Across the board, the last 20 months have been tough on IT service providers. Office printing is down, but managed print has cratered. Why was it more vulnerable than other segments, and where should MPS-heavy resellers go from here?
As workers everywhere left their offices and headed for their home office, printers stopped.
- If you had a model where customers could buy printers and supplies transactionally, you experienced a temporary boom.
- If you had a traditional A3 model where equipment was financed and even had a minimum volume, you still turned over some revenue, albeit smaller. You also experienced a bit of an uptick as the leases continued to “end” and either new equipment replaced old, or leases were extended.
- If you had an MPS model, it was disastrous. Pages were your revenue. The MPS business model fought against the folly of transactional sales, so no supplier could take you seriously when months into the pandemic you scrambled for an offering to customers.
In those precious few months, your customers found out a few things about printing—it's not that complicated to order supplies and hardware online. Also, you found out the weakness of MPS is that when customers don’t print, you get nothing.
Even with all this, there remains huge inertia behind the idea of MPS. People continue to point to seat-based billing models, or new variants of MPS that are better and easier to sell. I am not one of those people. The market for MPS is a lot smaller than it was. It is no longer a good solution for businesses with less than 50 employees—it's too cumbersome. What finance folks call the TAM—Total Addressable Market, has shrunk. Adding ANOTHER variant to a shrinking market, doesn't increase its size. Rather, it makes it EVEN LESS compelling.
I think MPS is now a bad idea. It's been a bad idea for over a decade. It is a sales model that emerged before e-commerce was established. Some resellers rail against e-commerce and promote MPS as almost a religion. A belief structure that everyone in a company must adhere to.
Stop investing in the sales and marketing infrastructure that supports such a bad idea. Your customers don’t want a needs analysis and a business proposal that is based on false premises.
- Print is hard to manage (it's not).
- You spend a lot of money on print (they don’t).
- Printers are mission critical to your business (not really).
- Printers break down a lot (do they?)
- You need MPS (or, do YOU, dealer, need MPS?)
Spend your resources where all these businesses went during COVID: online. Diversify outside of MPS—you won’t regret it.
Contact us for a demo today. We can get your e-commerce site up and running quickly and efficiently.