For many dealers, the prospect of adding managed IT to their company is a logical next step. For the sales department, it means adding a new talk track and developing some specialists to help close the business.
It does give a dealer the ability to better position themselves to manage and retain their current customers. It may also provide a competitive advantage in the sales process. However, a typical copier and printer service department will face significant challenges in supporting managed IT.
Separate or Integrated… or Partnered
The first step in moving into managed IT is to decide how you are going to handle IT support. Is it something that will be managed and operated through the service department, or will it be a separate department? Will you handle all customer support internally, or will you outsource some or all of the support?
This is a decision that will vary by dealership. If you currently have a help desk operation, provide all of your own internal network...
In talking with service managers over the last decade, I have found a variety of opinions about Managed Print Services (MPS). Some service managers have found it to be a profitable addition to their revenue stream. Others find it difficult to manage due to the wide variety of equipment and the difficulty in becoming proficient at supporting a multitude of brands and models. Some see it as an unprofitable nuisance mandated in their department.
No matter how it is viewed, MPS is a program that is here to stay. Sales will continue to sell the program and service will have to continue to support it. The need then is to find ways to make it both manageable and profitable.
We will discuss several challenges to the service department created by an MPS program. We will also look for steps to take to improve the serviceability of a contract and profitability.
A typical prospect for MPS may have a wide variety of makes and models. In...
In our industry, the most important area for the profitability and survival of the company stems from the recurring revenue in the service department. When considering the trends in our industry for the future, this topic deserves serious attention.—dealers that fail to secure the revenue stream properly are most at risk for failure.
What Does it Mean
When we are talking about securing the revenue stream, we are talking about creating a binding support agreement for the duration of the equipment lease. I know some dealers do not like to build the service into the lease, but failing to do so diminishes the value of the dealership and does not provide any future security for the company.
I am not suggesting pre-funding the service component of the lease, and most leasing companies no longer offer that as an option. When valuing your dealership, a pre-funded service contract is viewed as a liability rather than as an asset.
When you build your service contract...