Updated: Jun 5, 2019
How Managed Print Solutions Moves You in the Right Direction
Imagine you’re a successful printer service dealer with about $5 million in total revenue and 5 technicians who serve a broad geographic area. You’ve done well. But you don’t know how to grow beyond where you are today. So you invest in what you think is the answer to your future: a full blown print management program.
After plopping down $100,000 plus the salaries of all those involved, you start the sales cycle. Six months later, you realize that there are more hurdles here than you bargained for – the sales cycle is extremely long, the product is complex and nothing helps you close the deal. After another year goes by, you finally admit it:
Should you wipe the slate clean and start with a whole new MPS software program? Not so fast. A workshop full of professional tools does not make you a master carpenter. A kitchen outfitted with chef-grade cookware does not make you a chef. And having Windows 2010 servers does not make you Microsoft.
Likewise, buying the right print management software isn’t the final step toward achieving the benefits of print management.
If you’re like many companies, you headed down the print management path, and then stopped short.
Sales are stagnant and the staff is more confused than ever. And you’ve asked, “Did we choose the wrong software?” Perhaps. But before you change course, many companies who invest in print management software fail to take the necessary steps to leverage it, They neglect proper planning, lack a business strategy and forget to integrate with IT.
They end up with a really robust tool that essentially sits un-used or under-leveraged. As long as your software is the right choice for you, success may be right around the corner and that learning from your missteps could be the first step in the right direction for your program.
Roadmap to Avoid Common Missteps Simply put, all print management programs that die on the vine start with a failure to plan or a failure to communicate. To break it down further, the most common missteps occur in one or more of the following areas: Planning, Documentation, IT Involvement or Follow Through.
Never forget that the print management program you’ve chosen for your business is a revenue-generating system. Despite how you market the program to your customers, any program that you’ve developed to add value, drive product sales or ensure customer retention is directly tied to revenue and should take priority when you integrate.
There are a lot of print management programs out there and each one will have a unique method of integrating into your current infrastructure. You need to understand the unique integration needs of your software.
Managed Print Services MPS Mistake 1:
Failing to Plan
Step Back to Move Forward: Re-approach and re-plan the program.
It’s been said that, “No one plans to fail. They fail to plan.” It’s no small task to re-approach and re-plan your program. But it can immediately shift your organization in the right direction.
First, don’t assume anything. Question everything. Create a proper plan, document it and communicate it to your team. When everyone clearly understands where you’re going and how things will be done, they become integration assets.
Remember that your greatest resources will be the champions of the program that truly embrace and understand it.
Managed Print Services Mistake 2:
Lack of Proper Documentation
Step Back to Move Forward: Re-document your structure and your success. One of the hallmarks of successful organizations is a solid structure with a well-documented foundation or framework that they can examine and improve upon. It doesn’t mean they don’t change. It means they keep track of what changed, what worked and what didn’t.
So should you. Re-examine what you’re doing and what you’ve done in the past to be successful. Then use it to your advantage when it comes to IT integration.
For example, have you got every process and procedure nailed down and documented within your organization, as well as how it’s impacted by your print management software? If not, you may have just identified your problem, and can take a step back to move forward and fix it.
Some of the biggest documentation mistakes companies make include rushing, having no documentation at all, or failing to make their program a part of the business and documenting how this will happen.