Field Study: Knowing What Customers Want, Then Closing Managed Print Sales

As part of our effort to bring you real reports on how managed services makes money for solution providers in the field, we have something special for you.

Here’s a veritable blueprint on how to analyze a prospective customer’s print environment, give the company a clear idea of savings under a managed print contract, and then get that contract signed.

Meet Larry Cohen, vice president of managed print services and solutions at Carr Business Systems, a New York-based reseller of printers, multifunction devices, scanners and other equipment.

“Customers want to understand the cost implications of the various print and multifunction devices installed in their facilities,” says Cohen.

Carr Business Systems’ customers are asking for an analysis of their current total costs of producing documents so they can have a clearer picture of what their print-related costs actually are.

“The challenges are determining the correct strategy for a balanced deployment of printers and copiers,” Cohen says. “It requires a cross-functional team at the customer location since the supplies, devices and service are oftentimes managed by different departments.”

Carr Business Systems carries a variety of Xerox products. The company offers a print management service that includes a “Snapshot Evaluation” designed to show customers how advancements in technology can help their business run more efficiently and at the same time reduce costs.

“We can take over the existing printer fleets without requiring any changes to the printer hardware and no additional capital expenditures.This allows clients to see immediate savings of up to 30 percent of the current print costs while they plan the next phases of their deployment.”

- Larry Cohen, Carr Business Systems

The evaluation process includes interviews with the custsomer’s top management to gain an understanding of the company’s objectives, challenges and opportunities, and meetings with workgroup managers and end users to better understand their workflow and document production. This is followed by an on-site survey and data-gathering initiative to examine all cost information related to the document output function (for example, costs related to supplies, maintenance agreements, preprinted forms, letterhead usage, etc.).

Carr Business Systems then makes a one-hour presentation to the customer’s executive management team to review the document workflow within each workgroup and to detail all costs associated with document output technology. It makes recommendations on how to gain efficiencies, reduce expenses and potentially improve employee productivity and job satisfaction.

Cohen says Carr Business Systems expects that an increasing number of printers will be migrated to networked multifunction devices.

“The incremental print cost is lower and, as the number of print devices are reduced, the IT management resources needed are also significantly reduced,” Cohen says. “Clients are looking to use these multifunction devices not only for printing and copying, but also for entry points to back-end document management systems.”

As a full-line Xerox dealer, Carr Business Systems is positioned to manage the existing printer fleets of its clients as well as work with them to plan and implement a balanced deployment approach to printing and copying. “We can take over the existing printer fleets without requiring any changes to the printer hardware and no additional capital expenditures,” Cohen says. “This allows clients to see immediate savings of up to 30 percent of the current print costs while they plan the next phases of their deployment.”

Cohen says one of Carr Business Systems’ primary challenges is to secure appointments with the right accounts and with the correct level of management within these accounts.

“We approach this by having both our major account and commercial sales teams work closely with our managed print services team,” Cohen says. “The other challenges are to set up a responsive service organization that understands printers, copiers, networks and software related to document management. We began this effort over eight years ago and have implemented extensive internal training and benchmarking to ensure we exceed our clients’ expectations.”

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