While managed print services’ ability to provide resellers with a recurring revenue stream is well documented, there’s another, less discussed, major benefit says David Borg, Fuji Xerox Printers general manager.
"In a very tight environment like New Zealand, where everyone is looking to acquire customers and one of a reseller’s biggest challenges is protecting their customer base, MPS is a very effective lock-in mechanism,” he says.Fuji Xerox Printers has been piloting its managed print services since July and expects to roll out the offering in New Zealand in October. MPS has been running in Australia for more than two years, and Borg says local implementation of the programme is expected to be quick and painless, given the lessons learned across the Tasman.
Borg says MPS also open up new business opportunities for resellers. "MPS requires resellers to have a real relationship with customers. They will need to go in and do an audit of the current fleet, costs and so on to come up with an optimisation strategy to reduce devices or costs and provide better or the same output,” he says. "And when you do that there’s a whole host of things you can discover.”
He cites the examples of companies filing hard copy invoices in an office back room, or companies invoicing using ‘three part stationery’ – printing an invoice, packing slip and receipt. "There is the opportunity there for the reseller to show the companies other solutions – scanning and electronically filing invoices or taking away the requirement for pre-printed forms.”
But Borg does caution that resellers will need to find a balance between MPS and standard transactional sales, with the two having ‘very different sales cycles’. "With MPS the sales cycle increases and is a lot more complex, so you have to balance the two.”
Fuji Xerox Printers expects to have between 10-20 MPS resellers in New Zealand. "It’s not about quantity. It’s a deeper relationship and we’ll be spending more time with each of the MPS resellers.”
A sales academy will assist resellers in transitioning their mindset from transactional to service based, Borg says. The academy will provide updates on the programme, along with sales techniques, more than technology.
Borg says Fuji Xerox’s offering will allow resellers to offer MPS to their customers ‘with very little risk’. Fuji Xerox will do the fulfilment of the MPS and help with building proposals, if resellers require assistance. The company can also help with finance. "It’s all about making it simple for the customer. And the reseller,” he says.