Your organization has engaged with a managed print services provider. The provider has completed a detailed assessment of your print and document infrastructure and workflow, including a detailed device inventory, surveying end user requirement and considering your document-intensive business processes.
The result is a future state design that meets your organizational objectives and is consistent with your corporate culture. Now what?
The next critical phase of an MPS engagement is transition and implementation. This is the phase that has the greatest likelihood of being disruptive to your organization, and where provider service delivery excellence plays a vital role. There are three factors that are basic to mitigating this disturbance and ensuring success – planning, timeliness, and communication. In addition, during this transition period (and continuing into day-to-day management) your vendor should proactively evaluate and present opportunities for additional savings and efficiencies.
At the end of 2015, IDC conducted a survey of large organizations in the U.S. and Western Europe that had carried out successful MPS initiatives. Respondents had been engaged with their MPS provider for a minimum of three years. We asked survey participants about the factors during the transition phase that contributed to the overall success of the engagement. At the top of the list was that the vendor clearly demonstrated innovation and proactively provided suggestions for leveraging new technology and/or reengineering workflows, with almost half (46%) of respondents citing this as key to success. In addition, one-third of respondents indicated that their vendor clearly demonstrated innovation and proactively provided suggestions for increased savings and efficiencies as another aspect contributing to success. Clearly a proactive, innovative partner is vital to success.
It is important to note that the basics - planning, timeliness, and communication – are also central to service delivery excellence. Your provider must provide a detailed blueprint for transitioning your organization’s print and document infrastructure and workflows from its current state to the specified future state. The blueprint must have three components: schedule, technology changes, and a communication and change strategy – and it must encompass all locations and geographies that will be impacted by the new design. Most importantly, the blueprint should be developed in collaboration with your organization to identify critical path activities and ensure consideration of all dependencies. 35% of respondents to our survey indicated that a comprehensive plan to transition the organization’s print and document infrastructure and workflows from its current state to the specified future state was a key component of success, and 37% noted that it was important for that plan to include a phased approach for changes across geographies (figure 6). Conversely, poor planning was frequently cited as a key challenged during the transition phase (figure 7).
Consider the transition from your initial state to the proposed optimized state of the MPS contract. What were the most important factors contributing to the success of your MPS contract?
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Over a third of our survey respondents indicated that timely completion of the transition phase was a significant contributor to the success of their MPS engagement. But it is important to remember that timeliness is more than just speed. The schedule should also consider business cycles and seasonal impact.
One-third of survey respondents indicated that being kept informed on a regular basis was critical to the success of their MPS engagement. In fact, organizational change management is crucial to the success of any managed print services engagement, and communication and education play a big role in change management. Communication must start during the assessment phase, ensuring that employees are not only aware of the assessment activities but also the rationale behind those activities. Of course, the same is true during the transition phase of the project.
A key success factor in executing a comprehensive and effective change management program is close collaboration between the provider and senior stakeholders. Senior managers must support the initiative, and communicate this support to employees prior to the start of any activities. This facilitates faster implementation and mitigates risk during the transition period.
As noted previously, inadequate planning was frequently cited as a key challenge during the transition phase. The result of poor planning may be integration challenges. 27% of respondents cited poor integration with existing systems as a primary challenge, and one-quarter cited poor integration with policies and procedures. The later indicates a lack of effective change management.
What were the primary challenges that you faced during the transition phase of your MPS engagement?
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