It has been a long time since I have had any desire or perhaps any reason to write about MPS. For a long time, I have felt that talking about the subject is beyond the dead horse. I have always believed there are those who do it right and those who do it wrong. That it is essentially simple. For months now I have not chimed in about this industry or the players within it and for the most part, I had no intentions of doing so.
In light of reflecting on the past year, this has changed.
I can not ignore the fact that chaos is breaking out across political, military and social dynamics in many of the worlds super powers and smaller countries alike. Terrorist attacks and the horrors of gun related tragedy are commonly found in the headlines of both mainstream and alternative news networks daily content.
The world is burning...
So what does this all have to do with managed print services?
Control and dominance.
As MPS evolves, the enterprise level players push BPO, print volume caps, excessive monitoring and auditing and various other dynamics on end users so that the share holders and CEOs of massive corporations can squeeze every last cent out of a previously ignored element of the companies expenditures.
While this is not always the case nor is it always done with an iron fist, I can not help but to notice how some of these tactics have a very "police state" feel to them. Treating end-users like commodities that can be regulated like products tends to create a tense work environment. I for one have quoted a few software's that allow end users weekly printing volumes to be capped or limited to monochrome only. When I quote such a product I ask the decision maker how comfortable they will be as the point of contact to the angered and frustrated end users who's jobs have been complicated by their actions. This always tends to prevent a purchase of said software because all the clients who asked for the quote quickly back pedal after this question is asked.
As an MPS provider who's foundation is built upon high quality re-manufactured toner cartridges, my company's CPC rates are enough to save large accounts thousands of dollars. These elements that create a dictator out of a CEO or VP of IT tend to strike the heart of my clients and so far, none have gone so far as to place these restrictions on their end users but I wonder about the enterprise accounts of some of the OEMs...
It is clear that large corporations are largely in control of various elements of the united states government and that money above all else (including people) is the driving force for these problems. It is the same force that leads the hand of men and women in powerful positions of corporations who would become the gestapo of the printing environment in their company.
Now don't get me wrong, I understand that end users occasional printing of full color photos of their kids birthday to post in their cubicle, coupons, emails, etc. is something that should be brought under some control...
That being said, I personally think a company wide proclamation from the president via email (or other form of communication) to the employee base as a whole where an emphasis on environmental sustainability and financial effect is made known, would be more effective and less likely to cause strife.
Some may think these ideas are extreme and that it is nonsense to assume this is happening on any level of concern what so ever. This is not what I have found...
What I have learned from watching humanity from my perspective as a human being is that once a tendency for a dynamic is enacted in one part of a system, you can expect the same dynamic to appear else-ware. Now, should the motivation of that dynamic be the all mighty dollar, you will most certainly find that dynamic spreading across the system as a whole should the decision maker in charge of said system be primarily concerned with profit over all else.
The managed print industry has been a catalyst for many things, I am under the opinion that it can be used as lens to view the world.
From where I sit I will say this, If the elite of both the world and the MPS industry take control of the majority of either...
We are all f!$&ed.
This is why I would implore customers more than ever to do business with small providers as much as possible. Choose the local companies who care more about people than pennies. Support small business even if it must be multiple small businesses to cover your fleet across states or countries. Even if it means some logistical challenges.
At the end of the day if all your saving is money, your not really saving anything. In this respect, I would suggest a revolution in dividing the MPS market across smaller providers rather than consolidating them through larger corporations.
There is enough opportunity for everyone and there needs to be change in the system otherwise it will collapse.
In closing I will repeat my sentiment.
MPS can be used as a lens, what do you see when you look through it?
Monday, January 12, 2015
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Guess who's back?
It's me, the suddenly reclusive (and now shamelessly self plugging) Dubious Monk!
That's right folks I, Nathan Dube have returned! (at least for the moment and possibly longer). So where have I been you ask? Selling MPS and (GASP) copiers! Crazy eh, Greg? Well to be fair, it's mostly A4 MFPs which are selling like hotcakes....
So why post now? Do I have new industry relevant prophetic views of the times we live in and the times to come? Am I returning from the shadows to destroy more printers? Well...
I am simply popping in to say hello and THANK YOU to the man, the myth and legend himself Mr. Greg Walters! I must admit, I only just purchased his book (pictured above) recently and was charmed to find that my blog is listed as suggested reading and I am listed as a "Leopard" which if you are familiar with DOTC you will understand, if not... BUY the book!
No really, buy it. Greg's content always has been cutting edge and ahead of the curve while also being quite hilarious, provocative and borderline offensive (at times). All things that drew me to the death of the copier blog in the first place.
Greg is by far one of the (if not THE) greatest minds in MPS and the realm of office imaging professionals in general. If you are currently in and/or are planning to enter the MPS industry, this is a must read. End of story.
As for me, well... I said everything I wanted to about MPS in the content of this blog in posts past and until something new comes along I will not simply write to just meet the expected three posts per month that "professional" bloggers are called to manifest.
When I have content worth sharing, it will pop up. Furthermore, you may see posts from additional authors here should things proceed the way I think they should.
Hoping you are all well and wishing you a happy holiday season!
Posted by Nathan Dube at 12:03 PM
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
From the Telegram and Gazette:
"SOUTHBRIDGE — Expert Laser Services, based in Southbridge, has long been an environmental champion since its inception as "Expert Laser Recycling" in 1990. But, until recently, there has always been a missing link in the recycling chain.
"Our process always made us 'the greenest of the green' when it came to toner cartridge recycling," claims company president Mike Carpentier. "Cartridge cores are routinely turned 8 to 10 times in our system. Most programs—even global manufacturer-based programs—get only a single re-use of cores, then they are shipped off to a landfill."
"Still, like every remanufacturer, we eventually found ourselves having to toss cartridge cores into the trash. There was simply no way to recycle them. Konica Minolta's Clean Planet Recycling Program changed that. They've closed the recycling loop for us. Now we can recycle all major consumables — including toner cartridges, imaging units, waste toner bottles, developer units and drums."
Read the whole article here.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Kermit sang that “It’s Not Easy Being Green”. Businesses, homes, organizations, and even countries are discovering that Kermit was right. It’s not easy being green. Does that mean that being green isn’t worth it or worse, is it counterproductive? Well, let’s consider the options.We can make a concerted effort to make our homes, workplaces, and world greener. Or, we can continue to waste and throw away whatever and whenever we choose. Certainly the option to do whatever, whenever, sounds better. It also sounds more American. It sounds more like freedom. It sounds more carefree. Surely this is the correct choice. Not at all, and don’t call me Shirley.
Landfills are growing. The Earth is groaning from waste and decay. The resources we want for our very livelihood are dwindling. We really should make every effort to reduce waste. But Kermit’s right. It’s not easy. After all, if it was easy, wouldn’t everybody be doing it? So, how do we make it easier on ourselves and others? There are thousands of small changes that each of us, businesses and individuals, can do to be greener. The first is to spread the word, not so much with dialogue but with knowledge about actions and techniques that actually work. The verbage out there says that we need to reduce our carbon footprints.
Well, one way to insure that your business is reducing its footprint is to stop wasting so much in the way of office imaging equipment and supplies. Simply put, start recycling your toner cartridges. Don’t just throw them away. Better yet, don’t return them a local retailer that is going to bulk ship them across the ocean. That’s not recycling. Think about it. You bring 3 cartridges to the local retailer. They are stored there, until the retailer has reached his capacity. Then, the retailer packages them on skids and ships them across to who knows where. This “recycling” procedure is incredibly wasteful too. It uses amazing amounts of shipping fuel, not to mention all of the plastic wrapping around the skids and such, just to move the empty cartridges. How do you avoid that? It’s pretty simple actually.
Call a company like ours, Expert Laser Services. We will pick up your empty toner cartridges and bring them to our local operation, right here in Southbridge, MA. Wait, that’s not all (I always wanted to say that). You don’t have to pay us a collecting fee. In fact, we will give you credit, for each cartridge, towards your next purchase of our 100% guaranteed quality cartridges.
So basically, you save money on supplies. You save expenses on staff time and effort. Best of all you help save the planet, all at the same time! Just by making one phone call, you have made your business greener. Then, you can sing with Kermit…
When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why
Wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful
And I think it’s what I want to be
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I am sure many of you (at least those of you who still follow this blog) are surprised to see this post. It has been almost a year since my last one. This is for many reasons. I had decided to take a break from bloging around this time last year and resume the craft within a few months. Around the time I had intended to start again, one of my most beloved friends died in a car crash.
While I won’t go into details, those of you who have lost people very close to you know this is a debilitating experience. By the time I had begun to get my head together months later, I simply had come to the conclusion that I was tired of writing about MPS. Everything I wrote up to that point could be condensed in a short sentence. “Either you are doing it right and succeeding or you are doing it wrong and are failing.
This has not changed and considering the fact that in addition to being my company’s social media manager I am a major account manager with many contract customers, I simply had less time to focus on the blog. Furthermore, the content I created with the destroy your printer contest is timeless and very effective in the sales process as I can drum it up on my smartphone in real life and show my prospects during initial sales meetings.
I simply came to the conclusion that for the time being the blog would remain “asleep”. I suppose I am writing today to let any interested parties know that if all goes right I hope to have some new content up within the year and a few promotional videos based on the lord of the rings type of mythology and a spoof on the Ghostbusters.
Now, you will notice there is a second author on this blog who has yet to post. Bob Chernisky, Jr. the son of our marketing manager also wears multiple hats in this company and is bravely battling through personal struggles in the same way I have while balancing his other responsibilities in the company.
It is our hope to bring life back to this blog in the coming months however I must point out… I will not be driven by the cliche admonition that I should writing three to five posts per month. I will write when I feel inspired and only then.
You see, I accomplished everything I set out to do when I entered B2B social media back in 2009 and I set a standard in managed print services in that respect, one which does not touch the mighty echelons of folks like Greg Walters or Art Post but I never wanted to get that deep in the waters anyway.
I wanted to create something magical and something fun that reminded people that we are human and even in the staunch and ultimately grey atmosphere of B2B industrial workings that we can still find that fun and that magic and use it within such a context to connect with other human beings.
While I did use social media to sell MPS, I don’t need it to do so. That being said, I do want to stay connected and will use this medium as a device for such ends.
Posted by Nathan Dube at 6:28 AM
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
I had a most unpleasant correspondence over the phone with a prospect today...
Let's call this gentleman "Bret". I found Bret on linkedin. He was listed as a salesman for a large local company of which I thought would be a great candidate for an out-of-the-box approach to prospecting.
I noticed that Bret placed the role of "Philanthropist" before his role as a salesman...
"That is awesome!" I thought to myself as I am currently working on making regular donations to charities and non-profits with the hopes of getting more and more involved with Philanthropy and just generally helping people in need.
However, my idea (which I thought for sure was a good one mind you) how to approach this man failed horribly...
Despite this fact I stand behind my actions as mentioned below....
I thought to myself that Bret's company would likely be a perfect candidate for a managed print services contract and I figured that if I did in fact sign them, I would donate my FULL commission to his non-profit organization which is called Saving Teens In Crisis and is a non-profit that upon reading about, found to be truly awesome.
I called Bret and told him about my company, who we are, what we do and said that I was hoping he could put me in touch with his IT manager so that I might do a free managed print analysis for his company with the knowledge that if we ended up doing business together I would donate all of my commission from sales with his company to the non-profit he runs.
At this point Bret was clearly using intense restraint as he basically accused me of being the absolute worst kind of human being on the planet...
I was shocked, confused and tried to reply as he explained to me that using philanthropy to garner personal gain was a great evil (which I agreed with) as I went on to explain that the motivation for this call was again to donate in full my commissions from business should it transpire between our companies to his non-profit.
He bocked at me and said "yeah that's a nice angle", Click...
In retrospect I can understand what happened He works in sales and knows there are in fact super low-life, scumbag people who work as sales professionals. I am sure there are in fact people who actually scam non-profits with similar tactics.
I was absolutely horrified, hurt and at a loss for words.
I took twenty minutes to think things over and regroup my mind and spirit. I then texted an explanation to him as well as a justification for my approach (which I stand behind because my intent was fully in the right place) and notified him that while I understand we will likely never do business together I was going to donate to his non-profit as a sign of good faith, imploring him with many words to give me the benefit of the doubt and listen to me as a human being rather than a salesman.
I do not doubt that he will likely never speak to me again however, I promptly donated to his organization through their website and volunteered to donate time as well if needed (as I had planed on doing anyway before this debacle occurred).
So as a believer in emotional alchemy, I sat and pondered all that had just transpired and meditated on how I could transmute these negative emotions and actions into gold....
This is what I came up with:
I have decided that from here on out I will donate 100% of my commissions from managed print services contracts signed with non-profits/charities (who do not discriminate against any social groups of any kind) to said non-profit/charity.
While this was a highly negative experience it has lead to what I believe is an answer to how I can help more people which is something I have been pondering as of late.
It is my hope that this post will serve as both a reminder of caution in how one approaches a prospect (even when the intentions are good) and also as a catalyst for a seed which will grow into financial benefits for multiple non-profits and charities.
Please share this post if you have read it and thank you for reading.