PrintIT Reseller - issue 58

01732 759725 22 MPS Prior to Beta Distribution’s demise, UTAX had begun to work with the distributor, supporting its resellers to break into the managed print market. “Beta approached us a while back as they wanted to get into managed print. It’s well known that margins in distribution are eroding and Beta recognised that the transactional business they were involved in was shrinking. More business is done online, the web makes it easier for people to shop around and get a better deal. You’ve almost got this race to the bottom,” Wilkinson explained. Wilkinson argues that distribution companies need to move away from transactional business to business that gives them recurring revenue. “Our traditional route to market is though managed print and copier resellers and they get that,” he said, adding: “The cost of getting the business in the first place is higher because it still has to be person led. You can’t buy a managed print service over the internet because you need to be engaged with the business and understand what it is trying to do, how far along it is with digital transformation etc. It’s not just about providing hardware and service now, it’s about integrating yourself into a customers’ business making you a trusted partner.” Whilst this approach means the reseller incurs a higher cost to get the Following breaking news that Beta Distribution has gone into administration, Shaun Wilkinson Managing Director, UTAX, explains why a transactional-based sales model is not sustainable long-term and why IT resellers should look to switch to MPS Why sell a box when you can sell a solution sale, Wilkinson reasons that once the deal is signed, the reseller wins a three to five year contract. “Also, long-term, if you do your job right you’ve got a contract for ten even twenty years. The alternative is you could spend some money today getting some business of a customer, then tomorrow they could go somewhere else, so every morning you’ve got to start again from zero,” he said. A shift in mind-set Distribution has historically adopted a ‘pile it high sell it cheap’ approach. Wilkinson acknowledges that MPS is a different concept and requires a shift in mind-set for the traditional distie particularly with consumables business. “They have all this business coming in and they don’t want to rock the boat but those that are switched on know that particular business is in danger, and unless they take action they may well have it now but they perhaps won’t in a year’s time. The way to protect that revenue is to try and convert consumables customers to managed print customers, then you’ve got a recurring contracted revenue stream.” He added: “Partnering with UTAX or indeed any manufacturer that already has MPS expertise can help. We can help them make the transition and successfully put managed print and digital transformation solutions in place with their customers.” The relationship with Beta isn’t the first time UTAX has worked within the distribution channel. The company engaged with Northamber a few years ago, but Wilkinson said that that didn’t really take off the way it expected. With Beta now in administration, you could argue that no further progress will be made. Expert back-up That, says Wilkinson is not necessarily the case. “Some of Beta’s resellers have approached us direct to work with them and that’s what we will continue to do,” he said. Explaining how it will work Wilkinson said: “Our infrastructure becomes their infrastructure, we have the ability to engage with the customer, Continued... Shaun Wilkinson