SoCal Office Technologies | Managed Print Services

  • Common Challenges
  • The Sourcing Alliance Program
  • Why SoCal?
  • 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.

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.

Download the Program Brochure

Why Did Sourcing Alliance Select SoCal 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 SoCal Office Technologies, a Global/Xerox company, as the most responsive and responsible office equipment supplier.

Sourcing Alliance selected SoCal for five key reasons. SoCal:

  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

Why did Sourcing Alliance Develop the Print Management Program?

Several Sourcing Alliance members expressed their frustration with the process of procuring copiers and managing their cost of in-house printing and duplication to our team.  We began researching the space to learn whether there was an opportunity to develop a program that would provide meaningful value to our members and address the challenges that had been raised.  What we learned convinced us that we should develop a first-in-the-nation already procured contract.  For example,

  • The cost of printing to a laser or inkjet printer can be 2 to 6 times as expensive as printing to a multi-functional (copy, print, scan, and fax) device.
  • Most Sourcing Alliance members established leases with service contracts for their multi-functional devices (MFD’s) with third-party suppliers, but very few of those suppliers also managed the member’s printers. Printers were managed in-house or by another third-party provider. Because the management of MFD’s and printers were not integrated, most members were installing and paying for far more printing and copying capacity than they actually required.
  • MFD contracts with suppliers typically included clauses that enabled suppliers to unilaterally increase their charges each year and apply a wide range of additional charges.
  • Existing consortia or state term contracts primarily focused on securing the lowest possible price for MFD equipment, but largely ignored ongoing service, overage charges, and other terms and conditions that are critical to contain the total costs billed to our members.

We set out to develop a first-of-its-kind in the public sector approach that integrates all costs associated with in-house copying and printing (including hardware, software, installation, management, maintenance, service, and toner) to establish a total cost of ownership model that enables our members to migrate to a single contract for each of these elements with a proven supplier, access defined service level agreements, establish a single bill each month, and be charged a single price per copy/print over the term of the contract with no upfront capital expenditures.  This variable pricing model eliminates capital expenditures and has the added value of ensuring that our members only pay for what they use.

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.

Why did Sourcing Alliance Select SoCal/Global as our Supplier Partner?

We selected the family of companies owned by Global Imaging Systems, Inc., a Xerox company, including SoCal Office Technologies, as the lowest responsive and responsible bidder for a number of reasons:

  • SoCal/Global is the industry leader in managed print services and was one of the first companies to recognize that the deployment of copiers and printers should be integrated to provide the best, most economical solution for each member.
  • Global and its subsidiaries offer managed print services from coast-to-coast, providing Sourcing Alliance with the ability to deliver this program to public sector entities nationwide.
  • Through Xerox, SoCal /Global provides the best, highest quality depth and breadth of equipment available in the marketplace.
  • SoCal /Global clearly understood the solution Sourcing Alliance was developing for the public sector and the need to provide a comprehensive solution through a single contract vehicle that could be tailored to meet the needs of individual members.
  • SoCal /Global has a proven track record of conducting the up-front audits necessary to develop optimized solutions for each individual member.

We created a contract that is oriented towards lowering members’ total in-house printing and duplication costs.  The first step in this process is to conduct a no cost assessment to: a) establish the total current costs, b) identify and catalogue all existing printing, scanning, fax, and copying equipment on-site, and c) determine the total volume and type of print/copy jobs conducted organization-wide.  With this information in hand, SoCal /Global is then in a position to design an optimized solution with the appropriate deployment of devices and technology that cost-effectively meets the needs of each member.

The contract is flexible in that all the elements of print management and managed print services (including hardware, software, installation, management, maintenance, service, and toner) are already procured.  A customized solution for each entity can be developed out of the existing contract elements with no requirement that the public sector member conduct its own bid or RFP process to establish the supplier relationship necessary to implement the optimized plan.

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) deter-mines 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.

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