The Battle Between… HARD Cost & SOFT Cost

As Practice Director at PrintLogix I am fortunate to be in the position of presenting our Managed Print proposals to potential new customers. In almost every instance this proposal is the result of an extensive current state assessment which after flowing through a team of analysts and future state architects we get to recommend usually two or more options for our client to digest. Often the client is part of the future state design, as we find that it actually helps us get to an end point much quicker that way.

Anyway, when it comes to presenting the proposal we focus solely on hard costs related to print, so power, paper, consumables, toner, hardware and service etc., on more than one occasion clients have asked why we do not build soft costs into our proposal? Our answer is simple, at PrinterLogix we believe that the cost comparison should support itself based on fixed costs alone, sure we mention soft costs such as print related tickets to IT helpdesk, physical document storage or reduced real estate on smaller or fewer devices but we do not build those costs into our proposal.

Is what we do the right way? Well to be honest we don’t really know, but what we do know is that our clients are far more capable of assessing the impact of the soft cost of their business, we make no apology for the fact that we consider ourselves Managed Print experts and we feel that if we cannot make a strong business case based on hard costs alone then we do not believe that there is any case to be made