Fleet mapping can play an essential role in winning (or losing) a new MPS deal. It can also be challenging to identify and visualize a fleet, especially for large customers in industries like healthcare and education. The global pandemic has further complicated onsite visits for consultants and customers alike. Let’s explore some of the common reasons an analyst would skip mapping and potential reasons to take a second look, even in light of COVID-19.

Scenario 1: “If the fleet isn’t big enough, it’s not worth mapping it.”

By mapping smaller deals, it’s possible to get more access to the customer’s infrastructure. An analyst can learn about the customer and their working relationship with the devices, identifying high traffic areas and other potential workflow issues. A site visit is also an excellent opportunity to point out supply closets full of old components and count all the transactional device purchases and broken copiers. Sometimes there’s no substitute for visiting a site, no matter how small.

Scenario 2: “I shouldn’t spend time on maps if I’m not even sure I’ll win the deal.”

Instead of mapping a whole building, try spending an hour mapping only one floor and present it as an opportunity. Limited mapping saves time and also gives the customer an idea of the possibilities which can be created. Providing appealing visuals and handing over a detailed map of an environment has a “Wow!” factor spreadsheets struggle to achieve.

Scenario 3: “I don’t have access to the maps.”

To visualize a fleet, designers don’t always need to know where devices are physically located. Having a blank piece of paper with the objects on them presents a powerful presentation in and of itself. There are plenty of success stories where a consultant will upload a placeholder image saying “no maps” on a white canvas, plot the fleet, and then show the customer the resulting visual presentation to evoke a response. A graphical representation of the environment offers the customer a place to point to, ask questions, and reference, instead of looking at a spreadsheet of line items.

Scenario 4: “It will take too long to map everything.”

Depending on customer urgency and the number of sites, the time required to map everything may be a challenging hurdle to overcome. Consultants may want to consider getting creative in gathering locations for current state devices. An alternative approach to mapping everything yourself is working with site administrators to map sites virtually. New technology even allows savvy consultants to give customers access to mapping tools with limited functionality. The customer can identify where devices are from a list and simply drag and drop them into their proper location. While a virtual approach doesn’t give a consultant the type of insight a typical live discovery would, it’s a unique way to get the customer involved in the discovery process while simultaneously saving time and money traveling to every site.

Scenario 5: “COVID!” 

The reality is all customers are affected by COVID-19 differently. Healthcare verticals are going to have a different paradigm than those in finance. For some customers, onsite visits are going to be a “no-go.” Hopefully, in those cases, some of the ideas listed above may provide alternative options. In other cases, now could be the optimal time to do a comprehensive walkthrough and analysis. Many employees are working from home, meaning less potential traffic and less risk.

Regardless of the situation, it’s often worth taking a second look at mapping a fleet before dismissing it as trivial or unnecessary. A well-mapped fleet can provide insight and customer connection in ways traditional spreadsheets can’t. The next time you are faced with one of these scenarios, consider adjusting your approach to keep fleet mapping a part of your analysis, and ultimately help you win more deals.

Tyler Martindale is the Cartos Suite Product Manager at In Time Tec and has been working in the MPS space for 8 years.