This article originally published here , on The Business Transformation Center.
In an effort to determine if the definition of managed print services remains relevant, I’ve been examining the major components of managed print services as defined by the Managed Print Services Association. You remember the MPSA definition of managed print services: “The active management and optimization of document-output devices and related business process.” In this final installment of the series, I’ll look at the meaning behind process, more specifically the phrase, “business process”.
Webster defines process as “a series of actions or operations conducing to an end.” Pretty straightforward. Extending this, “business process” refers to a series of actions within a given business model or organization.
It is impossible to move through the world without a process. Brushing your teeth in the morning before heading to work is as much a process as routing invoices for approval before cutting a single check.
I especially like including this word because it leads to deeper realms. Indeed, the definition could have been finalized as “The active management and optimization of document-output devices.” Most everyone in the industry would be happy with this simpler version, as there would be no need for special knowledge or business acumen. We wouldn’t be considering the ramifications of different compensation models or remote monitoring, and the old business models would continue to support old beliefs. The definition of managed print services would be nothing more than another marketing phrase—colorful yet empty.
But the phrase is added and designed to lead those who remain in the hardware business into newer areas. It also supports those who believe in more than marks on paper.
Moreover, the shift into examining business flow is not that far away from what copier reps have been doing for years. Whenever we asked, “show me how you make copies,” we were asking about their existing documents flow. All we needed to do was inquire about what happens before and after the copier. This is an elementary business process analysis, which results in a simple idea or two on how to make the flow easier, more efficient, and optimized. We’ve always been doing this, haven’t we?
“Business Process” doesn’t translate into one-to-one replacement, hardware upgrades or brand standardization. It does, however, give you the opportunity to elevate your conversation above the mundane and that’s exactly why this phrase was included.
In the end, the current definition of managed print services holds true today as it did 4 years ago. What’s more, other than the occasional tweak, the definition is will stand the test of time.
Yes, the definition is relevant.