If you’re like me, you hate the idea of waste. Whether it’s money, resources or time, it’s a shame to throw something valuable down the drain.
In managed print engagements, the goal is to operate with as little waste as possible. Helping to drive savings and efficiencies is one of our main selling points. Many realize supplies are the largest factor to consider when driving cost out of their managed print engagements and therefore focus on the price of the actual cartridges. While it’s important to ensure you have competitive supply pricing, there are other less obvious factors that can have a sizable impact.
There are 3 main areas of consideration that are often overlooked:
1. Automated supplies replenishment based on data vs. customers manually buying supplies
It’s no secret that when left to make their own supplies determinations, end-users will err on the side of having extra supplies on hand. This can be especially dangerous for you if you are buying by the cartridge but selling to your customer by the page. To the customer, the supplies are “free,” but someone has to foot that bill. If there is too much excess, you won’t be able to support them with competitive pricing in the long run. Automating the supplies process eliminates excess, loss and theft by delivering the supply exactly when it’s needed.
2. Factoring in cartridge yield relative to the page volume of a device
Once you are automating supplies replenishments, it’s important to avoid a one-size-fits-all strategy with the SKUs you select. Extended yield cartridges technically have the lowest cost per image, but it doesn’t do you much good if the cartridge you just shipped will last in that device for the next 10 years. Chances are, you won’t have the opportunity to bill all the pages you just shipped.
3. Ensuring customers use ALL of the toner remaining before replacing the cartridge
This one might be the most difficult to achieve! On average, cartridges are returned with 15 percent toner remaining. The level of supply remaining when a cartridge is replenished is an important metric for ongoing review, so if you’re sending cartridges too early (or allowing customers to order at their discretion), you run the risk of end-users installing them as soon as they arrive. Educate your customers on what the various toner messages mean on their device. “Replace toner soon” doesn’t mean replace toner today – the device will continue to print until the toner is completely out. Making sure your customers understand when to replace the cartridge can go a long way in reducing waste, in turn, driving profit and cost savings for both of you.
If your MPS program is homegrown, the areas above are definitely places to focus attention in your reporting and oversight processes. If you are outsourcing your MPS infrastructure, request these metrics from your provider to see how efficiently your customers’ fleets are being managed. Extra attention and energy in these areas will go a long way to driving a profitable and sustainable MPS business for years to come.