There are more and more SMEs today than ever before. In the UK alone, small and medium-sized enterprises (any business with fewer than 250 employees) make up more than 99% of businesses. In 2018, there were 5.7 million SMEs recorded in the UK.
The uncomfortable truth is that Managed Print Services need to adapt to businesses becoming smaller, but they can do this in a variety of ways. One of which is by offering contracts that allow businesses to become more nimble and niche, while still maintaining a MPS contract that works for them. With so many new and ambitious businesses out there, it’s a golden opportunity that will quickly pass by if this industry isn’t ready to adapt and change.
In the past, corporate giants have cast a long shadow over the smaller businesses, however, now that SMEs have begun to leap out of the shadows it necessitates a wave of change. Larger entities served their purpose in the 80s and 90s, and we are all better off for it, but since then the underdog who is quicker to adapt to trends demands our attention.
The processes in which we sell to businesses must change to align with the changing tide. The times of salesmen with slicked-back hair and a briefcase full of product notes are over and the smaller, smarter seller is in business.
The stark facts
It’s always been clear that it is more cost-effective to have managed devices for printing, scanning and associated essential tasks but a recent report from Verified Market Research, suggests that we are on the cusp of an industry undergoing somewhat of a resurrection.
The report has ambitiously valued the Managed Print Services market at USD 30.57 billion in 2017 and stated that it is projected to reach USD 58.86 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 8.6% from 2018 to 2025.
Contained within the report are many plus points, including:
- The fact that MPS improve the whole document environment
- MPS free up IT resources
- MPS offer a reduction in energy consumption
While these are undeniably great things, they aren’t guaranteed positives for the MPS industry. What’s needed in the industry is innovation, and fast. The industry not only needs innovating in the ways that it markets its products but the way that those products are delivered too. A more customer-centric, tech-inclined approach is needed.
It’s worth noting that there is a real precipice here. By forcing a digital transformation too quickly, problems will almost certainly arise. Talking a prospect into reaching for a digital solution too quickly may be a dangerous tactic too. Dragging a company into a world they don’t understand too suddenly may put them off the MPS model altogether. A balance needs to be struck and therefore a more thorough approach is also needed.
A new generation for a new wave of sales
The best market to capitalise on now is the millennials making their way into business. Those born between 1981 and 1996 are making their way into managerial positions with buying power. A recent study by the Pew Research Center stated that at companies where managers show sincere interest in Millennials as people, the organization sees an 8x improvement in agility, and a 7x increase in innovation.
These newer, younger, tech-savvy managers demand a different service than what the old guard was used to. The research points to social media, connected devices and other tech conveniences being high on many of this generation’s agendas; something severely lacking from the wish lists of managers gone-by. There must be an emphasis on updating MPS to cater to this trend, lest the industry crawling to a slow death.
Using cloud technology to administer cost management, up to date monitoring and utilising electronic document scanning are some of the best ways to move into the future. These are very important elements, with paper records becoming a thing of the past it must be a priority for the MPS industry to drag the overall culture towards the year 2019. To stay back in the dark ages seems more short-sighted than ever.
Moving forward together
Where there is a will there is a way, as they say. However, a plunge headlong into the future is needed.
By diversifying, innovating and taking a forward-thinking approach, MPS has a rosy future, but only if the whole industry works together. We need to place the customer at the centre of the sector and stop seeing them as cash cows there to be taken advantage of. If we look after and nurture our own industry, this will be the future we all deserve. It’s exciting to see what will happen in the upcoming decade.
The time is now to sink or swim, which way are you heading?