Why You Should Work with a Print Vendor Over a Print Manufacturer
Are you shopping for a print partner? The printer and copier marketplace can be overwhelming with its numerous vendors all vying for your attention.
When your managed service provider company’s client uses managed print services, they typically deal with two companies: the manufacturer, who builds the machines, and the vendor, who sells the devices and triages print service.
Our parent company, Green Office Partner, functions as a vendor and works with some of the largest printer manufacturers in the country, such as Xerox and HP. These companies make exceptional machines and have the resources to deliver them throughout the United States and beyond.
Some companies, like Xerox, function as vendors and manufacturers, offering managed print services for those who buy machines directly from them.
Many print customers ask the very logical question: why work with a vendor at all? Why not cut out the middleman and buy service directly from a company like Xerox?
This article will cover the value that vendors like Green Office Partner offer to our clients and the benefits vendors offer compared to the direct managed print offered by big manufacturers.
Personalized Print Assessment
Large manufacturers like Xerox are widespread enough to deliver their products almost anywhere. However, they don't often do so with the same level of care as most dedicated vendors.
This is not so much of a critique of Xerox. Rather, it is the natural way companies operate when they grow.
Xerox is too big to deliver a boutique, white-glove sales experience to every customer when they have millions of clients worldwide. That would be impossible.
This brings us to the first reason you should work with a vendor vs. a manufacturer: the personalized print assessment.
Can your client buy Xerox copiers from Xerox directly? Yes. Will your client buy the right copiers from Xerox directly? Almost definitely not.
Copiers and printers are complex and expensive products. Most companies outside the print industry do not understand how to properly track their print spending and print needs, nor do they know how to select the right equipment.
Vendors function as your client’s print agent.
Compare print to insurance. If you were shopping for life insurance, you could call a company directly and purchase a $100,000 policy. But is that enough? Does that amount cover the costs of your mortgage, your children’s education, etc.?
An insurance agent could break down your family's needs to determine precisely how much coverage you should be getting, along with potential riders, supplemental insurance, and so on..
It’s the same in the print world. Dedicated vendors work as your client's agent, ensuring they get exactly what they need from their print service, no more, no less.
When your medium to large-sized customers buy Xerox products through Green Office Partner, our sales team provides an in-depth print assessment of your client's business locations.
We study your client’s current print fleet from top to bottom, analyzing your print history, your current and future needs, your multiple locations, your current print contract terms, and much more.
And while manufacturers roll out the red carpet for their multi-billion dollar clients, most companies aren’t within that range. Smaller companies won’t be on Xerox’s radar and are less likely to receive the attention they need if they work with Xerox directly.
Green Office Partner specializes in a mid-level market - companies that often have multiple locations, over 100 employees, and a robust printing infrastructure.
While companies like Xerox may assign different local agents for multiple locations of a company, Green Office Partner assigns a single sales agent to oversee the entire print process, flying the sales representative out to each site when necessary.
Triage Repair Service
Let’s look at another insurance example: when you get into a car accident and need to file an insurance claim, which would you prefer?
Do you want to call an agent who knows you, understands the claim process, and walks you step-by-step through how to file? Or do you want to wait on hold for 30 minutes to speak to a call center representative that won’t know you from Adam?
When a crisis hits, having an agent with whom your client has built a relationship makes a difference. They understand the industry and can walk your client through how to get the coverage they need.
The same applies to your client’s print service.
When your client has print issues and requires a repair, vendors work with them directly to ensure their service requests are fulfilled. If their Xerox copier is out of order, we send the service ticket for them, and we check in with them and with Xerox every day until the order is fulfilled.
In some cases, Xerox may not be able to fix machines on time due to parts being out of stock. In these cases, Green Office Partner is able to provide replacement machines while your client waits for the service request to be fulfilled. This can be a lifesaver for businesses that rely on constant access to their print devices.
Thanks to our partnership with Xerox, we know what to expect and how to move the process forward as efficiently as possible for your clients.
Vendors function as their advocate.
Our focused team works to educate your clients on the repair process while we hold Xerox accountable for fulfilling the work order as soon as possible.
"Our support experience is based on advocacy," says Green Office Partner CIO and Former MSP Owner DeAndre Hodo. "We isolate, identify and remediate whatever issue your client has, and we’ll work with them directly to get them operational as soon as possible with as minimal disruption as possible."
To learn more about our service request procedure, read: How Print Partner Handles Your Client’s Support Requests
Print service is a dynamic process that is constantly evolving, and a “set it and forget it” strategy just won’t cut it.
Your client’s print needs in 2022 may not be the exact needs they have in 2023, which is another reason why having a print agent in their corner like Green Office Partner is a huge boon.
When buying products directly from a large manufacturer like Xerox, your client may never hear from them again after the initial purchase. They may receive a survey about how the delivery went or if the online portal was easy to use, but that’s usually about it.
Meanwhile, your client’s business could undergo significant changes that require different print needs.
If the print services provider doesn’t accommodate your client’s changing print needs, this could cause significant issues for their business. Overworked machines break down and leave your clients high and dry when they need to print the most.
This will likely result in some very frustrating calls to their managed service provider…
Many vendors perform periodical check-ins with your clients to ensure their services consistently meet their needs.
Quarterly business reviews (QBRs) are meetings we hold with clients throughout the year to keep a pulse on changes in their business.
Are they expanding and adding a location? We can walk them through some products they may need.
Are they downsizing? They may need different equipment than they used to.
These check-ins ensure that as your client evolves, our service evolves with them.
Vendor’s and Print Partner’s Value
We hope that this article shed some light on the differences between working with print vendors and print manufacturers. All vendors and manufacturers are different, and the differences discussed above are generalizations that come from our industry experience.
And in our experience, vendors are more proactive when it comes to the maintenance of the relationship between them and your client.
Companies all have their own printing needs. Working with Xerox may be the best fit for mega multi-billion dollar corporations. And for single-location mom-and-pop stores that only need one or two printers, a small local print vendor may offer the best service.
But for everything in-between - the mid-level print market - Green Office Partner offers a top-shelf service.
“We build honest relationships with our clients,” says Green Office Partner CTO Brad Haun. “Our team is always jumping on airplanes. We’re really out here in front of our clients.”
When your clients work with Green Office Partner, we walk them through the print service pipeline every step of the way. From the buying process to the upkeep to the service requests, we will guide your clients through print and make sure nobody falls through the cracks.
As a dedicated print vendor, our focus is always on the quality of service your clients receive. We partner with manufacturers like HP and Xerox, who produce high-quality print products and offer a personalized, boutique service experience to our clients.
You don’t have time to learn the ins and outs of print, so leave the headache to us.
Partner with us, a Print Partner you can trust.