The “bundlers” model currently being marketed has some customers asking questions. Metrofuser investigated this issue and prepared this article to help educate and inform.
For this article we are going to define bundlers as suppliers that offer Toner, Parts, Printers MPS and other industry related products.
The goal of parts and toner bundlers is to offer a laundry list of “Disneyland” services (some of which will never be used) with the hopes it will overwhelm the decision maker and overtake critical reasoning.
While MPS is an undisputedly viable method of managing and selling services, the execution of locking in a single vendor to provide toner, parts and service may effect your business adversely. Here’s why.
MPS has a substantial learning curve, and requires significant investment of time and money to implement and launch. It is extremely difficult to make changes once started down the path. It is no coincidence that suppliers are trying to bundle parts toner and service to capture/own the customer. Dependence on "bundlers" may lead your organization to compromise quality, free market pricing and service for parts, toner and MPS.
Jack Of All Trades Masters Of None
All vendors have strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to know and operate with the right partners in their sweet spots and avoid the sand traps. The idea that one company can do all these things well is counter factual. One weak or undeveloped tooth on the cog of "bundlers" can jeopardize or bring the whole system down. Poorly remanufactured parts or toner can wreak havoc on the entire system. While MPS is promising it is incidental to the customer. The service, parts and toner you provide are critical to the long term relationship.
Historical Weakness/Threats of The Total Solution Model
Laggards in New Product Development within each cog.
Slow to no improvement to correct original engineering design flaws.
Multi person problem resolution challenges.
Possible abandonment or lagging versions of integrated technology.
Critical breakdowns more likely with over dependence.
Next integration cog may be your industry or your customer.
Layers of management between customer and leadership.
Feeding the Monster
One the largest bundlers entered the printer repair industry in 2015 and is quietly competing with its service company customers. Service companies should consider if they should continue feeding this new competitor exposing their customer database through drop ships and toner and part sku velocity data or break ties, weaken the industry bundlers while developing relationships with the future leaders.
Survival of the fittest. The best in breed model is time tested, proven and typifies the best of free markets. Vendors that under perform can be replaced like a puzzle piece as needed with little disruption to your business. Choice and the ability to pick up and switch is the greatest asset we all have and should be guarded as such.
For service companies that are already deeply intergated Metrofuser may be able to offer a number of soutions to help.