Managed Print Services, A Window of Opportunity, Sealed by The Old Normal

Managed Print Services, A Window of Opportunity, Sealed by The Old Normal

by ray stasieczko August 30, 2020

"Appeasing comfort over the pain of improvement is a real threat to all advancements."

The Document Imaging Channel's Old Normal is threatening its attempts to reinvent its MPS programs along with its entire deliverable. Yes, it is bad enough that some are waiting for the New Normal to show up. But I fear it's the Old Normal which presents a worse threat to the industry's reinvention.

The document imaging channel's Old Normal continues hijacking the channel's good intentions with its silence for change, its grip of complacency, its appeasement towards the status quo, and its fear of uncertainties. 

Managed Print Services was always an enterprise deliverable. Somehow, the experts keep in their attempts to convince an entire industry that all the channel's customers would one day be in MPS contracts. Hopefully, the evolutionary event of this pandemic will cause common sense to prevail. It's time to end the need to complicate what should be simple. Let's call MPS - Making Print Simple

"It is in fear of uncertainty where you find a lack of understanding."  

The Old Normal is attempting to repaint over the open window to the most significant opportunity to align its MPS mindset with today's marketplace realities. An evolutionary event has broken loose the sealed window freeing it from decades of complacency paint.  

Behind this closed window, are all the outdated marketing slogans, all the expert's claims of the massive future that MPS would deliver, all the unprofitable MPS agreements never audited, and the data from DCA tools being dismissed or ignored.

Outside this sealed up window, other providers are selling the channel's customers hundreds of millions in printer, supplies, and services. Because outside this window, there were no contracts needed. Outside this window, the imaging channel's customers are welcomed by those without the restraints of an our way or the highway approach. 

The MPS programs built for an enterprise customer were never going to be accepted by the SMB space. For over a decade, these attempts to secure contractual agreements on all print devices as failed miserably. Even as we all hear, the document imaging channel has the greatest salespeople in the world. 

All the industry's actors can look into the DCA tools and see 5-7 devices uncontracted to every device contracted, and nearly all of these devices are bought, supplied, and even serviced by those outside the channel. This unintended consequence of insisting on only contractual business has cost the document imaging channel hundreds of millions of dollars.  

So, let the channel's actors who are ready to embrace the future declare this. It's time to relieve the Old Normal of its duties selling market fantasies and seek alternatives based on market realities. Creating a New Normal didn't need a pandemic to cause a quest for continuous relevance. Because New Normals have always been part of innovative organizations. As my friend Ed McLaughlin says, "Change is constant, and it has been creating New Normals way before the pandemic."

The Document Imaging Channel needs to modify its deliverable now. Today's alternative opportunities to sell printers, supplies, and services are plentiful, and yet many still refuse to accept even the plausibilities that these alternatives opportunities are real. Hell, you don't even hear them talking about different approaches to engage end-users for printers, their supplies, and needed services. 

Today, if you read about MPS, you have to check the article's date because most articles written could have been written in 2010. Sometimes I wonder if these articles are copied and pasted from the previous decade.  

The Old Normal still has some insisting every device must be monitored and managed; we still have The Old Normal refusing to allow e-commerce platforms. We still have The Old Normal refusing to help the channel position themselves for success, because they lack knowledge or refuse to listen to data. It's time to Create The New Normal.

Let's replace a program built to propagate fantasies so those listening would be appeased in false comfort, and now let's welcome what makes us nervous or demands a needed change to align with relevance. The pain of improvement is the tuition paid for improvement.

Obviously, if an end-users will engage in a contractual agreement as MPS intended - do it. But the industry must also do what buyers demand. Without opening minds and changing ways, dealers will continue losing more customers to new, better experiences. 

Experiences as e-commerce, no contract, no DCA tools, no salespeople, and no leases. Even the accepting of charge cards for equipment, services, or supplies. Yes, others are currently providing all these things. The question for the document imaging channel is simple. Will others also sell your customers A4 MFPs as the world replaces the millions of complicated oversold A3s agreements?  

Another decade of hoping things can stay as the past or stay equal to only what is known, because the industry's actors refuse to learn more will not align an industry to an ever-changing marketplace. 

Don't allow The Old Normal to continue destroying opportunities to eliminate product-centric approaches. Please don't allow The Old Normal to continue costing you and other dealers millions in lost revenue to other reseller channels. Because The Old Normal refused to learn, explain, or discuss anything which eliminates their comfort in the status quo. 

The new MPS must be customer-centric and replace all its product-centric goals with goals aligning with their customers 

The opportunities in front of the imaging channel are also in front of competitive channels. The document imaging channel must remember that technology reseller groups are all fighting for constant relevance. This fact is what is causing a reseller convergence and if the document imaging channel stays complacent to its Old Normal. The channel's actor's challenges and losses will be immense.  

The Old Normal has held back many good intentions with its power of fear. Those too afraid to voice their opinions, to challenge the status quo, to rock the boat, to stand up and say, "stop the madness." Remember, The Old Normal is insecure of their place in a future they refuse to imagine.

Regardless of industry, all business leaders must be willing to forge through the fields of complacency with all the vigor they can muster. "For, It is with-in the fields of complacency, where innovators hut and kills the status quo." 

There is no time for the weakness of insecurity to grip you in fear, there is no time to wait for a new normal to show up, and there is no time to converse with appeasers hoping to keep in you in a place based on what they knew because they refused to learn more. 

So, climb through and take advantage of this open window and reimagine what could be based on what should be, and never allow anyone to seal your window to the future with the paint of complacency.

In closing; There's no dealer or manufacturer's direct operation who does not know how to facilitate a Managed Print Services Agreement. So, stop wasting time relearning 2010 programs and open your minds to a New MPS. 

Remember, I am not saying stop doing MPS, I am saying stop losing customers because your MPS program does not welcome them. 

Oh, it might also be time to re-evaluate your current Appeasers' benefits if they are holding you back because we all know this. 

"Status Quo Is The Killer Of All That Will Be Invented."

Ray Stasieczko 

CEO/Founder TEASRA,The Innovation Channel and Host of The End of The Day With Ray!

I welcome everyone to subscribe to my YouTube Channel

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