Most of the companies setting up an MPS program do not build plans to extract the full benefit from having on-line information about the printing behavior of its customers. No matter what the size of the company is, ignoring this data will relegate this company to a second or third level position in the market for the coming years, or even forever.
There are multiple reasons why a company should analyze the data from its customers. This task should be part of a well-planned metamorphosis of the activity of moving from a transactional business into a service business. This article reviews the advantages of addressing an MPS strategy with a 360 degree view of the organization.
Managing the printers with a system that collects and processes the usage data accurately, like Nubeprint, has big advantages for the dealer. The first and most evident is to build the cost per page invoice that the customer demands. Please keep in mind that the customer is the only one that benefits from this. A cost per page invoice protects the customer from all the risks associated with the variable costs related to printing. Cartridges replaced early by the user, cartridges lost somewhere in the company before reaching the printer, inability to control the local stock of supplies are just a few reasons why the customer wants to get a fixed cost per page. When the customer pays per page, “the customer’s problem”, the real excess of toner that the customer incurs is no more. This excess of toner is now fully funded by the dealer.
Automatic Order Fulfillment.
The Automatic order fulfillment (AOF) protects the dealer from the excess of deliveries. AOF is the capacity to accurately identify on time the supply needs of each printer, and consequently ship in a controlled manner. AOF is only possible if the dealer can define the days in advance as to when the MPS system will notify the dealer of the pending need for toner, and if the notifications are accurate (meaning not duplicated, nor false). AOF also benefits the customer: he is free from the responsibility to trigger any need of supply, because his dealer does it proactively. The customer employees can then focus on their duties, knowing that the printer is always ready to print.
There is a long list of collateral advantages caused by AOF that have a direct influence on different areas of the dealer or distributor.
AOF is being efficient.
First of all, as the orders are processed automatically, the order processing desk can be resized. The MPS system linked to the ERP (as for example using Nubeprint Universal Connector) streamlines the whole process error free. Nothing can be more efficient than this. The need of the printer is automatically identified, completed by the MPS system who instructs the ERP, processed by the ERP that generates the delivery note for the warehouse to ship. Simple, instant, accurate and efficient.
But Nubeprint MPS predictability engine goes far beyond that: it forecasts what each customer will need in the coming months. The dealer knows in advance his needs of stock. He then uses this information to size the warehouse so that it matches the actual selling needs. No more excess stock, nor shortage. As a consequence, the warehouse turnover accelerates. Now well managed, the dealer could even get rid of it, or relegate it to a shipping gate: out from one truck, into the shipping van without even touching the warehouse shelves. This is lean management applied to distribution.
Sales management needs feedback information. Sales want to confirm that the signed contract is making the expected returns. They want to know if the customer is replacing the toners right on time or if the customer is throwing away their toner. What is the real coverage? Are there opportunities to sell new printers by replacing inadequate ones?
MPS implies managing the account to maximize the relationship with the customer. Gaining more money is a consequence of it. A business intelligence tool is designed to extract the best from an MPS infrastructure. But it is limited to the data available. Most of the existing MPS tools in the market have huge accuracy problems. A clear symptom of an inadequate MPS tool is constant false toner alerts. If the BI tool can’t count on accurate data, it is useless to have it. This is where a tool like Nubeprint shows how powerful it is. A BI tool connected to Nubeprint using the universal connector helps the dealer identify new business opportunities. Another common error made is to use the ERP as the source of data for BI: the ERP only controls deliveries, not their usage. It cannot be the source of data for management decisions other than what it has been designed for.
Earn Value analysis.
But the circle would not be closed if there was no earn value analysis of the MPS business to determine which printers the dealer is making or losing money on and by how much and why? Is the dealer getting the performance he initially expected from the supplies he buys? Do the cartridges last the published yield? Are they causing an increase of technical issues in the printer? How does a toner reference perform compared to others? Any dealer owner managing 1000+ devices should be asking these questions to his team, as this is what drives his future opportunities. The answer to these questions is the content of the strategy around MPS.
MPS is just not simply billing pages. MPS is managing the printers of the customer and all the resources needed. When a customer signs a cost per page contract, he outsources the management of the printers, supplies and services to the dealer. It is the greatest opportunity for the latter to improve its infrastructure, reduce its costs and improve the flow of information to sell more. This is what MPS 360 is. This is what a thoroughly planned MPS infrastructure brings to the dealer, the distributor, the MSP or the OEM