MPS ‘Gotchas,’ Part 2

One of our recent Managed Print Studies looked in depth at a big “gotcha” with managed print contracts—mistakes VARs make when estimating toner coverage rates. That’s a big one, but by no means the only risk that solution providers must worry about.

Tom Senecal, president of Laser’s Resource Inc., advises VARs and managed services providers to watch out for a handful of other profit- busters as well. They include:

Old printer fleetsCustomers love old printers that keep on churning out pages. After all, the hardware is paid for, still appears to be working reliably and represents one less capital investment to squeeze out of already tight budgets. Productivity-sapping downtime and unnecessary power costs may make these devices much less valuable than they appear, but that can be a hard sell for solution providers to make. The trick is to take printer huggers into account by quoting realistic maintenance fees when setting managed print contract prices.

Spreadsheets and manual processes for managing MPS accounts—Instead consider an automated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage sales, service, purchasing, inventory, contracts and accounting. A modern ERP system helps Laser’s Resource manage contracts and contract renewals by making sure billing is based on actual meter readings, invoicing and other hard data, not guesswork and gut feelings.

The bonus: The company uses the data collection and reporting capabilities of the system to determine which customers are most profitable and which ones drain resources without a commensurate return. And by automating many processes, such as calculations on toner cartridges and maintenance programs, the ERP system helps Laser’s Resource keep close tabs on the growth of its managed print services business.

See other secrets to Laser’s Resource Inc.’s managed print success.