Majority of consumers expect companies to act on climate change

Lisa Graham, marketing manager at Xerox

Xerox’ marketing manager Lisa Graham discusses the environmental responsibility organizations are now faced with and how consumers sustainability demands are increasing.

For most channel partners, two terms have long dominated the sales conversation: reliability, and affordability. Recently another buzzword started creeping into the dialogue, gradually moving from inquiry to demand: sustainability. Businesses of all sizes are responding to the consumer demand for environmental responsibility, opening the door for channel partners to start a new kind of conversation.

More than three-fourths (76 percent) of consumers expect companies to take action against climate change and are willing to support those actions with their purchases, according to a study by Cone Communications. They’re not alone. A growing number of government agencies and other organizations in the public sector report that they prefer to do business with environmentally friendly companies.

This has led to significant changes in the way we are all doing business, both as providers consumers. How many of us now carry reusable shopping bags, rather than paying the upcharge for accepting single-use plastic carrier bags? How many of you carried a reusable cup into Starbucks this morning, instead of leaving with a disposable one?

Building and maintaining an environmentally sustainable business is becoming increasingly important to your customers, which makes it increasingly important to you. The good news for both you and the customers you serve is that making this shift is not only good for the planet, it’s also good for business. Help your customers improve not just their bottom line but their triple bottom line – financial, social and environmental.

A Managed Print Service is not only a top way to seize growth. It’s also one of the best ways to engage your customers on a sustainability journey, and to enhance (or initiate) their environmentally friendly efforts without compromising their bottom line.

Here’s how to get started:

Assess the Print Environment
A Managed Print Service assessment provides a detailed look at the customer’s current operating environment and workflows, evaluating the total current cost of ownership (TCO), and current operating costs and performance (and the potential savings opportunities). This will indicate how efficiently they’re consuming resources like of power and carbon consumption, including paper, trees and natural resources.

Once you’ve identified the inefficiencies (too many devices, outdated devices, non-secure printing or inefficient workflows) it’s time to offer solutions that can make your customers more efficient, and more environmentally responsible.

Resolve Pain Points
It goes without saying that you can’t put the organization out of business to save the environment, but there are the economic benefits of operating as an environmentally sustainable business. They will most likely center around two prime factors: the device; and the paper it outputs.

The device. Too many customers have more devices than they need, leading to excessive usage costs. Outdated devices pose a similar problem, as they’re likely to be inefficient. Those extra devices are also taking up unnecessary space, making the entire office less efficient. An effective print assessment rids customers of unnecessary or inefficient devices, lowering usage costs and reducing their carbon footprint.

The Paper. Moving from paper to digital workflows has the potential to radically overhaul how your customers work, both internally and externally. By introducing a Managed Print Service to help customers digitize their paper processes, you can help them dramatically reduce the amount of paper they’re using, saving them time and money, improving the way they collaborate, and even helping to improve their data security.

Talk Supplies
Counterfeit or off-brand supplies, such as ink cartridges from dubious sources, may be harmful to both humans and the environment. Selling Genuine Supplies guarantees your customers will receive the quality and safety they deserve. It’s also a great way for you to build a trust relationship while maintaining a reliable revenue stream.

Monitor and Support
Whether you’re starting afresh, or simply making tweaks, the final step is to identify the success of your customers’ MPS program and emphasize how these wins can help them build a ‘greener’ future. Continuous device monitoring ensures that all devices are working properly and efficiently, with the supplies they need. It’s a factor which can make turn a channel partner from a vendor into a long-term, trusted advisor.

Do Sweat the Small Stuff
While selling the environmental message of managed print can spell growth for you and a greener way for your customers to work, there are also small steps partners can take to help their customers become more sustainable. It could be as simple as evaluating whether their business is currently printing on double-sided paper as a standard practice, or alerting them to the fact that turning their default setting to ‘duplex’ can reduce paper consumption by 50%, minimizing the costs for supplies and recycling, and freeing up the device. It takes less than 30 seconds to do but creates a pretty significant impact!