When you're running a business, you want to put yourself in the best possible position to succeed. Often times, opportunities to improve your business can go unnoticed. Not taking advantage of these opportunities can end up hurting you and possibly even running you out of business.
Running a successful company isn’t easy. It’s hard. Cue Michael Scott.
This is especially true when your core business consists of selling paper and printers to a world that is relying less and less on those products. This was exactly the case for the fine people of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company.
If you’re a fan of “The Office,” you know the many difficult business transitions that Dunder Mifflin had to go through in order to stay relevant. Eventually, the company was acquired by Sabre, an office equipment dealer who relied mostly on printer sales. Although the Sabre products and business model were more sustainable and successful than that of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, a real opportunity to grow was left on the table. Dunder Mifflin should have offered managed IT services by outsourcing.
What They Missed Out On
Although Dunder Mifflin wasn’t able to find a highly successful new product offering, it wasn’t for lack of trying. It’s still a mystery as to why “The Pyramid” didn’t have more success…
Instead of sinking money into a triangle-shaped tablet, the decision makers at Dunder Mifflin should have considered using an outsourced model to offer their existing customer base fully-managed IT services. With Michael Scott off to Colorado and Dwight at the helm in Scranton, hiring a slew of new technicians to oversee this new offering was highly unlikely. Let’s not forget how stingy Dwight was with the budget when he was asked to make a difficult health care decision…
What Dwight and company failed to see is that when using an outsourced model to provide managed IT services, hiring technicians for your OE business isn’t necessary. Finding a vendor that offers a 24x7 Help Desk and an RMM platform backed by a Network Operations Center (NOC) allows you to offer a new product and service without having to make new hires. In other words, Dunder Mifflin could have significantly scaled its business without having to bring on new employees.
Why Dunder Mifflin Was a Good Fit
If there was one thing that kept Dunder Mifflin in business throughout the tough times, it was its superior customer service, especially from the Scranton branch. Since the company already had well-established client base and strong client relationships, there was already a market for Dunder Mifflin to offer this new service to.
Lets say Dunder Mifflin had 4,000 customers. As is described in “Opportunity Knocks: Why Office Equipment Dealers Should Open the Doorway to Managed IT Services,” of those 4,000 customers who are buying office equipment, at least half of them is likely to have a strong need for managed IT services.
Now, if the amazing sales team at Dunder Mifflin is able to win even 10% of those customers over a three-year period, they’re looking at an average of $3 million in net profits. And let's be honest, with pre-sales rituals like these, how could they not hit that number?
In the end, it seems like Dunder Mifflin missed out on a huge opportunity by not taking on a managed IT services offering. It would have been very interesting to see how Michael Scott interacted with an entire team of technicians who were acting as an extension of his Scranton branch, or how Dwight Schrute worked with the highly-skilled, certified technicians at their NOC. It’s even more surprising that Dwight didn’t propose this offering when he was named manager. After all, he’s not an idiot…
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