Friday, February 17, 2012

Do you want to become an expert in the MPS business?

One method of educating oneself about the MPS business is to learn as much as you can from others by following “the process” that others are employing (or have employed) to get from point A to point B; point A being an overall, enterprise-wide assessment of “where we are today” and “where we need to get to” and point B being the conclusion of the process, where, after an RFP is developed, issued and the results are in, an MPS deal is put in place.

While doing some Google-research this morning, I came across a couple of interesting documents – produced by the I.T. Department at Butler University.

About Butler - Butler University is a private university located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 1855 and named after founder Ovid Butler, the university offers 60 degree programs to 4,400 students through six colleges: business, communication, education, liberal Arts and sciences, pharmacy and health sciences, and fine arts. It comprises a 290-acre (1.2 km2) campus located seven miles (11 km) from downtown Indianapolis.

Even though Butler is an institution of learning, its needs (for the University and its professors and students) for “copying and printing” are not unlike the needs you would find at a company of similar size or at a government agency of similar size.

Management at the University, likely spurred on by suggestions from the procurement and I.T. departments, decided to undertake a thorough analysis of the University’s print/copy needs, and, after looking through the two documents I found during my Google-search, the I.T. department has done an excellent job, so far.

You could use these documents as part of YOUR learning process about the MPS business. If this were a college course, you could break it (the process they went through or are still going through) into four parts:

Part One – Overall Enterprise-wide Print Assessment Study

Part Two – Evaluation of Study Results and Determination of “What to Do”

Part Three – Development of RFP; Distribution of RFP

Part Four – Selection of MPS vendor

As to the two documents I found, here's the beginning of one of them (you’ll later find a link to the complete “study summary” document):

Butler University’s Print Study Summary

The goal of the print study is to assess Butler's document output systems (copiers, printers, multifunction devices, etc.) in order to identify opportunities that will provide Butler with the best "rightsizing" opportunities, green alternatives and enhanced usability options. The assessment will research the current state of our printing and copying environments in order to understand future needs and how best to meet them.

The Current State:

With the aid of Butler University faculty, staff and students, the Ascher Group - - is conducting a document output study to determine the current fleet size, cost, location and usage. The analysis of the document output fleet has been broken into three areas: Copiers, HP Printers and Kyocera Printers.

Preliminary Print Assessment Summary Report

And, the other document I found was an Excel file that maps out the entire process Butler is going through (or, if they have completed the process by now, that Butler went through):

Print Assessment Status Report (Excel file)

To complete your homework, you would need to request the RFP that Butler came up with and copies of the proposals that Butler received.

Note that Butler University hired a consulting firm – by the name of The Ascher Group – to help guide the University through the entire process. Evidently, the Ascher Group has expertise in the MPS arena. If you visit Ascher’s web-site, you will likely find one or more “case studies” regarding enterprises that they’ve guided through the MPS process.

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