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Preparing for your Print Management Program

Embarking on a print management program certainly gives dealerships a lot to think about.  Strong adherence to a well developed plan ensures successful implementation of any new program. This post will further identify certain steps needed to become a successful MPS dealership.

Developing a plan (see Archive Developing an MPS Plan ) involves more than just writing down a few ideas, getting a little buy-in and then “going to the people”.  Knowing what is needed, being able to analyze the findings, and marketing the plan will all come into play.

There are several consideration points that are the foundation of every successful print management program.  The following views have been found to be common among strong MPS dealers and providers.

Identify Dealership Commitments

  • Customer FIRST service
  • Two Hour Response
  • Equipment Performance
  • Training and Support
  • Investment Security

Many dealerships have website links for customers to make Meter Entry, Service Request, and Supply Requests but this is not customer service as it requires people to do something.  Sound MPS programs help dealerships keep commitments while increasing customer service.  When the dealership knows of need before a call is ever initiated, they can provide world-class service in less than two hours, improve equipment performance, and be viewed as a valued business partner.  Real customer service adds value to what customers already expect, creating loyalty.  MPS leverages customer service.

Gathering Information

To many dealerships, the idea of print management is meter capture.  Automatic meter reporting reduces call frequency to ‘get’ meters and a good solution will gather meters for black, color, prints copies, faxes, scans, duplex usage, etc.  Quality collection software gathers and sends meter data to staff members who can take action.  People or departments may include the billing team, a sales person or MPS manager, and service or dispatch managers.  How that data is received, and what is done with it makes the print management program effective.  Knowing device volume can help with monthly invoicing, determine under or over device utilization, and cost per page and total cost of ownership analysis.

But meter collection is only the tip of the iceberg.  A basic print management program adds the element of supply and break-fix fulfillment once initial deployments are made.  A sound print management solution coordinates it all … meter collection … supply and parts fulfillment … billing and ERP integration … and more.  A great MPS program helps dealers make equipment recommendations and promotes future sales.  Print Tracker can help make a GREAT MPS program.

By adding the element of status notification, dealerships can receive toner level notification and other messages that appear on device consoles.  This information can be sent directly to the person or team who can take action.  Deciding what to do with the incoming information and how it will be processed for supply and break-fix fulfillment is the essence of any print management program.  Being able to explain this to customer and prospects helps build the case for the dealership’s print management solution and solidifies the dealership as a business partner rather than a box purveyor.

Getting the Word out – Marketing an MPS Solution

Having collection software and doing something with it are two different things.  Any program should include promotion of what the dealership offers.  Successful dealerships include many of the following when marketing their MPS programs:

  • A website posting with a description of the “Managed Print Services” offering
  • Branding the offering with the dealerships logo
  • Simple deployment options that get customers involved – complete with download description and instructions
  • Development of flyers and brochures promoting the offer
  • Mail stuffers in monthly billing statements describing the program
  • Promotion of the program during “open house” events – with offers for “FREE” fleet assessments
  • Describing and promoting the program at “Chamber of Commerce”, “Rotary” and other local business events
  • Ongoing training for the help desk, reception and phone staff to keep them current on the program

Training and Support

Print management is far different than the standard device service many dealerships have traditionally offered.  There is a whole new level of training required … from top management who may only need a 30,000’ view, to people working with billing integration, and includes people deploying and the departments and people working with the gathered data.  Everyone will need to be included in some kind of MPS training and providers like Print Tracker are there to assist.

Dealerships need to have reliable support processes in place to address questions posed by customers.  The product support process will include both internal and outside support from the collection software provider.  The provider should be readily available and be able to talk with the end-user when needed to provide additional front-line support.  Great providers offer continuous and on-going training to keep personnel up-to-date with program developments and provide training for new staff members.  And, don’t forget to include an internal feedback mechanism to affect positive change.

… In Summary

Taking into account dealership commitments, how information will be gathered, getting the word out, and securing the proper training and support will go a long way when building a successful print management program.  Taking that a step further, contact your own partners and peers, see what they are doing, and get their recommendations as well.