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!