How you define success when it comes to your managed print services (MPS) program will vary depending on your strategic plan and your overall objectives. Here, Laryssa Alexander, president field service division, ECI Solutions, runs through the...
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How you define success when it comes to your managed print services (MPS) program will vary depending on your strategic plan and your overall objectives. Here, Laryssa Alexander, president field service division, ECI Solutions, runs through the must-track KPIs and how they should be used.
For any business, an increase in revenue and a growing workforce or operation, are all key indicators of success. But how do you measure how you got there, what did you do right and of course what can you improve going forward to gain a better outcome and move the bar higher?
Success in Field Service Management
How you define success when it comes to your managed print services (MPS) program will vary depending on your strategic plan and the overall objectives of your business. The metrics you track and measure to indicate your success, will also differ based on your business priorities.
Having clear key performance indicators (KPIs) set right across your team, from your helpdesk and customer support, to financial sales and marketing, gives you a benchmark to hit. Even if KPIs are just words and numbers on paper, in reality they offer data-driven insights about the day-to-day operation of your business. This can make planning more effective and help you create a well-defined strategy that helps your business grow.
So where do you start when thinking about what KPIs to set your business? Here are five KPIs you should be tracking to measure success.
Machines in field (MIF)
For any field service business, having a fix on the number of devices you’re monitoring is integral to your operation - and there are a number of ways to track them.
For an overview of your print program, you can track how many devices you are monitoring across all customers. If you want to know how many print devices you are monitoring on a customer level, you can find out the average MIF per customer. You can even take it a step further and look at what percentage of customer’s total devices you have under contract. Every layer adds extra detail and with having access to this level of data, it can help you to determine your marketing, sales and other business processes.
Delving into your MIF data will give you an insight into your customer habits and show you where you can grow. Are your customers using your devices more often, is there room to upsell or should you be focusing on acquiring new business? By tracking device data you are able to show the real time usability of your devices.
Early Toner Cartridge Replacements
For any business, cutting costs, while increasing revenue is a win win. So your customers are always looking at ways they can streamline any business expense. Your MPS business can help them do just that. You can save them up to 30 percent on print-related expenses, making it an ideal solution for customers looking to reduce spend.
One of the metrics you can measure to increase your customers’ profitability are toner levels. Many businesses will often order new toner cartridges when they think they’re low, wasting ink that's left in their current cartridge.
"SaaS solutions are typically more scalable and affordable than their enterprise counterparts because they are subscription-based..."
Regularly tracking and mitigating early toner cartridge replacements for your customers can help reduce unnecessary shipping and distribution costs, increase revenue yield on pages printed, and save your customers money on supplies.
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
As more and more data moves to the cloud, businesses are adding software-as-a-service (SaaS) options to their offerings to provide customers with greater flexibility. SaaS solutions are typically more scalable and affordable than their enterprise counterparts because they are subscription-based.
Many MPS businesses offer both. SaaS services arm providers with the ability to forecast revenue on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. MRR is the focal point of a SaaS business model and a key KPI that you can monitor to identify growth opportunities. This helps your finance team to create more accurate forecasts and budgets for the next fiscal year.
Support Ticket Close Rate
Once you have built a quality product or solution, the next step is to support your customers when they begin using it. It is a standard practice to have customers sign a service level agreement so both the provider and the user are aware of their roles and responsibilities, and these expectations are clearly communicated. A good measure of how successful your team is executing your service level agreement is your support ticket close rate.
How many tickets are you closing on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly basis? This metric will help you determine how responsive your technical support team is, address any internal process or communication issues, and help you craft SLAs that better reflect your business capabilities. Another KPI to keep in mind if your offering is service-orientated is your resolution time. Like your ticket close rate, this will tell you how effective your support team is at responding to and resolving customer challenges.
Regardless of what industry you work in, customer satisfaction is a good benchmark to use when trying to gauge your success. It’s a truth universally acknowledged in the world of business that a happy customer is more likely to be a repeat customer and to recommend your products and services to others.
Regularly conducting customer satisfaction surveys provides you with valuable insights into what customers think of your business, your team, and your product or service. If done correctly, you can also data mine customer satisfaction surveys for ideas on your product roadmap, the features and functionality of your offerings, and potential competitive advantages. If you listen to your customers and take their feedback under consideration, you are more likely to drive future customer satisfaction and, in turn, future growth.
- Read more about MPS in field service @ www.fieldservicenews.com/mps
- REad more about KPI strategies in service @ https://www.fieldservicenews.com/hs-search-results?term=KPIs
- Follow Laryssa Alexander on LinkedIn here.
- Find out more about ECI here.
Managed print services (MPS) emerged to help deal with the commoditisation of the supplies business and injected new blood into a struggling industry. Years later, MPS itself has become a commodity and, once again, office print providers are...
Managed print services (MPS) emerged to help deal with the commoditisation of the supplies business and injected new blood into a struggling industry. Years later, MPS itself has become a commodity and, once again, office print providers are looking for new ways of doing things.
This article, from service management software firm Asolvi, looks at the rise of seat-based billing and how it could facilitate a new wave of innovation that will help providers transcend beyond print.
The Commoditisation Issue
These new MPS contracts were a win-win. They secured ongoing revenue for dealers while helping customers reduce their printing costs. MPS gave the office print industry a powerful boost.
Yet here we are again with a commoditised product. Only now it’s MPS itself, the one distinguishing feature between most MPS offerings being the price. Still, if there’s anything that office print providers are used to, it’s rapid change. So now they’re looking for a new way to sell. A new way to package their goods and services to create value for the customer and differentiate themselves from the competition.
In this industry, there’s always a new way. One of them is seat-based billing (SBB), an alternative to the traditional way of billing for managed print, which is cost per page (CPP). A number of our clients in this space have expressed an interest in moving from CPP to SBB. As a result, we are already looking at ways of developing our MPS field service management software to accommodate SBB contracts.
But what exactly is SBB? And how does it differ from CPP?
Cost Per Page (CPP) Versus Seat-Based Billing (SBB)
The popularity and wide adoption of the CPP model is one of the reasons it can be difficult to set your solutions apart from the competition. An even bigger problem is that it puts you and your customer at odds. You want your customer to print more. Your customer wants to print less. Indeed the whole premise of an MPS solution is to reduce unnecessary printing. And since page volumes are shrinking, basing your organisation’s revenue on a linear association with those volumes is unsustainable.
However, seat-based billing (SBB) is now emerging as a more sustainable alternative. Also known as per-user billing or cost per seat, SBB is based on staff numbers rather than pages printed. It is a flat fee billed per end user per month that covers support for all print-enabled devices each person uses.
This could include locally connected printers, desktop printers, multifunction devices (MFDs), fax machines and scanners as well as all consumables, maintenance, parts and software. It plays into the all-you-can-eat mentality that so many customers want and is already popular in other industries, e.g. TV and music subscription services like Netflix and Spotify.
SBB involves a shift in perspective, focusing on users and their needs and behaviours rather than the number of pages printed. This offers an escape from the commoditised world of CPP pricing as well as access to new and more profitable revenue streams. It also ensures perfect alignment between you and your customer. Your customer will spend less but you will make more. This makes for a stronger partnership between you.
How Can You Make More Money With SBB?
For example, you could look to add the following to each seat:
- Hardware (printers, copiers, MFDs, desktop computers, servers etc.)
- Document management software
- Workflow software
- Print governance software
- Managed IT services
- Coffee and water services
- Digital signage and displays
- Telecommunications including IP telephony and VoIP
The Challenges Of Maintaining A Profitable Seat Price
It’s important to note that with SBB comes the risk that users will abuse the system and print too much or, for instance, print everything in colour. Even though SBB feels like all-you-can-print, it cannot literally be so. That’s because toner is still the most expensive part of any MPS contract. Moreover, the whole point of MPS is to control an organisation’s print output.
So, to make SBB profitable, you first need to build a seat price that is based on a deep understanding of an organisation’s historical print behaviour. You can do this by way of a thorough user- and device-based assessment that gets rid of any assumptions and unknowns. You then need to put as many controls in place as possible to ensure that users don’t overprint.
The first of these controls is having the right language in your contracts, stipulating volume, colour and coverage ratio limits. The second is including print governance software with each seat. This enables your customers to assign user permissions, set restrictions on printing, and keep track of volume and colour usage.
The third is having a strong field service management (FSM) system that gives you full and detailed visibility and monitoring of all service costs. That FSM system needs to integrate with your customer’s machines and let you easily track toner consumption and contract/machine profitability. Your FSM system should make it immediately obvious when your customer is printing more than they should. Easy access to this data enables you to bill correctly, adjust your contract price and/or terms where necessary, and advise your customer on modifying their print behaviour.
With the right controls and software in place, print management can improve with SBB because it puts a name to behaviour. And while managing print volumes is necessary for both CPP and SBB programs, it’s easier to pinpoint misuse with SBB.
For MPS providers that haven’t yet branched into new areas, SBB makes it easier to do so. Billing in CPP doesn’t really allow you to look much past the page. With SBB you can say to a customer, “For an extra £5 per seat per month, we can take care of your desktop computers as well.” There is no additional contract, just an addendum to the existing one. Nor are there any difficult ROI discussions or a large capital budget approval process as it happens immediately and everything is under subscription.
Going forwards, the ability to continually layer the seat with new offerings is likely to be the biggest advantage of the SBB model. It means that SBB could become a powerful way for office print providers to grow.
Developed by Purpose Software, this market-leading software solution will provide the Geerings management team with faster access to real-time information to enable data-driven decision-making and streamline billing processes.
According to Jon Killengray, Service Manager at Geerings: “We selected 2serv after an extensive review of available solutions as we wanted to work with a company that really understands the needs of resellers in this market sector and is able to deliver the highest level of service and support. Purpose Software also offered us the ability to install the software on a subscription basis allowing us to pay for the system as we use it without major up-front capital expenditure.”
Geerings is also installing 2roam, a mobile application that empowers engineers equipped with tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices
Further savings will be achieved by enhancing the toner management process including the automatic checking that consumables have achieved the correct usage. 2serv also provides rapid access to informative management reports that can be run at a press of a button without impacting on overall system performance. These reports present up-to-the-minute data in formats that are easier to interpret for better decision-making.
“Purpose Software is providing us with a service management system that will deliver lightning speed performance no matter what we throw at it, unlike the previous system which often struggled during the generation of complex reports,” continued Jon Killengray. “The 2serv system is fully future-proofed providing us with access to all enhancements, as they are released as part of the subscription programme, ensuring that it will continue to meet the evolving needs of the business.”
Geerings is also installing 2roam, a mobile application that empowers engineers equipped with tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices to access and update 2serv from any location. It will increase the productivity of the company’s field service team by enabling them to make more efficient use of their time.