Organisations of all sizes are looking at every part of their IT infrastructure in an effort to find additional cost savings, says Craig Green, OPB Channel manager at Bytes Document Solutions, authorised distributor of Xerox.

Believe it or not, the print infrastructure is still one place most haven’t looked – and it’s a huge opportunity for resellers. Showing customers how their unmanaged print environment has a negative impact on their bottom line is a successful sales strategy and helps them to reduce costs and increase productivity.

For the reseller, it represents a new source of recurring revenue and an investment in sustainable, profitable growth.

According to Photizo, the leading managed service providers (MSP) grew 46% last year; and one third of these top MSPs delivered managed print services (MPS) – meaning the number of print devices under a managed print contract grew by a whopping 146% last year.

The reality is, there’s money there to be made. And it’s not a new technology to get the CFO to buy into – the organisation is already spending money on print. The opportunity for you is to get them to reduce their costs by buying it in a different way.

Making the case for managed print
Many organisations spend far more money than is needed on office printing and have deployed more copiers, faxes and printers than they actually need.

MPS is a proven approach for reducing costs and improving productivity. But as the MPS market matures, customers will be choosing from a wider and more diverse range of MPS suppliers.

It will be increasingly important to stand out in the crowd by concentrating on understanding your customers’ needs, providing more managed services to them, and delivering a managed print solution that is well developed and easy to implement.

Successful MPS providers are the ones which build long-term relationships with their customers and continuously add value through constant collaboration.

The most effective MPS providers position themselves as catalysts for business growth, often taking the following advice into account:
* First manage what users have. The first step is to help customers manage their existing fleet of printing devices. Take time to get control and reduce costs with what’s already in place. This needs to include printing devices from all manufacturers.

* Optimise the fleet. Show the customer how consolidating and simplifying their print infrastructure can help the business work more efficiently and continue to save money in the long run.

* Leverage the trends. Multi-function printer (MFP) hard drive security and green printing initiatives are examples of how to get the conversation started. Show customers how MPS can help meet their goals through product consolidation, sustainable supplies, and hard drive set-up and maintenance.

* Think beyond page volumes and clicks. Pre-sale conversations can make or break the transaction, so ask the right questions: what are your goals; what applications are you using; what are your expectations; and what efficiencies would you like to accomplish?

* Show what’s possible. Consider all cost factors when completing the on-site analysis, including hardware costs, paper usage, power consumption, IT management needs and footprint of ideal print solution.

* Waste is about more than cost. The ROI of MPS isn’t just rands and cents. Make sure to highlight the other efficiencies that will be realised, including employee productivity, environmental benefits and space savings.