The authors of the “7 Deadly Sins of Office Equipment Dealers” have come together once again to help shed some light on the many sins committed in our industry. This time around each author has been given the freedom to write an entire post on their sin of choice! We will have a new sin every week for the next 7 weeks.
In this installment, guest blogger Greg Walters of Walters & Shutwell visits the sin of PRIDE:
According to lore, there are Seven Deadly Sins. I’ll leave it up to you to agree or disagree; believe or not. Whatever, here’s the list of Seven:
It’s easy to see all seven playing out in managed print services. Today, let’s consider the mother of all MPS sins – an excessive belief in one’s own abilities: Pride.
Early on in my managed print services journey, I met many supposed MPS Experts. I remember some of these guys built an ‘empire’ drilling holes into recovered (from a dumpster) toner cartridges. They didn’t hesitate to tell me how they have been ‘doing MPS for 25 years’. I was quick to retort, “Oh? What kind of ribbons did you use back then?” I found their smug attitude amusing. That was in 2009.
Here we are, years later and the prideful walk among us. You’ve seen them, the guys who started calling their copier contracts managed print services – “Sure, we do MPS. We’ve got 11,000 devices under contract.” A hubristic statement if ever there was one. I guess it is only natural. Sometimes, our pride keeps us from changing, from letting go of what we were. Some remake managed print services in their own likeness selling MPS like it was a large capacity tray (LCT) – it gets thrown in.
Where is your pride holding you back? Do you think you know it all? No. Really think about it.
Is your website nothing more than a brag-fest?
Are you utilizing tools designed to help your clients or singularly focused on maximizing your profits?
Do you surround yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear?
Those braggadocios watches, new sports car and hot tubs numb our senses – that’s not a hot tub, it’s a boiling pot on the stove. Guess where pride starts?
At the top.
Ownership believes the MPS model must bend around them – “We’ve been doing it this way for 25 years…”
Prideful people find it difficult to transform – the world must flow around them. Unfortunately, some in our industry have grown accustomed to forces moving around them; I can hear them puffing up right now. Prideful, narrow-minded, comfortable in the past success of selling copiers.
Here’s one simple step in lifting that haughty veil – consider new and different programs. Not monitoring, tracking or behavior modification software programs. I’m talking about systems comprising of both software and people. These plans should be oriented to helping you improve your overall service offerings at a known cost – not variable.
The best programs seem mechanical but that’s because they’ve been designed to run like clockwork. Some will be tempted to cram the program into their existing system. This could be short-sighted.
But there’s more. The unexplored territory is the chasm between collected user statistics and information. Caution: exploring user data is a shift from concentrating on “our predictable machines” to considering the unpredictable activities of end-users. Again, core transformation requires less ego, more vision. When you’re more confident and less prideful, you’ll see how this supporting structure helps you enhance the overall customer experience.
May I recommend the Premier program from Print Audit? Give it a look, but first let go of some of that pride.
It’s been said, “Pride goeth before destruction.” Where are you in that calculation?