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Knowing the direction of travel

Brother UK’s Managing Director Phil Jones MBE, speaks to PrintIT Reseller about the company’s Transform 2018 strategy

Phil Jones, MBE, Managing Director, Brother UK
Phil Jones, MBE, Managing Director, Brother UK

Transform 2018, a strategic initiative created to help grow the company’s revenues by moving towards contractual solutions and services was launched in 2016. “We launched the initiative as a three year overarching strategy for the business,” said Jones.

Jones argues that digital disruption and the ever-changing commercial climate is forcing everyone to re-think how they conduct business. “The DX economy is not exclusive to our industry, everyone is going through a period of change. The dynamics of the environment we are operating in are constantly evolving,” he said, adding: “We’re seeing industry consolidation, business model failure, fewer players in the space thanks to an unprecedented number of mergers and acquisitions as the big eat the small and the fast eat the slow – the list goes on. There is an awful lot going on both within our own industry and those of our customers, and this is why we all need to take a step back to consider what the best way to do business is within the new construct.”

Ramping up ability
He continued: “From Brother’s perspective, we identified the MPS sector as one area where we can confidently perform well, we’ve got a comprehensive product line-up and a strong channel. Transform 2018 is about us ramping up our ability in four areas: revenues in contracts and services; a partner base capable of supporting MPS deployments; our brand credentials and ‘permission to play’; and our capability – focusing on the 3 Ps – people, platforms and processes.”

The starting point for Transform 2018 was to set out strategic intent for what Brother wanted to do – from where it was then, what the future state should look like and the work required to get from A to B.

“By the end of next year, our goal is to be in a position of high competency, we are evolving everything we have in place from the financials, processes, people, and a strong partner network, to be a serious player in the services space as opposed to an OEM within the traditional transactional-based box shifting market playing with a basic print service offer,” Jones said, adding that this was over and above the day to day business strategy of securing high market share.

“Our capability now is fantastic,” he added. In this current financial year, Brother UK has broken its own MPS deal size record three times. The highlight of which was winning the largest MPS piece of business the company has ever secured – across Europe. And, the company is now sitting in the challenger section of many of the major MPS analyst Quadrants. “We’re walking in to major enterprise level opportunities and walking out with major pieces of business, many of which we’ve taken off of competitors.

New level of proficiency
“We’ve built a whole new level of proficiency so we can compete for MPS, prove we deserve to be in the room and that we have the ability to deliver,” he stated. “For example we now have a team of Prince2 qualified practitioners – that’s the default standard for any large-scale MPS deployment. We’re now talking to customers in their language, project managing roll-outs and providing them with the documentation they want and are used to. That was a key component of us proving we have permission to play in this space.”

Demonstrating its commitment to continuing to evolve the way it operates by moving towards tailored solutions and services as part of Transform 2018, Brother UK has invested in both infrastructure and people.

“We invested £250,000 in a new events and product showcase space at our Manchester head office, brought on new people with new skills, reorganised the business and re-catalogued our services offer,” Jones said. “We now offer a whole suite of services commensurate with the approach of a managed services provider that we are rolling out to our customers. Essentially they can pick from a menu of solutions and services and choose how they want to work with us and how they want us to work for them.”

Recurring revenues
He continued: “The market today is a very different place and recurring revenues need to be high on everyone’s priority list. We are working closely with our partners helping them to leverage our capability, we can be their ‘Print as a Service’ partner. The more MIF on contract, the better the opportunity for our partners to secure revenue for the mid-term and insulate themselves from market movements, as well as benefit from the high customer retention rate on MPS.”

As the leader of the business Jones says he can look back at the pathway that’s been trodden, the people, processes and platforms that are now in place and confidently say: “We’re doing incredibly well and I’m very happy with our progress.”

He argues that those companies that continue to fail are the ones that aren’t clear in the direction of travel.

“Regardless of the sector you’re in, it’s about having clarity over the direction of travel, to get the resources aligned and ensure everyone in the business is pulling in the right direction,” he said in conclusion.

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