The road to MPS proficiency can be a long and arduous journey, but as we wrap up September’s State of the Industry focus on the topic, we are reminded that there are a wealth of resources within reach that can mitigate some of the most common tripping points experienced along the way.
In fact, some of the dealers we canvassed believe there are ample opportunities to garner tips and tools to elevate a dealer’s managed offering. Jim George, the president of Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises in Cincinnati, notes that companies such as Clover Imaging Group provide great seminars on the subject, while other providers will lay out the tools, training and compensation plans that will enable success. Attending a BTA meeting is another step in the right direction, and George himself isn’t shy about providing insight to his fellow dealers.
“There’s so much information out there,” he said. “I get phone calls and LinkedIn messages all the time from folks looking for information. I’ll gladly help. Our community isn’t that big, so we all need to look out for each other.”
George laments that far too many dealers are not willing to change, and rejecting MPS can lead to a slippery slope. If a dealer is not keen to provide a service like MPS to its customers, someone else will. The result is that provider will also end up taking away your copier business from that client.
Time to Morph
“The industry is changing at a very rapid pace, and it’s our job to move and morph into the fleet service provider we all should be,” George said. “It’s not just a copier game anymore. It’s either get on board or give somebody a call who wants to buy your business.”
While it’s been said before, one fundamental aspect bears repeating: Offering an MPS solution must be a well-considered choice, and dealers need to put a full commitment behind such a bold undertaking. A half-hearted effort will yield similar results and doom the initiative to failure.
“It’s a conscious decision to get into it and do it properly the entire way,” noted Jim Jones, COO of Indianapolis-based Cannon IV. “It’s not a plug-and-play proposition. A lot of work is involved, a lot of maintenance, and it’s continually evolving. Your auto toner replenishment is only going to be as good as your FMAudit reporting. There are a lot of resources involved to do it right.”
The Champion Within
While all dealers need to have a champion within the company that is driving the MPS platform, it is also imperative to ensure there is ample communication within the company to keep them abreast of how the initiative is progressing, notes John Sutton, director of sales for Novatech of Nashville, TN. Processes must be in place to chart changes within an individual account to avoid mistakes in client fleets. What has benefitted Novatech is its trial knowledge, with both legacy experience and service certifications through its partners’ learning sites.
“Having the right tools can give you the big advantage you need. That’s going to be critical to your success,” Sutton said. “Having industry professionals who are prepared to walk the mile is critical because you’re going to leverage those people to be the next generation.”