Managed Print Guru

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MPS Service: SLAs

Service is the KEY to MPS

            Hardware, software, consumables, and supplies are some of the main components of MPS, but if you don’t provide good service, nothing else matters.  To make sure your MPS Company has GREAT customer relationships, you must have flexible service level agreements (SLA) during the length of the agreement.  Flexible SLAs are essential to MPS.   Service and technology are always changing, you must be able to adapt for your customer.

5 Keys for MPS SLA

1.  MPS SLAs should promote risk as well as reward sharing between both the provider and customer.

2.  An effective SLA can make sure that MPS provider is helping his or her customer meet or surpass their strategic goals.  Meeting or surpassing the company’s strategic goals means that productivity will be up.

 3.  There should be metrics in place that measure if the SLA is meeting the customer‘s productivity needs and strategic goals.  One easy way to measure if a SLA is meeting the customer’s requirements is by measuring device uptime.

 4.  MPS customers must make sure the SLA meets their needs:  (hours of service, problem resolution time, etc.)

 5.  SLA should be flexible to allow for new technology to be integrated into the agreement without changing the   whole agreement.  Amendments should be able to be made.

These are just 5 key items MPS providers and customer should think about when crafting a MPS SLA.  Service the key to MPS, without good service a MPS provider is not a true MPS provider and a company is back to square one.

Cheers,

MPG

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May 11, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors | 1 Comment

MPS Article of the day: “Considering Managed Print Services? IDC MarketScape Finds Xerox A Leader”

This article comes from Forbes.com  It can also be found on Managed Print Service Association  Please read this article it has some good nuggets of information for picking which MPS solution is right for your organization as well as is it tells MPS providers what they need to be doing to get business.

Great READ!

Considering Managed Print Services? IDC MarketScape Finds Xerox A Leader

Cheers,

 MPG

May 7, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Reviews | Leave a comment

MPS: How much will we save? How Much will it cost? How long until we a profit?

Over the past few weeks many C-Level Executives have told me that anytime a solution is pitched to them they always ask three questions:

1.  How much will we save?

2.  How much will it cost?                                                                    

3.  How long until we see a profit?

C-Level Executives want to see your assessment in quick and precise bullet points and a cost-benefit analysis.  Cost-benefit analysis means MPS providers must communicate to C-Level Executives in DOLLARS.  According to www.entrepreneur.com  a cost-benefit analysis is “a process by which you weigh expected costs against expected benefits to determine the best (or most profitable) course of action.”  C-Level Executives don’t want to see the current cost and proposed savings, they need to see a true cost-benefit analysis.  Now a cost-benefit analysis doesn’t have to be difficult, but if a MPS provider takes time to demonstrate a cost-benefit analysis to their clients, one week decision will be whittled down to one or two days, GUARANTEED. 

Here is what a MPS cost-benefit analysis needs to look like:

1.  Net Present Value (NPV):  NPV is a way to analyze the profitability of the proposed MPS solution.  Basically, it is defined as the future benefits and costs of the MPS solution converted into today’s dollar value. 

2. Return on Investment (ROI): ROI compares one investment over other investments demonstrated in a percentage or ratio.  This the easiest calculation to do, so it should always be in a MPS proposal.

3.  Internal Rate of Return (IRR): This calculations tells the C-Level Executives whether the MPS solution is a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.”  A positive NPV (greater than $0) indicates your MPS solution is a benefit to the company, but if your solution demonstrates a negative NPV, than your MPS solution is not going to be implemented.  The formal definition is the rate of discount on a MPS solution that equates the present value of the MPS solution’s costs with the present value of the MPS solution’s benefits.

Now I have tried to illustrate to many MPS providers that a great cost-benefit analysis seals the deal, but they always say its overkill to what they are trying to sell.  If you have read my past post about “KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE,” a cost-benefit analysis is need when selling to C-Level Executives.  If you are selling MPS and the decision maker is not a C-Level Executive than maybe a cost-benefit analysis is need, BUT  at least show a ROI.  If you are truly selling MPS than you are taking to the decision makers, which are CFOs, CEOs, and CIOs, and they need to see cost-benefit analysis.

Give a proposal to a C-Level Executive without a cost-benefit analysis and give another proposal to a C-Level Executive with a cost-benefit analysis and 9 times out of 10, you will get a decision faster from a the C-Level Executive who the cost-benefit analysis is in his or her proposal. 

A cost-benefit analysis illustrates “how much will we save? How much will it cost? How low until a profit? Show this and get the contracts ready.

Cheers,

MPG

May 7, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Marketing Tips, Sales Tips Of The Day | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day

InfoTrends study discovered companies that implement a managed print services strategy saved an average of 20% on their office printing.”

March 23, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors | Leave a comment

A Great Rules Based Printing Solution: Print Audit

 

“The key to print management is winning the hearts and minds of your people who are making the decision to print.  Print Rules have proven to be the most effective way to engage your people in the process of reducing the cost and impact of printing.” – Print Audit

         This quote comes from Print Audit; a print management solution company that helps companies save money and reduce waste, thru rules based printing.  Print Audit offers a great product by allowing companies to shift prints to lower cost devices, set print quotas, automate double-sided printing, validate and restrict printer usage, and generate revenue thru charge backs.

 Some of Print Audit’s rules based printing solutions are demonstrated below: 

      

                                     

Print Audit is easy to use and will work on virtually any Windows Operating system including Windows 7 and the minimum requirements for hosting the database and communicator is any Windows 2000 computer or better.  It is also supports MAC tracking with a Client for MAC OS 10.39 and up.  I don’t think get allow the same reporting features on MAC systems, but please check with Print Audit because I am not 100% sure.  There really are very minimal requirements to run Print Audit’s software.  

            Finally, if you are sold on wanting to use Print Audit for your company or be a dealer and represent it, Print Audit guarantees that their software will pay for itself in less than 1 year and if it doesn’t Print Audit will refund your purchase. What do you have to lose?  Check out Print Audit, www.printaudit.com

Cheers,

MPG

March 20, 2010 Posted by | Info for IT Directors, Reviews | 2 Comments

Go GREEN with Managed Print Services

 

 

A top initiative for many companies today is Going GREEN.  Managed Print Services allows a lot companies to reach the initiative of going GREEN.  There are four keys to look at when you and your company are going GREEN:

1.  Carbon footprint size and power consumption

2.  Paper consumption

3.  Other consumables consumption

4.  Obsolete equipment management

Going GREEN can be a top initiative, but if you don’t Monitor, Measure, and Manage you and your company that are not truly going  GREEN.  A great website to use to measure your initiative is HP’s Carbon Footprint Calculator.  This calculator help you measure to see which MPS solution will help you reach your GO GREEN initiative.  To Manage and Monitor your initiative, look at PrintAudit.  They have great software to do this.  For more information HP’s Carbon Footprint Calculator and PrintAudit, please see the links below. 

Cheers,

MPG

www.hp.com/large/ipg/ecological-printing-solutions/carbon-footprint-calc.html

www.printaudit.com

February 22, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors | Leave a comment

Print Management Solutions: FM Audit & PrintFleet

              Managed Print Services is a great program for every business, but a lot of sales reps don’t know how to sell it.  They try to sell it like they sell copiers and that is NOT how you sell MPS.  MPS is not about the equipment, it is about the knowledge you are going to give your client and the headaches you are going to take away for your client.  The knowledge starts with the monitoring software aka DCA (data collection agent).  There are a wealth of print management solutions on the market with the leading third-party names encompassing FMAudit, Print Audit, and PrintFleet.   Add to that a handful of smaller providers as well as solutions like Xerox’s Page Pack, HP’s WebJet Admin, and Toshiba’s Encompass.  I have had experience with all of them, but it comes collecting data, two stand out. 

            I prefer FM Audit and PrintFleet.  Both are very easy to load, but FM Audit does a better job at monitoring and they have a great solution for picking up location devices.  PrintFleet says they will have a better solution for picking up rabbit devices in about a month.  When it comes to reporting,  PrintFleet definitely has better reporting.  There are so many more reports you can customize with Printfleet and really give your customer what they want.   Both solutions have the USB keys and they are both good, but real MPS sellers can get the software loaded server onto the a prospective client before he or she starts an assessment demonstrates they come from true MPS company.  Both of these solutions have great software and I would recommend to any MPS dealer. 

            If you are an IT director of a company, I would definitely recommend either DCA for your network because they are both safe and reliable.  Also, if you have an MPS company doing an assessment for your company allow them to load the software because it will allow them to demonstrate real information to you.  The USB keys only illustrate a little knowledge of what these DCA can really do.  To learn more about these two companies and what else they have offer, check out their websites below.

         www.fmaudit.com Home

www.printfleet.com PrintFleet Logo

Cheers,

MPG

February 20, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors, Software Tips | Leave a comment

Dear Business Owner: Is MPS right for you?

Jim Joyce, a Xerox Senior VP wrote a great article on the topic of MPS and if it right for your business.    He illustrates 6 key points, which I feel demonstrate why MPS is a great program for any type business. 

1. “Will this effort truly deliver a defined and hard dollar return on investment?”  Depending on your business and how you have been controlling your output devices, you should see a 15% – 30% savings on your bottom line when it comes to your output devices.  Don’t BE FOOLED by a big savings upfront because a good MPS provider and solution should CONTROL your bottom line during the length of the agreement. 

2. “Are you benefiting from your current investments?”  You need to define your current costs and take a deep-dive into your current output devices.  Does your current environment and fleet meet all your needs?  Will your new fleet keep up with your five-year plan.  Your equipment has a huge play on your business processes and you must make sure your equipment can keep up with your processes.  This is KEY. 

3. “Can your technology keep up?”   Your MPS provider must adapt to your company and help you streamline your business processes and improve workflow as your business changes.   Business changes all the time, your MPS solution needs to also.   MPS must IMPROVE your business as well as adapt. 

4. “Does your print infrastructure support other company objectives?” MPS is NOT only about saving money and improving workflow, but it can be about other initiatives within your company like going green, or going paperless.  One customer I work with less month wanted to recycle cartridges and donate money to a local hospital for every time they saved paper.   So we built a solution to control their paper usage and improve their status within the community.  MPS providers should adapt to your needs and objectives.

5. “Does downtime cost you?”  MPS providers need to look at your costs especially at hidden costs like IT downtime and outsourced work when devices are down.  These costs effect the bottom and these costs need to be found and illustrated during the current costs. 

6. “Do you have more important things to focus on than print?”  Jim Joyce says it the best: “The first step is to see your print infrastructure as a means of leveraging new sources of value.”

For Jim complete article:  http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9595_22-270560.html

Cheers,

MPG

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors | Leave a comment

IT Director, CEO, CFO: What makes a good MPS assessment for your Company?

Attention: IT Director, CFO, CEO

A good Managed Print Services provider should provide your company with a good assessment, which includes enough information to help your company control your costs and improve workflow.  Here are 5 areas GREAT MPS providers will illustrate during their assessment, and if they don’t show them the door.

1.  Devices – Who owns the output infrastructure?  Not just the printers… think about the copiers, multifunction devices, fax machines, scanners, etc. 

2.  Supplies –  This is a huge area of cost!  Buying toner cartridges for multiple incompatible devices, associated inventory costs as well as administrative time spent ordering all contribute NEGATIVELY to the overall cost.

3.  Management Process – In most companies  there are multi-vendors with a variety of service contracts and uncoordinated leases.

4.  Hidden Costs – Managing multiple service contracts and training users on a wide variety of equipment is time-consuming and costly and MPS providers should know how to control these costs.

5.  Environment – No two businesses are the same, make sure a MPS vendor doesn’t try to change your environment or your workflow to something that doesn’t work for you.  They need to learn your business and workflow before they can give you advice and this should during reviews once an agreement is made, NOT during the assessment.  Environment changes come during an MPS agreement, not during an assessment!

Remember not all assessments are created equal; if you have questions about an assessment that a vendor is doing for your company and want help, contact the Managed Print Guru @ managedprintguru@gmail.com for help.

Cheers,

MPG

February 15, 2010 Posted by | Info for CEOs & CFOs, Info for IT Directors | Leave a comment