Common Problems with MpS

I travel the MPS ecosystem—last stop was Sydney, Australia—and I hear just about every single reason why MPS doesn’t work for customers. Not only do I get to hear all the reasons for failure, I also see how some VARs define their MPS practices into success by defining down MPS—essentially moving the goal posts closer.

Problem #1: Ownership Isn’t Onboard

Let’s start with the No. 1 reason MPS practices fail with customers: Lack of ownership buy-in. Think of it like this: If you are selling a large MPS engagement to the purchaser but his boss, the CxO, doesn’t believe in reducing costs by managing away the prints and machines in field, you aren’t getting the deal. Ouch.

In the same manner, if the ownership regards MPS as that “printer thing,” something that is cute and nice but really won’t impact the overall customer experience, you aren’t getting ahead. If your copier dealership implements “MPS on printers and CPI (or cost per image) service agreements on copiers” you’re leaving more money on the table than you think.

This level of MPS sophistication is stuck in desk-side toner delivery and on-site service— not a bad place to start, but there is much more. Aspects of MPS that some consider “out of scope” are sustainable, not shrinking.  But to see this, to view over the horizon, it takes vision from the top, from the heart of business, from the core.

Problem #2: Outdated Thinking

The second common challenge is the success of old ways. They chain us to the past. The land grab is on. Clicks are out there to be had, but the clicks will die. Toner and service equal “clicks,” clicks that reside in a state of flux.

When dealers claim to have been in MPS for over five years, I laugh and I cry. Those who feel that way are simply considering CPC (cost per copy) contracts to be MPS, or they’re equating third-party toner cartridge sales with MPS.

They are happy to meld past successes with today’s business model, denying anything new and supporting their need to never change. If you’ve been doing something successful for 20 years, why change? Chains to the past.

Which one are you? Hopefully, neither.

Partnerships, tools, mindset and vision are needed to remain sustainable. New ideas and innovation will be the lifeblood of success in the coming months. Fortunately, there are more tools than ever to help you along and maybe even help ownership see “The Way.”

Each OEM brings something good to the market, and Xerox is making deep advances with the channel, training everyone internally on MPS. That other OEM, the Blue one, is into the channel as well.

Titanic Battles in 2012?

This is what I know—2012 is stacking up to be a big Clash-of-the-MPS-Titans year. Xerox has a strong portfolio of tools. Xerox has a good approach into the channel.   Xerox looks like it may be ready to get out of the copier business. Wait, what?  OK, maybe that’s a bit extreme. Either way, the common problems with MPS are about to get either really small or extremely large in the next 12 months.

Where are you at?