60% of Print Services to Be Delivered as a Service: Brother UK Leads the Way

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With demand for print as a service growing, Brother UK has recently launched three new managed print services solutions to help grow its business in this market.

With businesses always looking towards boosting efficiency and profitability in their print fleet, it is no surprise that managed print solutions (MPS) are increasing in popularity. Indeed, 60% of print is forecast to be delivered as part of a service in the next three to five years.

Brother UK has noted this shift in the market – between April and June the company delivered an 84% year-on-year increase in new MPS agreements.

To further capitalise on this, Brother UK recently launched three new MPS products, MPS Essential, MPS Professional and MPS Enterprise, which are designed for the needs of different businesses, from small organisations with a single office through to complex multi-site corporations and make it simpler for reseller partners to sell contract printing.

Brother UK has delivered MPS since 2010, with 97% of the businesses moving on to Brother MPS remaining on contracts five years later. The increasing demand comes as businesses seek out to boost the productivity, efficiency and sustainability of their print infrastructure.

The new offering guarantees that 100% of the ink and toner cartridges can be returned for recycling or remanufactured at its Recycling Technology Centre in Ruabon, North Wales, meaning that zero waste goes to landfill.

Greig Millar, chief revenue officer at Brother UK, says that MPS represents a major part of Brother’s business. “We’re targeting for half of our revenue to come from contractual sales by 2025,” he says. “This recognises how MPS is no longer just the future of print, but it’s the way businesses want to print right now.”

He adds that the growth in demand for MPS is being driven by several factors. “More customers are being won over by its potential to boost cost efficiency, productivity and sustainability,” he says. “Procuring technology under contract is also becoming more prevalent in our personal and professional lives and businesses are increasingly seeing the value in buying their print solutions as-a-service rather than transactionally.”

Extended offering

It is this growing demand that prompted Brother to launch the three new MPS solutions recently, which are aimed at different business sectors.

MPS Essential is designed for small businesses with low volume print requirements. Flexible plans start from £5.78 per month, which provides companies with a printer, free servicing and automatic supplies replenishment. Resellers can sign businesses up in seconds, with customers having the flexibility to cancel at any time. Brother will manage credit checks, maintenance of devices and consumables deliveries, making it suited to resellers selling MPS for the first time.

“MPS Essential is unique to the channel,” says Greg. “Small businesses want flexibility and don’t want to be bound by minimum print volume requirements on extended contracts. This product gives partners a low-commitment, flexible solution to help companies transition onto MPS contracts.”

Meanwhile MPS Professional is designed for SMEs with higher volume print requirements. Benefits include tailored user interfaces on machines, additional weekend and bank holiday maintenance support from Brother and on-site demonstrations. Customers also have the option to pay per page or build their own package based on their page volumes, offering a more cost-effective way to print.

Finally, MPS Enterprise is Brother UK’s fully bespoke offering for resellers servicing large corporates with complex printing needs spanning multiple locations. Benefits include specialist pre-sales consultancy for customers, ongoing optimisation of the service through a dedicated Brother account manager, and full breakdowns on recycling and remanufacturing to support firms’ reporting on sustainability.

Being bespoke is important for businesses such as this, Greg adds. “MPS Enterprise is a package that’s designed around a business,” he says. “We work alongside partners, consulting with customers on their requirements and tailor the solution to make it right for them. For example, these businesses may have operations spanning multiple sites, creating a more complex printing challenge for vendors and partners to help customers overcome. We also ensure a triple layer of security customised for their network.”

Flexibility and sustainability

All of Brother UK’s new offerings have flexibility built into them. “We know that flexibility is crucial for resellers, and we want to arm them with all the tools they need to meet customers’ print requirements,” says Greg.

“The previous iteration of Brother MPS had flexibility at its heart, but from listening to resellers we found that they wanted more clarity and simplicity on what packages are suited to specific customers. The three new solutions outline the breadth of support we can provide to small companies, large organisations with multi-site operations and everything in between.”

Likewise, there is also an emphasis on sustainability, which again has been demanded by customers and resellers. “Businesses are examining all corners of their operations for opportunities to reduce their environmental impact,” says Greg. “Through our MPS solutions, we provide customers with recycling/remanufacturing programmes to help them make their operations greener.”

Entry point

The new solutions can also provide an entry point into the MPS market for smaller resellers. “Volume requirements on MPS packages have often been a barrier to small businesses looking to benefit from it,” Greg says. “We wanted to design our MPS solutions to be as simple as possible for partners to deliver, particularly for smaller resellers with less capacity.

“With MPS Essential, for example, we handle all credit checks and payments, and our maintenance team guarantees a response within four hours should anything go wrong with a device. All the partner needs to do is sign the customer up in as little as 15 seconds and enjoy the 15% commission. We want to take any burden off small resellers so that they have the capacity to start offering print as a service.”

Growing market

With the investment in the new products, and the company’s stated aim of delivering 50% of revenue through contractual sales by 2025, it is perhaps unsurprising that Greg is bullish about the future of the MPS market over the next three to five years.

“The MPS market will only grow, and it offers a significant opportunity for resellers: market intelligence firm IDC forecast that 60% of print will be delivered as a service in the next three to five years,” he says.

“We want to make sure they have access to the solutions they need to help customers tap into the productivity, cost-efficiency and sustainability gains that MPS can provide.”