The most successful managed print services (MPS) providers are the ones whose consumable fulfilment process is automated in the most efficient and transparent way possible. Consumable fulfilment accounts for about 54% of average MPS contract costs, which is why limiting those costs is key to a profitable operation.
If you’re using Evatic Consumable and Meter Management — ECMM for short — you’re already half the way there. A unique, end-to-end solution for MPS and document management providers, ECMM is a comprehensive system designed to ensure just-in-time delivery of toner by automatically calculating the ideal time for cartridge replacement. This is based on built-in business logic and, importantly, your contractual setup.
This setup is crucial because it determines how efficient and how profitable your MPS operation is. The setup comprises all configurations necessary to calculate the ideal time for toner to be replaced. This includes model settings, agreed copy volumes and coverage and the order configuration. The order configuration generates alerts and shipment proposals automatically based on:
- the predicted number of days before toner is empty (‘order remaining days’),
- whether other toners in the contract could be replaced at the same time (‘soon remaining days’), and
- when new toner needs to be delivered by (‘minimum toner level’).
We’ve been helping our customers optimise their MPS operation by advising them on their contractual setup. We do this by looking closely at their entire fleet and ensuring that the configurations incorporate every machine, taking into consideration that all toner needs to arrive on time.
Not all machines are created equal
Your contractual setup should be pursuant of two main objectives:
- keeping the amount of toner you send to your customers to the bare minimum, considering that it accounts for 54% of average contract costs, and
- saving on shipment costs by sending multiple toner cartridges at the same time.
Once you’ve inputted the necessary configurations, they apply to all the MIF in the contract. However, not all MIF are created equal. Some machines will have different volume and coverage levels and low volume/low coverage machines won’t need toner as quickly as the high volume/high coverage ones.
You can manage this in Evatic thanks to the option to add individual configurations for machines with a different user profile, such as volume and coverage levels and even location. However, some Evatic users are blanketly increasing the number of days in the order configuration across all machines, and are setting them too high.
Setting the number of days too high means that some customers will receive cartridges too early. The problem with this is that customers will replace cartridges as soon as they say “toner level low” if there is a new one right there ready to go. As a result, still-usable cartridges are thrown away and a substantial amount of rest toner is wasted.
So what should you do?
You want your customers to have no choice but to use up what’s left in their cartridges. This means you want toner to arrive as late as possible, as early as necessary, at their premises. You need to reflect this in your setup. But remember that the setup applies to the majority of the machines in a given contract, but not all of them, and apply different configurations for printers that do not need toner at the same rate as the rest.
If you need help determining your contractual setup and applying these configurations, that’s what we’re here for. Asolvi’s dedicated advisors can optimise your MPS operation by evaluating your fleet and determining a sensible setup for all machines based on past data and many years’ experience in the MPS space. You’ll soon see why getting this right is essential for a profitable service operation.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get the most from ECMM.