What is Managed Print Services?
Managed Print Services (MPS) is a program offered by print providers to help business owners effectively manage their office printers and copiers. It is designed to help them control costs, to maximize employee productivity, improve security, lessen the environmental impact, and streamline the processes for getting supplies and maintenance for the fleet, no matter the make and model of the equipment.
How Managed Print Services Work
MPS providers start by conducting a detailed analysis of the current print environment. This involves taking an inventory of printers, copiers, scanners, and fax machines, including the make, model, age, and location of each device. Then they use a data collection tool to determine how much the office prints per month and how that volume is distributed among the devices. Next, they meet with employees to document routine processes and to uncover bottlenecks. Finally, they calculate the total monthly print-related expenses including equipment, supplies, and maintenance costs. The MPS provider will use this data to develop a strategy that includes:
- Making recommendations on when to move, consolidate, retire, or replace under/over-used outdated, and inefficient devices.
- Enabling device features to reduce wasteful printing such as defaulting print jobs to black and white, printing double-sided, and creating user permissions.
- Creating one-touch custom workflows to simplify scanning processes to increase efficiency.
- Converting paper-based processes to digital processes to reduce the monthly volume and to be more eco-friendly.
Once the plan is finalized, the MPS provider will develop and facilitate an implementation schedule to ensure a seamless transition. This includes removing or redeploying existing printers and copiers, installing new machines, and providing end-user training for the organization’s employees. The MPS provider will meet with the business owner to gauge progress and adjust the strategy if necessary.
The Benefits of Managed Print Services
An effective MPS program will positively impact the members of the organization in different ways according to their role.
- Business Owner – The business owner will have the ability to track and control costs, develop corporate print policies, and make smart technology decisions.
- Office Manager – The office manager will no longer waste time sourcing supplies or submitting monthly meter reads. The MPS provider will monitor and ship consumables when needed, and the machines will automatically collect meter information.
- IT Personnel – IT personnel will be able to focus on more important projects by shifting maintenance of the printers and copiers to the MPS provider.
- Accounting – The accounting department will work with one vendor and manage a single contract to get service and supplies for the entire fleet.
A New Look at MPS
Traditionally, an MPS provider will seek to reduce an organization’s print expenses by decreasing the number of devices in the office. This might include replacing standalone equipment like scanners and fax machines with multifunction printers (MFP) that can print, copy, scan, and fax, moving or getting rid of printers that are too close to each other, or replacing individual printers with strategically placed MFP’s the employees share. This results in savings because the service and supply costs for desktop printers are so expensive that they end up costing more than larger units in the long run.
It seems like a logical solution, however, there are a couple of factors that cause business owners to pause before adopting an MPS strategy. First, employees who have their own printers often push back on giving up this convenience to share a multifunction printer with other employees. Some business owners do not want to deal with fussy employees, so they forego the cost savings to keep them happy. In addition, some business owners think that paying a maintenance fee on a cheap desktop printer is not worth the hassle of simply replacing it.
These are fair arguments, however, in recent years there has been a major change in the industry prompting business owners to take a second look. The equipment manufacturers have finally closed the gap on the price of supplies, so now it costs about the same to print on a desktop printer as it does on a floor-model MFP. As a result, business owners must no longer sacrifice cost savings for the sake of corporate morale. Furthermore, many MPS providers now offer a “hot swap” provision that allows a business to switch out a desktop printer for a new one in lieu of repairing it for a quick, easy alternative to service. With these two changes, business owners can now have the best of both worlds – convenience and cost savings.
If you are curious about how MPS could help your business, call us today at (405) 748-4222 or visit us online at www.xceloffice.com to schedule a technology assessment.