I started building a managed print service (MPS) tool in 2011, which became the software and company known as MPSToolbox. Back then, managed print was a growing industry, and office printing was still an expensive technology category that businesses needed to control. E-commerce was more novel than commonplace, and managed IT services had yet to emerge as a legitimate category.
Naming our product MPSToolbox and squarely focusing on servicing print resellers seemed like a safe bet with a bright future. Fast forward to today, we’ve changed the name to B2BToolbox.
MPSToolbox Becomes the B2BToolbox: A Q&A with Norm McConkey
Question: MPSToolbox is a recognized brand within the industry. Why change?
Answer: We have a rich heritage in the office print industry, having developed many customer and industry relationships. We noticed that most office print resellers we knew had begun adding IT services to their offerings. Within that space, the term managed service provider (MSP) is dominant. In many ways, our use of the acronym MPS sounded like a misspelling of that industry.
Question: Why did you choose the B2BToolbox as your new name?
There are two key parts in this name, B2B and Toolbox. The first part, B2B, recognizes our strengths. We help businesses that service other businesses, who have very different needs than businesses that service consumers (B2C).
With e-commerce, all B2C customers pay the same prices for products, approvals aren’t required, and personal relationships with the service provider don’t typically exist. In comparison, because of existing relationships and exclusive deals on a per-business basis, B2B customers pay different prices for products, often require an order approval process, and develop personal relationships with the provider and sales team.
B2B e-commerce websites thus require more specialized tools than a B2C site—especially for technology procurement.
The second part of our name, Toolbox, is a nod to the e-commerce software we’ve built.
There are many digital marketing tools to choose from and the reality is that there is no one magic bullet or recipe for success. Each business must consider their geography, company size, marketing maturity, budget, market conditions, and other elements to build their strategy. It’s our job at the B2BToolbox to work with you to understand your goals, develop a digital strategy and then set you up with the right tools.
Question: What do you have to say to those in the office print space who are looking to expand their product offerings?
The long term issue with office print reselling is that the product is difficult to lead with. Technology has rendered the category less important over the past decade, and you’re less likely to book a meeting with someone just to talk about ways to reduce their print costs. Businesses spend $4.7 trillion annually on their technology (Canalys estimates, July 2023). Office print is 1% of that number. The IT market will double in size over the next five years so you need another technology pillar to stay relevant.
Pairing IT sales with managed services is the best way to stay relevant. Today, things like IT security and cloud migration are essential for all businesses. Having the option to offer all of these to your customers via your website is essential.
Question: Why should a managed service provider partner with B2BToolbox?
Business owners have a lens with which to look at adopting new products: will this increase my revenue, decrease my costs, or increase the value of my business. B2BToolbox does all three. On the cost reduction standpoint, MSPs are difficult to buy products from. Customers expect to procure products online and not have to call or email a contact every time they need something. MSPs spend too much energy quoting products. B2BToolbox can automate that process, decreasing the time employees need to spend on it.
Not offering the convenience of e-commerce drives business customers to your competitors. E-commerce is needed to both mitigate the threat to your business and to take advantage of new opportunities.
Question: Can B2B technology resellers compete and win against the likes of Amazon?
100% yes! Let’s take laptops, for example. On any given day, you can buy thousands of different laptops from Amazon. Unfortunately for consumers, Amazon doesn’t care what product you buy. They won’t question your choices. This can have costly consequences. Buying the wrong products is an expensive waste. To avoid costly mistakes, businesses will pay a premium for your expertise. That’s your business. It’s why they partner with you in the first place. But they do want convenience as well. If you can articulate your value proposition properly and provide customers with convenient shopping methods, you can succeed against the likes of Amazon.
The B2BToolbox team is excited about this new change and to see the impact on how partners and businesses grow in the digital space. We’d love to connect if you have any other questions about our rebrand or about your e-commerce venture.