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Thursday, December 12, 2013

BIX Show Education Session: What Business Are You In?

Afternoon session #2 features "The Two Kevins." (Any of you remember the Two Coreys from the 90s? I don't know them well enough to know if they are anything like The Two Coreys, but.....)  Business owners will be interested in this presentation because these two are living in managed print services/document management and have been for many years.

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What Business Are You In?
Presented By: Kevin DeYoung (Qualpath) & Kevin Morris (One Doc Management Print Services)

The agony of MPS is that it's maturing, margins are eroding and prints are going away. Those pesky
tablets are taking over the universe. However, these two have been experiencing increases margins and company growth. It's about continually getting better at what you do. They focus on SMB accounts who aren't very quick to adapt to paperless office and other trends where printing would be declining.  Things are growing right now, but as Generation Y begins owning more businesses, then we will need to adapt our programs in the future.

According to the Kevins, the most important part of their success is selling to SMB, and always selling to the C-Level management (CFO, etc).  They consider their product a financial sale, and not a transactional sale. They don't involve the IT department.  You have to make sure the customer understands this is Managed Print Services, not just print services. True MPS provides optimization, redeployment along with the print services side of the transaction. It's not about cost per page. The reps are educated on financial statements so they understand what cash flow is and how MPS impacts that cash flow, profit and loss statements, etc.  They want to a business partner, not a vendor.  Delivering a quarterly report to them about their usage and changes they might need is a key part of the partnership.

The progression of a true MPS solution is important. Most companies just stop at the first stage: Control. It's important that companies provide the optimization, ongoing management and provide the enhancement opportunities to the program. For more information about how to properly sell the program, they recommend the MPSA (Managed Print Services Association).

The theory of MPS is very mature, but the execution of the program type is not mature.  The Kevins disagree with many of the professionals in the industry in believing MPS is not a mature service offering. Today, the industry has called MPS "dead" or "declining." However, they aren't accepting that information, as they have experiences to the contrary.

Kevin Morris's  success comes from his business model that boasts never keeping stock at his office. His staff is simply one admin person and as many sales people as he could hire. He takes advantage of direct shipping whenever possible, and stocks no hardware or supplies.  He uses outside companies for support or technicians.  He uses an efficient model that boasts reoccurring revenue without having to tie up his funds in hardware or supplies.  He's a big believer in outsourcing.

Their advice is to go into the MPS business with your eyes wide open! There are many questions you have to answer, and many different ways to set up your business. It has to be something that you've thought through to avoid any pitfalls that would prevent you from delivering long-term benefits to your customers.

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