MRC Smart Technology | Managed Print Services

  • Common Challenges
  • The Sourcing Alliance Program
  • Why MRC?
  • Procurement Process
  • Getting Started

The sourcing and procurement of copiers, printers, software, and related services is complicated. The reality is that most of us go through the procurement and contract management process rarely, maybe once every three to five years. Meanwhile, the industry is constantly evolving, with new equipment capabilities, new service packages, and enhanced software from which to choose. And, let’s be honest, some office equipment suppliers make used car dealers look good by comparison.

Given these challenges, it was not uncommon for our members to:

  • Develop RFP specifications designed to simply replace the existing equipment and services, instead of taking advantage of the latest industry advances.
  • Struggle to achieve an apples-to-apples comparison of proposals; the devil is in the details, and the details are often extremely difficult to ferret out.
  • Award purchase agreements based on Year 1 pricing (which is subject to increase in future years), without fully understanding the total financial exposure over the full contract term.
  • Find themselves being taken advantage of by office equipment suppliers through buried and hidden purchase agreement terms.

As a result, Sourcing Alliance set out to add a Managed Print Services Program to our portfolio of cooperative contracts.

View our MPS Program Brochure

Sourcing Alliance Developed a Better Alternative for our Members

Our first-in-the-nation Managed Print Services Program (MPS Program) addresses each of the challenges commonly experienced through the sourcing and procurement of copiers and printers. We hired an industry expert to lead the development of our cooperative purchasing agreement, received input from numerous members to fully understand their office equipment difficulties, and interviewed more than a dozen office equipment suppliers to learn about the newest industry capabilities and competitive differentiators.

Sourcing Alliance’s already-procured, competitively solicited cooperative contract for Managed Print Services integrates all costs associated with in-house copying and printing, including hardware, software, installation, management, maintenance, service, and toner. We required the winning office equipment supplier to:

  • Perform a complete assessment of each member’s current copier and printer capabilities, develop potential solutions that address both the current (not five-year old) needs of each member and the most current industry capabilities, and provide this consulting at no cost and with no obligation to each member. This assessment must include understanding each member’s culture, usage, existing and desired workflows, current costs, and sustainability objectives.
  • Provide a full range of the highest quality equipment, including multi-functional devices, printers, production machines, and certified pre-owned alternatives.
  • Offer members the ability to lease, rent, or buy office equipment, or simply pay a flat price per page with no upfront capital expenditures.
  • Migrate all copy, print, scan, and fax equipment, software, and services to a single contract with a single bill each month.
  • Only charge our members for the pages they print, and not charge a fee for scans.
  • Demonstrate a proven record of excellent customer service and responsiveness.
  • Adhere to rigorous and clearly defined service level agreements.
  • Perform all service with in-house employees, rather than contracting out printer management to third parties as is common in the industry.
  • Offer extensive software solutions that further leverage our members’ investment in office equipment to reduce manual processes and/or deliver new capabilities. This requirement included supporting our members’ disaster recovery plans by capturing, managing, sharing, and protecting paper and digital content in one central location.

Why Did Sourcing Alliance Select MRC as our Managed Print Services Supplier?

Following our intensive, months-long public sector procurement process, we ultimately awarded our cooperative purchasing agreement for Managed Print Services to MRC Smart Technology, a Global/Xerox company, as the most responsive and responsible office equipment supplier.

Sourcing Alliance selected MRC for five key reasons. MRC:

  1. Clearly understood our program objectives and the need to provide a comprehensive solution through a single cooperative purchasing agreement that could be tailored to meet the needs of individual Sourcing Alliance members.
  2. Had developed a proven process for conducting up-front assessments to develop optimized solutions for each individual member.
  3. Is the industry leader in managed print services and was one of the first office equipment suppliers to recognize that the deployment and utilization of copiers and printers should be systematically integrated, not separated.
  4. Offers the highest quality equipment and technology available in the marketplace.
  5. Understands the “services” component of managed print services and has a proven track record of delivering high quality, responsive, in-house customer service to its clients.

Download the Procurement Process

The Procurement Process

We hired a subject matter expert to serve as our consultant in developing the request for proposal (RFP) specifications, interviewing suppliers, reviewing proposals, and selecting the final supplier.  This individual had been a CEO for more than 25 years and most recently spent a number of years in the copier industry leading numerous acquisitions and integrations across the country.  We selected him because he is fully versed in the multi-functional device and printer industry, is intimately familiar with the major manufacturers and services providers as well as their respective capabilities, and fully understands the business and revenue model that drives the copier industry.  He was invaluable in this process.

We developed draft specifications with the input from our subject matter expert and a number of public sector entities, including Bowling Green State University, Lorain County Community College, and Cuyahoga Community College.  We also researched the supplier marketplace and identified numerous potential suppliers that could meet the stringent criteria that we were developing.  We proactively reached out to more than a dozen suppliers from across the country and invited them to participate in the process.  We reviewed our program objectives with each supplier and provided them with an opportunity to review the draft specifications and provide their feedback before finalizing the specifications and publishing the RFP.

After literally months of development, the Sourcing Alliance team completed the program specifications and assembled the final RFP.  In accordance with Ohio Revised Code, Sourcing Alliance published notice of the RFP opportunity on our website as well as in a newspaper of general circulation for three consecutive weeks.  We proactively forwarded the RFP information to each supplier we had identified and interviewed during our advance research.  We wanted to secure as much supplier interest and as many legitimate proposals as possible to establish the most competitive program for our members.

To identify the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, our proposal review team opened the proposals in a public forum, scored them on both a qualitative and quantitative basis, and interviewed the senior leadership of the finalists.

Appendix

Who Were the Suppliers that Participated in the Sourcing Alliance RFP Process?

  • Blue Technologies and Konica Minolta
  • ComDoc, Xerox, Global Imaging
  • Ikon Business Solutions
  • Konica Minolta
  • Lake Business Products and Canon
  • MCPC
  • MT Business Technologies
  • OfficeMax
  • Ricoh
  • RT Industrial
  • Sharp
  • Toshiba Business Solutions

Who Are the Companies Within the Global/Xerox Family?

Amcom Office Systems (PA)

Imaging Concepts of New Mexico (NM)

Arizona Office Technologies (AZ)

Inland Business Systems (CA)

Berney Office Solutions (AL, FL, GA, MS, TN)

Kelley Office Systems (VT)

Better Quality Business Systems (KY)

Lewan & Associates (CO, WY)

Blackstone Valley Office Systems (RI)

Lucas Business (CA)

Boise Office Equipment (ID)

Martin Whalen Office Solutions (IL)

Business Equipment Technologies (ME)

Michigan Office Solutions (MI, OH)

Cameron Office Products (MA)

Minnesota Office Technology Group (MN)

Capitol Office Solutions (DC, MD, VA)

Modern Business Machines (WI)

Carolina Office Systems (NC, SC)

Mr. Copy (CA)

Carr Business Systems (NY)

Northeast Copier Systems (MA)

Chicago Office Technology (IL)

OneSOURCE Managed Services (OK)

ComDoc, Inc. (NY, OH, PA, WV)

Premier Office Equipment (IA)

Connecticut Business Systems (CT, MA, NY)

Quality Business Systems (WA)

Conway Office Products (MA, NH)

RK Dixon (IL, IA)

CopyCo (IN)

Saxon Business Systems (FL)

Copytronix (OR)

      Sierra Office Solutions (NV)

      Dahill (TX)

      SoCal Office Technologies (CA)

      Daniel Communications (MS)

      Stewart Business Systems (NJ, PA)

      Denitech (TX)

      TML Enterprises (VA)

      Eastern Copy Products (NY)      

      Transco Business Technologies (ME)

      ESI (DC, VA)

      Xerographic Solutions (NY)

      Georgia Duplicating Products (GA)

      Xerox Audio Visual (AL, FL, GA, PA, TN)

      Image Tech (MA, RI)

      Zeno Office Solutions (FL)

      imageQUEST (KS)

      Zoom Imaging Solutions (CA)

Our Managed Print Services Program begins with a no cost, no obligation, data-driven 360° Workflow Assessment that i) defines your current print environment and what it costs you, ii) determines what your future print requirements are, and iii) designs and prices the optimal solution for your organization going forward.

To learn more about this program or request a 360° assessment at no cost to you, call or email Sourcing Alliance today at 844.289.6728 or info@SourcingAlliance.org.

Experience the benefits of working with Sourcing Alliance