Providing Customer Benchmark Studies Is Easier Than You Think

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As human beings we LOVE benchmarks.  If we are looking to improve our lives or our businesses there is nothing better than a good analyses of how we compare to others doing the same thing.  Benchmarks and other comparative metrics help us to zero in on the areas we need help with the most without wasting time on areas where we are doing great.  

As an office equipment dealer or managed services provider you have likely benchmarked your business against others in the space. You find great benefit from seeing how your profitability, revenue and service costs compare to others doing the same thing.  If you’re not taking advantage of such an exercise you should do so, it’s invaluable and can help drive growth.

If such benchmarks and industry comparative studies are invaluable to your business, imagine how your customers would feel if they could get the same things.  The good news is that providing such benchmarks is possible and much easier than you think. All you need is the right data and the decision to do assessments better.

Maybe you’ve even thought of doing a benchmark study for your customers but don’t know where to start. Having been in the world of business process assessments for as long as I have I’ve learned a few things along the way.  I’m going to share them with you today!

 Need more data? Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

Need more data? Sometimes all you have to do is ask.

You’ll need data.  Not just the stuff you collect for meters and toner levels for an individual customer. You will need 2 types in order to perform this kind of comparative assessment:

Industry vertical data:   If you work with an industry-leading partner that provides RMM (Remote Monitoring & Management) software tools for your managed print practice you can get all the “big data” you need for your benchmark.  Cost, device and user metrics are being collected on a regular basis and good RMM partners will help you to get the numbers you need.

Customer specific data:  For this you’ll need to run an assessment.  Ideally you will collect both printer AND user specific printing data.  Some tier-1 RMM providers for managed print provide tools for both data sets.  You may be using multiple partners for printer and user RMM. To tie it all together so your customer can make sense of it all you’ll want a partner like DOCassess.

If you’ve been collecting this kind of data yourself and you have a large enough install base you may be able to create your own vertical benchmarks.  Just remember that the larger the data set the more representative it will be for the industry at large. If you only have 200 customers, don’t be your own source.  

Now that you have the data sources and the necessary tools to do an assessment you are almost ready to run comparisons for your customer compared to others in their vertical.  What kinds of things can you compare? Here is a list of some easy yet powerful ones to get you started:

 The benchmark data you provide should lead to solutions that you can provide

The benchmark data you provide should lead to solutions that you can provide

  • Annual average total spend per user:  How much does an average Education vertical (or legal, manufacturing, etc.) employee spend on printing every year?  For your customer specifically?

  • Color vs. Mono production: What is the color/mono ratio on average for an employee? How does your customer compare?

  • Device utilization: How well are print enabled devices being utilized compared to the industry?

  • User to device ratio:  If the Education vertical has an average of 1 printer for every 20 students, how does your customer stack up? Better? Worse?

  • Others?  What metrics do you use in a traditional assessment? Can you get industry averages of those from your RMM provider?

Leading as an office equipment dealer or managed services provider requires that you do more for your customers every year.  Doing an industry benchmark assessment is a great way to showcase that you are a true partner. True partners offer more value than their competitors and take home more wallet share.  Conducting a benchmark study will be good for you and your customers. All that’s left is for you to get started. Contact DOCassess today and we’ll help you get moving.  We know the partners to connect you with and have the tools to make presentations easy.

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