday, March 6, 2010

Managed Print Service Poll 50/50

Just about three months ago we launched this poll You're now selling Managed Print Services "Your Thoughts Now" Basically, I was trying to get a handle on if MPS has been successful with MFP dealers. During those three months I had posted a few interm poll stats and found the numbers to be interesting to say the least.

The final poll numbers:

It's been a great success for us 25%
It's been ok for us 26%
It's not reaping the profits we thought it would 36%
If we had to do it over, we would not have gotten into MPS 14%

I'm kinda floored by the results, because everytime you turn around you're either reading something new about MPS or better yet hearing a huge success story. Members told that that this years ITEX was flooded with the MPS theme.

However the poll we ran clearly states that half of the vendors that jumped in are either unhappy with profits or wish they would have never taken on an MPS program. On the flip side the other half is happy with or have touted MPS has a great success!

Why is it that half are successful and half aren't? Are you taking a big gamble by getting into MPS? Is there a flaw somewhere in the business model? I've stated this before, I'm not an MPS expert, however I am an MFP expert and if I keep replacing laser printers with stratically placed MFP's on a cost per page, well I'm doing the same thing right? You could call it an MPP (Managed Page Program)right?

The other day I had a Print4Pay Hotel member on the phone and he stated "dam, I've been doing MPS for years, but we've been doing it with MFPs", I agreed. Personally, MPS is here to stay in some shape of form, is it for every MFP dealer? NO, but with the right base of accounts and knowledgabe experts there are dealers that are very happy that they took MPS on.

The talk track to replace printers with MFP's is more logical, the cost is less per page, page speeds are usually faster and there's many solutions that will enhance work flow with MFP's rather than printers. As the world is turning more towwards a society that is interested in saving resources, MFPS are the clear choice and having millions of stand alone printers clearly churning resources should be a model of the past.

-=Good Selling=-


Greg Walters said...

Art - very interesting poll results.

And I agree.

I have noticed this "bad taste" for about 6-8 months now with dealers who got into MPS.

There are plenty of reasons for this miss-alignment between expectations and results.

You pose three good questions:

Why is it that half are successful and half aren't? The “successful” half are either lucky or lying.

Are you taking a big gamble by getting into MPS? Yes.

Is there a flaw somewhere in the business model? Yes, absolutely

Number One - many STILL do not understand the complexities of a true MPS - You're P4P member's statement illustrates the point - MPS is NOT CPC.

Those who equate the two fail at MPS.

So, what does this mean to the run of the mill, BTA type who've tried MPS but can't do it profitably?

Outside competition - that's what will happen.

If the current channel can't get their head around MPS, perhaps technology VAR's will.

Technology VAR's like EDS, ACS, and Perot - your copiers and printers and the workflow/document flow around them, are connected to the network, their network.

How difficult do you think it will be for them to take over everything, kick those A3's out and replace with a cartridge-based-unit-de-jour? Or better yet, not replace at all.

At 0.0100/B&W.

This poll, although far from scientific, does reflect what is going on.

Deeper reflection exposes the fact that the current BTA-type players are not prepared for or equipped to handle MPS.

Today, MPS means REDUCING the number of machines in field. Of course this mentality is going to meet resistance.

I think you are correct Art, MPS is not going away - I would extend that by adding,

"...MPS is not going away, those who can not provide MPS are going away..."

Lyra revealed some very ominous numbers: by 2013, as the economy will be in recovery mode, our industry will be placing 2 million LESS devices than we were before the crash.

How are we going to handle that?

Great information Art, good job. said...

As Greg says, to be successful over the long term MPS must aim to keep working devices in the field. This is diametrically opposed to the business model of most MFP dealers.

I hear talk of using MPS to gather "critical business data" that can be used to replace printers with "our equipment" the next go around. It has long been the contention in the MFP market that MFP's were cheaper to run than printers. This may be true in the case of inkjet versus laser, but laser to MFP costs are not nearly as easily beat as the MFP dealers have always tried to make their customers believe. This is more and more evident now that the customer does not have to buy new OEM cartridges. Heck even re-manufactured MPS deals can't compete click for click with "drill and fill" toners off of the internet if the customer is willing to put up with "x" percentage of bad toners.

To be successful in MPS you must at the outset position yourself to make a long term business of NOT replacing hardware. You must get it in your head from the start that the reason there are still LaserJet4's in daily use at your customer is because they still work fine 15 YEARS after they were bought. Forget about selling them an MFP on a three year lease, it will never be cheaper than supplies on a working, paid for LaserJet.

The MFP business model has always been designed around putting equipment on lease and churning it for a new box in a few years. The printer market has always been built as a sell the box once and sell supplies forever model. The standard MFP mind set does not work in the printer market.

Art Post said...


Thanx for the comment!

You stated, "but laser to MFP costs are not nearly as easily beat as the MFP dealers have always tried to make their customers believe." I disagree! When you run the cost per page with all consumables in laser printers and the REPLACEMENT cost of these printer (they will not last forever, except for the laserjet IV)MFP's will beat laser printers each and everytime especially when it comes to color! The key as Greg stated is to get them to part with THEIR printer. If you want to talk about NOT buying new OEM cartridges....well this can be done with MFP's also, thus lowering the cost per page on the MFP's.


Old Glory said...

We all agree that your poll is unscientific but we also need to be careful when attributing responses from "sales reps" as being the attitude of the vendors. How many reps are going to answer that "MPS has been great for us" if it hasn't been great for him/her personally?