MPS For The People: 400 End-Users Tell It Like It Is

Some days the Managed Print Services business just makes me feel tired. We are seeing an unprecedented level of change in the imaging industry and it seems everybody has a different opinion about what the future holds. Some people say paper is disappearing while others say volumes are on the rise. I hear people hail mobile print as the savoir and others who have called it a distraction. It seems nobody in our industry agrees on anything some days! You can see why some days I feel plain knackered.

But not today. Today I feel like a kid in a candy store! As a Premier CompTIA member, Print Audit has access to a wealth of MPS and I.T. studies. These along with other resources can sometimes help us in developing software in line with our customers’ needs. I just finished reading a new one, a 32 page study that that details survey results from questions asked to over 400 end-user I.T. & business executives. The study entitled “Trends in Managed Print: Perspectives from Customers and MPS Providers” can tell us a lot about what end-users think MPS should be about. Who better to listen to than those who will be buying MPS in the coming years?

Here are some eyebrow raisers I pulled out of the study specific to why End-users would adopt a Managed Print program:

  • 50% of those who have adopted an MPS program have experience with other types of IT outsourcing: This is important, because it means that one of the questions we should be asking is “Does your organization outsource other IT functions?” If the answer is yes they will likely be more receptive to outsourcing their print infrastructure.
  • I.T. understands what MPS is: I.T. are nearly twice as likely as business Execs to have familiarity with MPS: 68% of I.T. verses only 38% of business executives! Further, the study states that 74% of the “lead contacts” during MPS adoption cycle are CIO/IT Directors.
  • Only 36% of businesses currently use an MPS program: This would tell me that there is huge growth opportunity in acquiring net-new logos. The study also shows that of the non-adopters, over 52% are dissatisfied with print in relation to printing functions and cost. Only 28% have begun researching an MPS program to help.
  • 3 of the top 5 benefits they want from an MPS program: Consistent & reliability of MPS offering, ROI/cost savings, & reduction in wasted paper, supplies & energy. Make sure what you do works and works well, and make sure it saves them money and resources. And use products like those offered by Print Audit to reduced waste pages and to control color printing and duplex levels.
  • Consolidation & streamlining of unmanaged printers ranks 2nd to last: Of the top 10 it is #9 on the list. Yet this is the one tactic a large number of MPS providers lead with!

The report also asked why folks who manage their print internally were inhibited from adopting an MPS program. Here are a couple reasons from the top 10:

  • #1: They don’t trust our numbers: End users are sceptical of cost savings and ROI. It seems we need to do a better job of getting rid of assumptions and fuzzy maths. Cost savings from “soft costs” or other intangibles could actually hurt our close rates. What about a new billing model that would guaranteesavings?
  • Difficulty in finding/evaluating a quality MPS provider: Later in the study 78% of respondents stated that the CompTIA Managed Print Trustmark would probably be or strongly be a consideration when choosing a provider.

The study also contains highlights from a Kano-model for Managed Print Services that was developed at a series of CompTIA Managed Print community meetings. It does a great job of illustrating which MPS program elements have the potential to “excite” customers. A few highlights:

  • Small customers: They get excited about SLA performance metrics and reporting.
  • Mid-size customers: Fully executed JIT (Just In Time) supplies fulfilment would get their MOJO going.
  • Enterprise customers: Proactive service and options for toner and power control would delight them.

There is also an entire section dedicated to MPS from the provider perspective. It’s a great read for anybody trying to sift through the noise of MPS in 2014.

Don’t take my word for how good this study is. If you are a CompTIA member the study in all it’s 32 pages of glory is yours for downloading . You can access the study HERE.

About the author: West McDonald is the VP of Business Development for Print Audit (www.printaudit.com) and the owner of FocusMPS (www.focusmps.com) . You can see other posts by West at The Print Management Insider’s Blog by Print Audit.

Image compliments of Public Domain Dedication (CC0 1.0) via Pixabay