More and more organisations are seeking managed print services (MPS) as a proven approach for reducing costs – both financial and environmental – improving productivity, and reducing risk. As MPS gains popularity among businesses, the number of providers is increasing – but more choices doesn’t always make for better service.
A recent Quocirca study amongst 50 UK organisations using MPS revealed service quality to be a top driver for MPS adoption with an average rating of 4.1 out of a possible 5. The survey also revealed a gap in achievement of service quality goals (4.1 for importance versus 3.4 for achieved). This is most likely due to the variability of service delivery across MPS providers, and the lack of a governance framework to ensure reliable and consistent services throughout the contract.
So, as you narrow your selection from a wider and more diverse range of MPS suppliers, how do you ensure you are going to get the high level of service quality and reliability you demand? Start by looking for the following:
- Tools, practices that align with your internal framework: Often, enterprises are looking for MPS providers that use complementary or compatible processes. For example, best practices such as ITIL can be used to support wider control and governance. Leading MPS providers are already delivering MPS Services through an ITIL-based service management and delivery system that can track client’s Service Level Agreements.
- Operational excellence, product/service leadership and highly effective client relationship management: These are key boxes to check to assure superior service delivery. The MPS provider must have a corporate cultured geared to producing high quality, consistent and measurable results.
- Proactive and comprehensive platform: As the market matures, the spotlight will increasingly fall on those suppliers that are able to deliver service excellence through a range of capabilities including deployment, helpdesk, training, remote monitoring and proactive continuous management.
- Ability to add value, build a long-term relationship: If an MPS provider offers ‘black box’ services – characteristic of no collaboration with clients – it will rapidly become a commoditised MPS provider. Successful MPS providers effectively and continuously collaborate with their customers to build greater value and long term customer relationships. The most effective MPS providers will become a catalyst for business growth, delivering greater business value through service excellence.
As customers become increasingly demanding, it will be the proactive MPS providers that will be best positioned to succeed in an increasingly competitive market.
Bottom line? Be demanding. Ask for more than a promise of high quality services. Require proof of reliable, consistent service throughout the MPS contract; and choose the providers most in tune with their your own business goals.
Read more in Quocirca’s latest report MPS and Service Excellence.
Louella Fernandes is an Associate Director working with Quocirca, focusing on printing products and services.