Printing is an inescapable part of most offices. Managed print services (MPS) is becoming a popular choice for businesses that want to simplify their printing needs.
But the proliferation of managed print is putting pressure on traditional printer hardware and consumables reseller that may find it hard to compete with all-encompassing MPS providers.
Distribution One is first and foremost a distributor of printing solutions but when it comes to MPS, it assumes a reseller-type role. The company supports IT resellers that don’t have enough resource to support MPS or want a simple way to run an MPS business.
The distributor’s direct involvement with clients is dictated by each reseller. Regardless of whether Distribution One is on the ground implementing an MPS solution for a customer or just assisting in a rollout, the reseller gets a margin that is mutually agreed upon.
When IQ Information Technology took on a new client, retail clothing chain, Noni-B, it asked Distribution One to implement and manage an MPS solution on the reseller’s behalf.
Noni-B’s has about 200 retail outlets but only the headquarter in Kings Park, Sydney, required a new printing solution. The office had used Imagetec as an MPS provider but decided to make the switch to IQ IT.
One of the key problems Noni-B wanted to address was coloured printing. They only had one device to perform colour printing and with bigger print jobs they employed a professional printer company.
The retailer also had a newsletter, Noni News, that needed to be produced and distributed on a regular basis.
“When the headquarter was doing that, obviously nobody could print for a day and a half as there was only one colour device across the network,” Distribution One sales and marketing manager, Michael Rebiffé, said. He personally supervised the integration process.
Distribution One, along with IQ IT, first met with the client and asked it to formulate a wishlist of what it would like to achieve with the new MPS.
Noni-B wanted more colour printing capabilities, a document scanning solution, duplex printing to save paper and the ability to order printing-related stocks itself.
“Generally, customers don’t usually get everything on this list, but in this case, the client got about 99 per cent of it, which is good,” Rebiffé said.
Distribution One then proceeded to do an analysis which looks at the amount of consumables needed on a regular basis, monthly printing volumes, cost per page and deciding on what hardware to use, which the reseller has the power to decide.
“We are brand agnostic, so were pretty easy going on what brand we use,” Rebiffé said. “We can make recommendations depending on what solutions we think will be cheaper but if the reseller has a preference, we can go with that.”
In this case, Fuji Xerox and InfoPrint devices were used. In total, nine Fuji Xerox Phaser 8560 Multifunction, three Fuji Xerox DocuPrint C4350 Multifunction with stapler/hole-puncher and four Fuji Xerox WorkCentre 3220 Multifunction were installed.
Two InfoPrint 1572DN Laser and Three InfoPrint 150 Multifunction were also used.
Multifunction devices doubled as scanning stations for the office.
A reseller margin, which included hardware and ongoing consumables, was discussed and agreed upon during once a proposal was drawn up.
“Not only do resellers get money upfront, they get an ongoing revenue stream and once the contract is signed off and the finances are paid, we pay the reseller on a monthly basis,” Rebiffé said. “We just do it for them, that’s all - We just manage it.”
A fax solution which automatically forwards faxes in email form was brought in by Distribution One so Noni-B could save money by cutting its fax fixed-line rental.
Large print jobs, which had previously been outsourced, were able to be brought in-house as the printers accommodated for such jobs without congesting the entire network. This was done through a capability called load sharing that allowed printing the printing of one lot of documents on multiple devices across the network at the same time.
Distribution One looked after the ongoing management of the MPS fleet.
Rollouts generally only take three days. Training was also provided to staff.
“In a perfect world - depending on the size of the printer fleet - we get stock one day, prep devices at the warehouse the second day and install them on the third day,” he said. “Because the client was already extending an old contract with Imagetech, the implementation needed to happen as soon as possible.
“We signed the contract on Tuesday and come Thursday we were already trying to put the equipment in.”
Other than the expedited installation process, Rebiffé said the project was very ‘run of the mill’.
“It was a general rollout and we’ve done this before,” he said. “We’ve even done it remotely for companies in Melbourne and we send people down.”
According to the Noni-B, the new solution will save the company a bundle in the long run, Rebiffé said. “We’ve expanded its fleet, we’ve given it five to six extra devices,” he said. “According to the client, we are going to save them $230,000 over a four-year term.”