Determining Who Will be the MPS Deployment Staff
Choosing the right people to be involved with an MPS program is an essential part in the making of a successful print management plan. In smaller dealerships decisions are relatively easy, and the job will likely fall to the service tech or the salesperson when out on a call. But even then, the primary decision maker should consider what goals he or she hopes to achieve as the program evolves.
Identifying goals to be attained helps develop the overall deployment strategy and can help determine who will be on the deployment staff.
Identifying Goals to Develop a Deployment Strategy
First, determine the essentials and those departments that will most be affected upon initial implementation. These may include:
- Meter gathering and data processing for billing integration
- Parts and supply fulfillment
- Supply alerting and fulfillment
- Service and Dispatch
- Service alerting and break-fix dispatch / resolution
- Sales and Prospect opportunities
- Data analysis and proposal writing
- Equipment and supply redistribution for increased productivity
As noted in other postings, meter gathering is NOT print management, but it is how most dealerships start their MPS programs. Many seek ways to improve the current meter gathering process used each month, and this is “bread-and-butter” for most data collection software. Automating meter capture and routing data to the billing staff reduces the time spent during billing cycles, and often eliminates site visits needed to gather meter data, while minimizing fax requests and callbacks to customers. Advanced programs automatically integrate meter data into ERP platforms.
The individual or team responsible for meter collection greatly benefits from having collection software and therefore should be considered for at least some aspect of deployment. Staff may include the calling center, dispatch or help desk, meter gathering personnel, accounting supervisor or even the VP of administration and general manager.
Parts, Supply, and Service Fulfillment
Supply and service fulfillment is print management in its most rudimentary form and is where many dealerships naturally expand once meters are flowing. When dealerships improve on their current supply and service alerting practices, they know when clients need supplies, get the parts supplier involved earlier, reduce and eliminate ‘stale’ inventory, control excessive cartridge use, pre-act to client service need, and finally coordinate and schedule field service techs to the customer need. Many collection software providers work directly with part suppliers to help expedite drop shipments.
As with the meter team, supply and fulfillment individuals are highly impacted and should be considered as possible deployment team members. Supply managers can ship toner ‘just in time’, reducing inventory, dispatch managers, can ‘see’ devices in distress and coordinate service; service techs can ensure correct repair supplies are in the service car, and service managers can control repair costs and labor needs.
Making money from a print management program should be EVERYONE’S goal — from the customer to the dealership. But WRITE THIS DOWN, making money in MPS takes much longer than selling a box. Contracts do not happen overnight and often require significant time to first collect data, and then manipulate and analyze findings before preparing recommendations and investment opportunities. Done poorly, at best the customer is unhappy … at worst, the customer is dissatisfied and lost to the competition. When done properly, the customer benefits by having the right equipment for the printing need, gets supply and service fulfillment on time and the dealership benefits by gaining a customer for life.
Data collection software gathers an unbelievable amount of device information and data should be available to the fulfillment and dispatch teams as this information benefits both their departments. Volume data can be collected manually via USB drive or web application (with no install) or automatically (with software deployment) to discover imaging device use patterns. Where the dealership is responsible for only a partial fleet, insight gained offers a look at ‘competitor’ device use patterns. This benefits both the customer and dealership by providing new opportunities to reposition or replace older or underutilized equipment. The sales manager and team benefit from use pattern discovery, allowing them to achieve new equipment sales opportunities, and both should be part of the deployment conversation.
… In Summary
Going through the steps outlined above will help any dealership determine the deployment candidates. These include:
|Meter gathering||Supply and Service||Sales Opportunities|
|Accounting Staff||Supply Manager||Sales Staff|
|Accounting Manager||Service Technicians||Sales Manager|
|Dispatch Manager||Dispatch Manager||Supply Manager|
|General Manager||Service Manager||Sales Manager|
The people identified in the rolls above are the best suited dealership staff to help ease into any print management program. Some of these people may already have much to do, so the right training and collection software is critical to help the program get off the ground. Work with your software provider to ensure that they have multiple options available for each of the teams identified, and can help make deployment of your program and installation of the software a simple process.