MPSA Commentary

MPSA Member & MPS Industry Commentary
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  • 26-Mar-2018 1:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    More from the MPSA Q&A series with board member Mitchell Filby.

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s?

    A; I have been an individual membership holder since about 2009, shortly after the MPSA was established. I have also been on the education committee for about six years. For the last two years I have been a board member of the MPSA. 

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A: In a word – INSIGHT. 

    I think my most valuable contribution is built around a fabric of knowledge and insights through working in the industry for over 28 years where I held a number of senior executive roles in strategy, sales, marketing and operations across both office and production environments. 

    However, over the last nine years I have built an independent consulting practice focused around innovation and strategy. In this position it has given me unique insights to how boards and C-level executives are looking at their business around innovation, strategy, operations capability and technology enablement. At the same time I work with many industry players in helping them develop new approaches to markets and or customer segments.

    In summary, my experience is also a responsibility to continually help our industry adapt and evolve to the changing requirements of the market and the customer environment.  

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: The MPS industry is continually adapting and reshaping its capabilities in response to a changing and growing demand from businesses and their decision makers to do more with MPS or to go further around digitization. With a unique set of lenses across the global market, I see many challenges that face the industry as opportunities to advance our industries relevance to end customers. Although we see digitization or services based solutions impacting print device assets and print volumes, this at the same time allows providers to better understand and reshape their business around changing client needs. As they say, clients will show you the way.

    However, to do this there has to be a change of business practice around how many providers engage the market. Some businesses are better designed to deliver base line MPS while other businesses have a vertical industry or technology capability to support a customer differently and evolve the MPS offering.

    What I am seeing is the start of MPS divergence and this will move at an accelerated rate over the next two years. As the industry starts to consolidate and what I mean as industry consolidation is that OEMs can no longer fund a direct go to market model the way they have in the past. They are no longer able to build a large sales, marketing and service operation and take this program directly to end customers. As print volumes and margins reduce, OEMs cannot afford the cost base and therefore have to move to more an 80-20 ratio of indirect to direct. 

    In my view, they will move even more to a wider channel distribution model. This will provide even greater opportunity to the wider dealer community or to market entrants who feel they can disrupt existing old style dealers or service providers that haven’t addressed key market segments effectively.

    The key for many dealers is all about understanding and testing their key core strengths and then leveraging this to better evolve and become adaptive and agile in specific market segments. Many existing MPS dealers and MPS service providers have strong core competences in their specific knowledge domains, but the key is how they will use this going forward. Ultimately the secret sauce is about how they blend the balance – that is, bringing in revenue today so they can sustain future growth. Fortunately for the industry, they are still the most powerful sales-led industry workforce out there today. If any industry group can adapt, its this industry.  

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you're not at work?

    A: There is not much spare time when you run your own business and have active kids who overachieve in 14,000 sports! Business never stops and guess I never stop either. However I am fortunate that family and business are my two passions and with anything in life – it’s a comprise and balance. Knowing where and when that balance should occur is the skill that I’m still mastering.

    Also my unfair advantage is I have a background in many different sports across many different continents. This includes the NFL (I made summer camp in 1988 for the Dallas Cowboys – not bad for a traveling Aussie). A natural DNA and competitive drive makes working hard not actually hard work!

  • 26-Feb-2018 4:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The MPSA Q&A series continues with Annie Willert.

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s?

    A: Personally, I’m rather new to the MPSA – however, my company LMI Solutions has been a corporate sponsor for some time, so I’ve been familiar with the organization and the value they have brought to our company and the industry as a whole. I am excited to become more involved!

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A: Having grown up in this industry (as the daughter of Gary Willert, President of LMI), I bring a unique perspective to this role.  I’ve watched the Managed Print space grow and evolve over the past ten, five — even over the last two years.  This unique position has afforded me the opportunity to bring in fresh ideas to a space that is continually evolving.

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: As I discussed in the question above, the Managed Print space has evolved so much in recent years—thanks to innovation.  This is where I find most of my excitement and interest lie. There is a multitude of great tools and software systems that can help dealers streamline their processes and maximize their profits—, and it’s exciting to be able to offer homegrown, automated tools.  Being able to help dealers identify these pain points and offer solutions that can provide them with that leading edge is definitely cause for excitement.

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you're not at work?

    A: For those that know me, they know that family is extremely important to me.  I love spending time with them – which is good, since I work with all of them! I love to watch movies and binge on TV shows, I am a total foodie (especially spicy food!), I am a passionate AZ Cardinals fan – and the reigning champion of the LMI Fantasy Football league. On the occasional day that I decide to be active, I will either play golf, take my dog for a walk, or attend an Orange Theory class.

    Besides my family, my free time is spent with my husband, Bryce, and our miniature goldendoodle, Nash (after Steve Nash), - if you see me at a show, I will gladly show you pictures!

  • 29-Jan-2018 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our continuing series spotlighting the MPSA board and executive committee features Jennie Fisher.

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s? 

    A: I became involved in the MPSA in 2009 by way of attending various events. I become involved with the Board as follows: 

    • 2012 - 2013 – Board of Directors  (Infrastructure)
    • 2012 – Present -  Membership Committee
    • 2017 – Present - Board of Directors (Chair of Collaboration Committee)

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A: I bring vast financing experiencing which is important given 95% of all office equipment is financed. GreatAmerica brings great experience and credibility by way of offering a bundled product, and provides the finance solutions, the documentation and the integrations to support MPS transactions. I’ve worked with many of the leading dealers in our industry as they have gone down the MPS path and feel this perspective will be helpful to the MPSA.

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: I feel like the group is energized and continues to be focused on helping the office equipment dealer/re-seller incorporate managed print, or enhance what they are currently doing. There are many dealers offering MPS as part of their go-to-market strategy, but there seems to be great opportunity in perfecting their success—I think an organization like MPSA is well poised to bring the experts together to help educate and share best practices and make that happen.

    I look forward to various educational seminars that we are working on at this time. Through the collaboration committee, I look forward to spreading the word on what MPSA can do through industry associations and organizations.

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you're not at work?

    A: In the summer months I enjoy long walks, bicycle rides with my friend, leisure rides in my new toy and nurturing my yard and flowers.

    In the winter months I look for places to go that are warm! When I am not somewhere warm, I enjoy spending time at home cooking and reading.

    No matter where I am, I always enjoy spending time with friends and family!

  • 10-Jan-2018 9:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Mark Schneider, Y Soft North America

    You’ve optimized your customer’s printer fleet and are managing their consumption, servicing and output. Is that the end game? If your customers are not asking for more services to help them be competitive, they soon will be.

    Under the broad term "business processes," organizations are looking for ways to speed up business by replacing human intensive processes – like paper-based processes – with automated workflows. There are many reasons to do so and collectively they go under the umbrella of productivity. But it goes a lot deeper than that.

    Before I go further, let me say that I am not advocating for a paperless office, nor replacing humans with machines. Far from it. There are reasons for office printing and scan to email. However, in many cases, there is a need to collaborate or repetitively process documents and manually copying, emailing and storing paper is not effective.

    What are the productivity gains for your customers?

    • Reduces human error. Think about the steps required to scan a paper document to email and how many errors can be made between the email arriving and it being downloaded from email, saved, shared and then stored. In industries where compliance regulations are required, human error can be costly and devastating.
    • Finding documents. In healthcare, this is the biggest driver toward electronic patient records. Digital documents can be searched and found much faster than their paper counterparts. Additionally, it is faster to share with other physicians. This applies to any industry.
    • Workflows can define consistency. Again, think back to the manual scan to email. The user has to decide many parameters: is it going to be a PDF or JPG, 200 dpi or something else, black and white or color. And, when they save it to their desktop, how will they name the file. Records management consistency becomes a huge problem. Workflows can dictate these parameters so the organization has accurate and consistent files.
    • Automatic delivery to a pre-defined destination. Whether a company uses a cloud-based document repository, an on premise application or a simple networked file system, automated scan workflows can automatically send a digital copy to a specific folder or even create a folder in the defined destination.

    This automatic delivery means the user has to only select the desired workflow (one touch of a menu) and then can shred the document. We call this scan and forget. The user doesn’t have to worry about anything once the scan workflow begins. All the things mentioned above happens without user interaction. This also solves a security issue. Scan to email means the user can send the document anywhere – unintentionally or purposefully to the wrong internal employees or external people.

    And lastly, IT administrators know that storage required for mail servers is not at an insignificant cost. Files shared by email is an enormous strain on mail servers. Similarly, facilities doesn’t appreciate rooms full of boxes or file cabinets which could be instead used for much more productive use.

    If you are looking for additional business process services to offer your MPS customers, look no further than the multifunction device where automated scan workflows can provide productivity increases. As customers look for ways to improve, they can find these services from a host of providers if they don’t see it offered from you.

    Y Soft has created an eBook on automated scan workflows. We invite you to download The Power of Automated Scan Workflows and learn how simple using workflows are for users and how easy it is for print administrators to create dedicated workflows for paper-based processes.

    Contact Mark at mark.schneider@ysoft.com

  • 18-Dec-2017 6:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Continuing our Q&A series with members of the MPSA Board of Directors is Ron Alphin, ABM Federal.

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s?  

    A: I first became a member of MPSA in 2009.  I immediately joined the newly formed Standards committee as the first group was formedI served as a member for the first four years, then as Chair for next two years, and have been its Executive Sponsor ever since.  This is my third consecutive term as a Board Member.

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A: I started in the in the imaging industry 12 years ago. The first two years were for a Canon dealership. I started there selling copiers, and then moved to their new roles selling managed print services and managed network services.

    I then went to a national distributor, Supplies Network, for eight years.  They were just starting to build their MPS program and needed someone to build out sales and operational infrastructure. After we got the program established and growing, we migrated the sales to general sales members and focused them on just MPS, and I moved to fully build out efficiency and delivery of operational components of service, supplies, contracts, and software components. 

    I then moved to a supplies and parts remanufacturer, LMI Solutions, for a year and a half to focus on their operational delivery solutions around their MPS program. 

    Most recently I have taken on the buildout of the MPS solutions for a government-focused reseller, ABM Federal, where I am focusing on all services and solutions for the federal government.

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: In general, I love to see companies focusing more on the software and true solutions around managing documents and information. It’s exciting to see this evolution beyond the early days of just focusing on the devices and supplies. 

    Specifically to my new role and company, I am very excited with the opportunity to bring MPS and other solutions to the government space.  Due to the strict requirements around information and security, and their very structure, they have been slow in their adoption of the type of efficiency and cost savings solutions like MPS can provide. They are where the commercial market was about eight years ago.

    Lastly, I am excited with all the options that exist for providers today.  It is much easier to partner, or even build and deliver your own solutions today than it has ever been. 

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you're not at work?

    A: As I grow older, it has become easier for me to understand the most important things in life, and time with my family and friends is very fulfilling.  However, those that know me well know I enjoy cigars, beverages, beach, and to chase my errant golf shots as a true hacker.

  • 27-Nov-2017 5:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Continuing our Q&A series, we will be interviewing members of the MPSA Board of Directors. First up, Sarah Custer of Supplies Network

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s?

    A: Supplies Network has been a corporate sponsor since the very early days of the MPSA (2009). Since that time, I've participated in many of the events, meetings and webinars hosted by the MPSA. This is my first time to take on a more official role within the group, and I'm excited to participate in this expanded capacity.

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A:  I've been with Supplies Network since 2001 and specifically focused on managed print since 2009. I have the privilege to work closely with various parts of the channel from resellers and manufacturers to software and service providers. I believe this place in the chain provides a great deal of perspective on the needs and wants of all involved in a managed print engagement. My hope is that I can use this experience to help others achieve their goals in the managed print space. Additionally, I look forward to collaborating and learning the perspectives of others as part of this process.

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: While there are many industry reports that indicate an overall decline in print, there is projected growth in pages printed in a contractual context. This excites me because, of course, this is the sweet spot for managed print services!  For those engaged in MPS, there is still a lot of opportunity to drive down operational costs and increase profits, while delivering a greater experience and savings for the end customer.

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you're not at work?

    A:  When I'm not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Andy, and our daughters, Violet and Lilah. They keep us really busy, but when I'm able to sneak in some time for myself, I enjoy horseback riding. My oldest is almost old enough to start jumping lessons; I'm hoping this translates to an opportunity for more time at the barn for me!

  • 23-Oct-2017 7:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Rounding out our Q&A with the newest members of the MPSA's executive committee is Treasurer Brian Stevenson.

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s?

    A: Since 2009! It was a privilege to be one of the founding members that helped support the initial structure and launch of the Association. In the early days of the MPSA, Board Members were segmented by their area of knowledge within the MPSA industry. For me, that has always aligned with the interests of the independent reseller.

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A: At my age, it’s now a lot of experience! And hopefully some of it will be relevant and of benefit to our members.  I’ve had the experience of growing an MPS company (LaserNetworks) into one of the largest MPS providers in North America, eventually selling to Xerox. Since then, I’ve spent much of the past 5 years supporting independent dealers though my work with the TriMega Association. This has included developing key supplier relationships across our industry – from hardware, parts & supplies, software, outsourced programs, and other key areas of MPS.  If you have a question around anything MPS, please don’t hesitate to drop me a note & I’d be happy to provide some thoughts on a partner that should be able to support your efforts.

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: The leading independent dealers have become very successful in delivering that last mile of support — with greater efficiency and awareness on the key drivers of cost and value. This is leading many of the OEM’s to rethink their Direct MPS models and are now shifting those direct MPS contracts back to the independents. I believe there’s more to come as the OEM’s shift their focus back to the channel.

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you’re not at work?

    A: Living in Canada, we try to take advantage of our four distinct seasons: coaching my daughter's baseball team in the spring; putting the boat in the water and spending our weekends at the cottage throughout the summer; completing a triathlon in the fall; and enjoying the benefits of Après Ski in the winter!

  • 23-Sep-2017 9:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Continuing the series of Q&As with new MPSA board and executive committee members, we welcome Vice President Tawnya Stone.

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s?

    A: GreatAmerica has been an active member and supporter of the MPSA since its inception, and my personal involvement includes serving as a judge for the 2016 MPSA awards.   

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A: I have been involved in the MPS industry for several years, primarily interfacing with dealers and helping them utilize technology to improve their internal processes. I also had the opportunity to serve on the CompTIA MPS community for five years before becoming the chair for the past two years. That experience gave me the chance to partner with many industry leaders and dealers to create MPS related resources and deliverables. Now that the MPS Community has been absorbed into another CompTIA community, I am excited for the opportunity to continue working with others to focus on furthering MPS education and knowledge.  With over 20 years of IT experience with an emphasis on billing/invoicing and integrations, I am excited to bring a technology perspective to the association.

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: It seems like dealers understand that what made them successful in the past may not be what keeps them successful going forward. We have seen different strategies emerge, but the ability to deliver a valuable MPS program is one of the most complementary to their current business model. I love being a part of something that drives our industry forward and provides assistance to dealers that want to advance their businesses.  I look forward to helping the dealer community on this endeavor!

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you’re not at work?

    A: I have two kiddos (ages 14 and 10) that keep me busy shuttling them between dance, soccer, baseball and basketball. Since I spend so much time in the car, I am an avid audiobook lover. As a family, we love to play all kinds of games … board games, card games, dice games, etc.  We have found it is a great way to get everyone to unplug from their electronics and spend time together.

  • 23-Sep-2017 9:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our series of Q&As with each new member of the MPSA's board and executive committee continues with Secretary Ann Priede.

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role? 

    A: This month marks my 30th year in the printing and imaging industry, and during that time, I've worked for a manufacturer, been an industry analyst, and am now onsite at a customer. I believe this multifaceted experience gives me a well-rounded view of the industry and the ability to understand managed print and all of its related issues from a variety of perspectives. I have also been a writer and editor for more than a decade, and I believe my collaboration and communication skills are important for the role of Secretary of the Executive Board. 
      
    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most? 

    A: I'm very excited to see MPS moving beyond the device into business processes, document workflows, and change management. These issues are at the heart of every business and truly allow the MPS community to add value to their business partnerships and help customers be more efficient. As a result, we are seeing new companies in the managed print industry bringing fresh ideas that will help us keep pace with -- and maybe even get ahead of -- the technology, user experience, and business trends that are driving not just print, but our lives as a whole. 
      
    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you’re not at work? 

    A: I love to read and am an avid gardener — when the hot, humid Gulf Coast environment cooperates! I also enjoy being outdoors on the water and have recently taken up kayaking and boating, which adds an extra element of fun.
  • 29-Aug-2017 8:22 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Recently, the MPSA announced its new board of directors and executive committee. To welcome them, we'll be doing a series of Q&As with each new member.

    President Doug Bies:

    Q: How long have you been involved in the MPSA and in what role/s?

    A:  I’ve been involved in the MPSA for about four years.  I initially got involved as a member of the education committee to learn more about MPS from the experts, then in time became the co-chair of the education committee. From there, my position evolved into additional committees, then vice president, and now to president.  Just like at our paying jobs, skills you develop within the MPSA open the door for advancement. 

    Q: What experience do you bring to this role?

    A: I’ve spent 100 percent of my time in the print industry post-college, including the last 11 years being highly involved in MPS with an OEM and independent dealership.  Having spent my previous MPSA term as the MPSA vice president, it in some ways was an internship for the president position. Ideas, thoughts, connections, and an understanding of the MPSA logistics will enable the MPSA to be successful again this term.

    Q: What changes or opportunities are you seeing in MPS that excite you the most?

    A: I’m excited to see MPS providers become more like consultants for their customers rather than just providers selling a commodity. With MPS far along in the innovation adoption curve, providers need to do more to deliver value to their customers.  Digitization, and IT services tie in with MPS are short-term opportunities for MPS providers to do more for their customers. 

    Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time when you’re not at work?

    A: When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling to breweries to learn more about brewing beer and of course, sampling all they have to offer.  Travel, photography, sports, and comedy are other passions of mine.  

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