Managed Print or Scorpion Farming?

Randal Wark Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Imagine you are a car salesman. You sell a car to one of your good customers and make a nice commission for your time. Normally, you need to wait a few years for that customer to buy again before you can make more revenue. Think how it would feel to start receiving a monthly check because every time your customer put gas in his new vehicle, you got a cut. That is what managed print is all about.

I’ve had customers stockpile cartridges they bought at some office supply chain only to find out, when they asked me to clean out their cabinets, that they no longer had that printer model and these were now useless and sometimes even expired.

We know that ink is one of the most valuable liquids on earth, estimated at $2,700 per gallon according to (Scorpion Venom is #1 in case you were wondering at $39,000,000 per gallon). Unless we start farming Scorpions, it might be safer to simply find a way to take advantage of this precious liquid when our customers use it.

Some printers have a low cost per page, typically the larger ones. These are obviously in a central area, but the temptation to print your 50-page report on the printer in your office often wins. It reminds me of juice boxes. I get annoyed when my kids drink a juice box at home when they could simply pour juice into a glass. The reason is simple; the cost per ounce for the juice box is higher because of the packaging and convenience. The same is true for printers, we spend a lot of money on these large photocopy multi-function devices because of cost per page savings, yet people still print the bulk of their work on closer printers that are not as efficient.

Vendors have their Managed Print solution with its respective bells and whistles. If you only sell one brand of printers, then maybe that is a good option to look into. One of the new additions to the VAR OFFICE SUITE is a Managed Print solution that plays very well across all brands. It has features that go beyond the typical offering such as enabling billing codes (lawyers use this feature) and printing rules that force users to use more efficient printers while balancing the convenience of printing small jobs to close printers.

How do you sell that service to your customers? Here are a few questions to ask?

  • Would it help to only purchase ink when it’s needed rather then stockpiling expensive cartridges and paying up front?
  • Would you benefit from rules that balance convenience with routing larger jobs to the printer that will give you the lowest cost per page?
  • Would you be interested if we customized a solution for your company that bundles service and supplies?

What can help you get a foot in the door? The low hanging fruit is to start with your existing customers. If you want to go after new clients, offer a free printer cost assessment (look to vendors to supply these tools), then show the benefits of your offering. Either way, for any MSP driven business, this should be a simple add-on to get more revenue for something you already supply: Printers.

For more information on the right Managed Print solution for your company, contact the VAR OFFICE SUITE, unless you want to start farming scorpions…

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