his is the first of what will be a four-part series on seat-based billing (SBB) and why it should be an important part of your strategy now and in the future.
SBB versus MPS
In theory, both structures serve to help a client manage their printing costs and provide control over what is printed and how. In most cases, MPS has just become a cost per page (CPP) program covering the company’s printers. While this may not be all bad for either party, it doesn’t fulfill the potential of the concept.
Control and accountability
One issue in all organizations is the need to identify who is printing, what they are printing and where they are printing documents. Recent events have highlighted the importance of being able to locate the source of a document and who generated the document.
For organizations that have and may need to print sensitive documents, (in other words, every company) it is vital to make sure that they have the ability to track who printed...
In my previous posts, we talked about what Seat Based Billing (SBB) is, and why it could be good for your company, but what about your customers? We need always to remember that our business exists to serve our customers. For long-term success, our offerings need to be good for and desired by our customers.
What customers want
Many of the things that our customers want are obvious, but not necessarily available with our current programs.
Reduced expenses. One thing that every business tries to do is to manage costs. The cost of copying and printing is an area where this is especially true. When they see the monthly bill and the overages in color, it creates frustration with the cost. It also creates concern because they don’t know how much of those costs are necessary, and how much are employees printing personal documents.
Document security. This concern is becoming more important with increasing attention to privacy...
I recently had the privilege of spending two days at the PRINT 18 show, and while this is not a complete review of the show, several things stuck out in my mind that I wanted to cover.
Ink was everywhere
My first impression was that everywhere I looked, there were inkjet devices. PRINT 18 is a show tailored to commercial printers, and I didn’t see any traditional presses. I saw both toner-based and inkjet-based digital presses from the traditional copier manufacturers and many inkjet devices from nontraditional manufacturers. This move to inkjet was especially noticeable in the wide-format arena. It seemed like every aisle had inkjet wide format printers from manufacturers that were new to me.
Manufacturers moving to industrial print
One trend that has been progressing over the last few years is moving to industrial print by the major copier manufacturers. The pace of that change is increasing, and it is understandable. For most manufacturers, the opportunity...
I had the opportunity to attend two great events in October. The first was the Seat Based Billing Roadshow held Oct. 17 in Asheville, NC. The second event was the BTA Fall Colors meeting, also held in Asheville, NC on Oct. 18-19. One idea discussed at both meetings was the need for dealers to get “sticky.”
What Does it Mean to be Sticky?
For most of us, the concept of being sticky is not pleasant; we don’t want our hands, our face or our clothes to be sticky. In the context of business, being sticky is very important.
When we are discussing being sticky, we are talking about our ability to become essential to our clients. The stickier we are, the tighter and more enduring our relationship with them. We want our customers to be customers for life.
New customers are expensive and difficult to acquire. Too many times, we let our current customers slip out of our grasp; they leave for the promise of savings, or better service, or a variety of other...
When I was asked to write about difference-makers, I thought immediately of a number of individuals that have made a difference in my career. There have been managers and peers that have helped me get better at what I do. I have had the privilege of working with and supporting some amazing companies. The Business Technology Association has been one of the real difference makers in both my company and my career.
There are a variety of services that the BTA provides, and I will highlight a few.
These are just a few of the benefits that I have been helped by over the years.
Pro-Finance: This course covers financial benchmarks that are used to manage the majority of dealers around the country and also in evaluating the value of a dealership when buying or selling.
FIX: This class covers how to profitably price service and helps attendees understand the financial impact of decisions made in the service department.
Webinars: There seems to be an unending series of...
One fact that all business owners need to consider is the absolute unavoidable fact that they will leave their business at some future point. Since that is a fact, then we need to examine the steps that an owner should take to prepare for that eventuality.
One of the principles outlined by Steven Covey in the “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” is, to begin with, the end in mind. His premise is that as individuals, we should think about the legacy we want to leave behind and then work toward achieving that goal.
The same principle should govern an owner's view of his business. Ask yourself, What do I want my business to look like when I walk out the door for the last time? Do I want to leave a thriving business with happy employees, satisfied customers and reap a solid reward for my endeavors? Or, do I want to leave a smoldering heap of ashes behind that is of no value to anyone?
We will discuss several...
Imagine you are traveling and decide to stop for lunch in a town you have never visited before. You are hungry for a burger and you have two choices: a local place and McDonald's. Which do you choose? Most people choose McDonald's. Why? Because they know what to expect, and they always get what they’re expecting.
How does McDonald's achieve this level of consistency? By having a well-documented process to produce any menu item. Each team member is trained to make everything the exact same way every other team member makes it.
What Is a Uniform Process?
A uniform process is a series of steps or actions taken to achieve a specific goal or result. For our discussion, we will talk about the series of steps taken to accomplish a specific task in your company. When technicians follow the process closely, you can expect a consistent result.
A process is like a recipe. You need to follow the recipe if you want to achieve uniform results.
Continue reading inside the free Members area...
One of the most important factors in the success of a copier dealership is the commitment to training. In my time working with dealers, one common factor in each of the most successful dealers is their investment in training. The successful dealers make sure that each technician is trained on the products they service.
Benefits of Training
Training will benefit both the employee and the employer. In many cases, a dealer will say that it costs too much to send all the technicians to training. Dealers may decide to only send one technician to the factory school and hope he can train the other technicians.
This ignores the fact that an individual may only retain 30% of what they learned in class. If the technician comes back and remembers even 50% of what he learned, the technicians that he teaches will be down to 25% of what they need.
Training benefits both the employer and the employee and we will discuss these benefits.
Read the rest of the article in our free member's area, or on...
In the last article, I discussed the importance of Mean Copies between Calls (MCBC) this may also be referred to as Mean Calls between Visits (MCBV). Since that is the number one factor in the cost of a copy, every service manager needs to focus his attention on growing that number. In this article, we will look at several factors that affect that metric. These factors can be measured using First Call Effectiveness (FCE), and this is the easier metric to measure.
How to Define FCE
I will use the same definitions and formulas as used by BEI Services to determine the FCE. I chose this method because it more clearly identifies the performance factors involved, and it does not get diluted by including courtesy calls, installs or network calls. This is known as a results-based FCE.
Call back (CB) is: CB%= CB/ (Emergency (EM) + Scheduled Calls (SC))
Hold for Parts (HP) is: HP%=Hold for Parts (HP) + No Parts/ (NP + SC + CB)
FCE would be the balance of the CB% and HP%.
This article originally appeared in ENX Magazine
An old curse says, “May you live in interesting times.” The idea being that boring times were times of security and peace and interesting times more associated with trouble and danger. In our industry, I am concerned that interesting times lie in our near future.
Portents of the Coming Change
I have had the opportunity to visit both GraphExpo and the BTA meeting in Asheville recently, and I walked away amazed at the things I saw and heard. At GraphExpo, it seemed that several of the manufacturers devoted more booth space to devices outside of the traditional production print environment. There was also a significant shift toward inkjet devices both in the high-end industrial printing environment as well as toward specialty devices like wide format.
At the BTA meeting, one recurrent topic was Managed Network Services (MNS). Both during the dealer roundtable discussion and during presentations this subject was addressed as...