Print vendors should provide programmatic offerings to truly disrupt the market, says Mark Ash, Head of Print and Director Business Enterprise Team at Samsung
New technologies, such as IoT and the cloud, have had a significant and positive impact on the print industry. And with so many businesses undergoing digital transformations, there is a real buzz around how print vendors will disrupt the market and enable resellers to grow revenue. One way could be through offering print services at a programmatic level.
Traditionally, vendors package up various components of their print offering, and sell them onto the reseller as a ‘click’. But the challenge is that this approach favours the vendor, and doesn’t allow resellers to benefit.
What resellers need is the ability to configure their costs, margins and track profitability on a contractual basis right down to the device. Giving resellers access to system capabilities will provide them with more autonomy over their offering and enable them to broaden their service reach and win larger deals with the assurance of a standard service level wherever their customer is located.
The Print and MPS platform
In a bid to lead this next wave of Managed Print Services, manufacturers should take a programmatic look at print and offer resellers the capabilities that vendors have.
One way to do this could be to develop an advanced cloud platform, which can provide a transparent view of all key printing data for the reseller and their customer, and can support the processing of toner orders and maintenance requests.
This would provide the reseller with a completely integrated back-office and supply chain solution covering every aspect of the MPS process, from contract development to delivery, installation and ongoing contract management.
These solutions can also be designed to simplify what is an often complicated process. Reseller customer feedback often mentions that reseller solutions need to ‘work as they do’ and not require expert level bespoke training. This simplification would eliminate the need for multiple logins to applications and databases, and increase productivity by removing inefficient duplicate data entry that wastes back-office resources.
All of the benefits, none of the risk
To help resellers grow profitable revenue, any disruptive MPS offering should give the reseller all of the benefits of a vendor, with none of the risk.
For example, fixing toner prices for periods of time is a good place to start, as it allows them to predict profit without any unexpected vendor led price increases. Usage of toner can also automatically be calculated to ensure reliable profitability, as it provides resellers the data needed to accurately bill at agreed intervals with all the evidence required to get payment quickly.
What’s more, flexibility should be offered on a device by device basis. Resellers should be able to choose whether to include services provided by their vendor, or whether to maintain it themselves, giving them more autonomy and control over their margins.
By offering this flexibility to mix and match ‘with’ and ‘without service’ within a single contract, resellers can enable their service teams to learn and expand without having to make significant investments in training as their business grows.
The user experience
IoT technology and the cloud can be leveraged to enable remote fixing, in order to create a better user experience that ultimately keeps the customer content with their managed print service.
One way to do this could be to develop a monitoring technology, such as the Samsung SMART UX, which provides resellers with full device visibility. An easily implemented and cheap solution, this can reduce the service costs for the reseller. These solutions result in happier customers that are satisfied when devices are fixed quickly through remote diagnostics.
This Android based technology enables a manufacturer to take advantage of the latest developments in mobile and cloud support. It also means customisation for resellers, businesses, or their clients is quick and easy and gives unique value, with access to over 12+ Million android developers.
Fit to print
Put simply, giving resellers the capabilities of a vendor offering delivers quicker sales, outstanding service and ongoing profitability. By providing resellers with all the benefits of an independent MPS solution with no investment or upfront on boarding costs, it enables them to transform their entire business model, and in turn the print needs of their customers.