Is your definition of MPS getting in the way of new business opportunities?
17 February 2016 | IT Admin
The MPSA (www.yourmpsa.org) defines MPS as: the active management and optimization of business processes related to documents and information, including input and output devices. It’s important to revisit this definition periodically and ask what it means to your dealership. I talk to dealers on a daily basis, and my sense is that MPS has taken many of them away from some of their core competencies. Regional dealers have an amazing business opportunity today, one they are uniquely positioned to “own” in their marketplace. That place is the intersection between the mega trends of buy local and E-commerce. But it may require redefining who your ideal customer is.
The MPSA definition is fine, but it might exclude smaller businesses from your strike zone. Small Business; sub 30 employee organizations, are the single biggest opportunity for dealers today. Yet if a business only has a handful of devices and prints less than 10,000 pages per month, they are easy to ignore. How can you justify going after that business? The cost of acquiring may be more than the opportunity when you consider sales expenses and time. Yet these businesses are where all the growth is. 63% of all job growth since 1993 has come from this segment. There are 28.2 million small businesses in America. That’s a lot on printers. That’s a lot of ink and toner. That’s a lot of opportunity.
Bigger businesses are great, but that space is crowded. If you have been successful at it, keep on working it. There is no conflict with smaller businesses. The conflict can arise when we employ the same tactics to land SMB customers as we do with larger clients. There is not a lot to optimize or manage. The business process may not need optimizing. So to an SMB, managing their print may just be about helping them get toner into their machines, or service when they break, or a new machine when they grow or the old one breaks. Can we still call that MPS? I think so.
But all those transactions can destroy profit margins. The secret here is in automation. Let these customers order their own supplies and hardware. Just make sure they order it from you. Here’s where e-commerce comes in. Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce will account for over 20% of all sales by 2019. Is it time to start planning for how to take part in that business? Amazon is getting it. They are hitting these SMBs hard. Your dealership has some things Amazon does not. You’re local. You have feet on the street. You have subject matter expertise. You have remote monitoring, and can notify the customer when they need supplies, service or new hardware. What you may not have, is an e-commerce website that ties all of this together.
Being a viable player in your local SMB market now means e-commerce. The good news is: ITS NEITHER EXPENSIVE, DIFFICULT OR TIME CONSUMING TO MIGRATE TO AN E-COMMERCE WEBSITE. That’s what my company does. It can also integrate your remote monitoring investment into an Amazon and Staples killer.
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About the Author
Norm McConkey has been involved in the print, imaging, and software/tech business since 1993. Holding executive level positions in a number of emerging technology firms, he founded PrintFleet in 2003, and Tangent MTW in 2009. A founding member of the MPSA, an award winning author and presenter, Norm has spoken at various industry events around the world including the Lyra Imaging Symposium, Photizo confernece, ITEX Tradeshow, Regional BTA conferences, Remax Europe, and World Expo. He has been contracted to consult and build go to market and sales training programs with several OEM manufacturers such as Canon USA, and HP, and distributors such as Parts Now and Supplies Network, as well Resellers including Office Depot. Norm’s current project, MPSToolbox (www.mpstoolbox.com), is a software platform which helps technology dealers develop and maintain e-commerce websites.