Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) tend to be the typical customer demographic of many Xerox channel partners. Of course they are not the only size customers you work with but they likely represent a good portion of your customer-base and because of their size, they are understandably focused on cost savings.

Most SMBs realize that shifting away from paper intensive processes and inserting technology into their workflows will increase productivity and reduce costs. However, they continue to struggle to solve this puzzle due to lack of time. Their main focus is running their businesses so even though they know it’s possible to save up to 30% on print and copy related tasks, equipment and supplies, they find it difficult to find the time to explore and implement opportunities for improvement.

This dynamic opens doors to opportunities for partners to add value though education and demos to show how hardware, apps and managed print services (MPS) work to improve their bottom line.

The resource challenges facing SMBs

With the dizzying speed that new technology solutions are released, how can these SMBs ensure their hardware won’t be outdated the minute it’s deployed and that the training and support required for their employees is worth it?

Let’s explore three ways Xerox channel partners can remove the roadblocks to SMB cost savings:

  1. Become the comprehensive solution

Typically SMB workers wear many hats across diverse roles, which results in a variety of people, processes, and devices tied to copy and print. In many cases these customers use a variety of service providers for things like:

  • Information technology (IT)
  • Business automation
  • Print and copy services

Managing relationships, ordering, invoicing, service, and other needs spread across several different providers is time consuming and costly. So, when possible, these customers are choosing a supplier who can fill the majority of their needs. Customers want their few chosen suppliers to be trusted advisors and now with MPS print partners can double as network providers and add on other solutions. Think about workflows, cloud services, mobile print and game changing business apps like translation and adaptability and accessibility solutions. Together, these service offerings streamline existing workflows, highlight areas where automation can reduce the paper burden and give partners the ability to act as their trusted advisor as they grow so their MPS needs can scale alongside their growth.

  1. Add technology skills to gain new revenue opportunities

A recent study1 looked at the top skills SMBs seek in a third party workflow solutions and technology provider. The top three desired skills include:

  • System integration skills
  • Full MPS service provision
  • Software development capabilities

These trends indicate that implementing emerging technologies is important for keeping Xerox channel partners competitive in the evolving MPS landscape. The top desired skill, system integration, allows partners to enhance mobility by integrating print, storage and other cloud services that work in unison to address customer pain points. And because of digital transformation and cloud adoption, it makes sense for partners to take advantage of this trend by including support for cloud services in their MPS solutions.

  1. Recommend the right equipment

The purchase of a multifunction printer is ultimately a cost and timesaving investment for SMBs but cost and time aren’t their only concern. Customers also worry about scalability which makes matching their needs today with their future needs critical and hardware selection is central to that conversation.

The hardware capabilities SMBs want to address can be met by the functionality of several of Xerox’s new offerings. For example, the Phaser 6510 color printer and the WorkCenter 6515 color multifunction printer (MFP) are both equipped to leverage capabilities for things like:

  • Customized workflows
  • Cloud connectivity
  • Multiple scan-to destinations

Knowing what SMB customers are looking for in equipment and in MPS, puts partners in an advantageous position to educate and discuss specific features so that buyers feel confident they’re buying the best solution for their situation.

1. Coleman Parkes Research for Xerox Corporation, published September 2016

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