There comes a time in the growth of every business, when you suddenly realize that managing toner supplies and services on different copiers and printers in your organization is no longer a task that should be left to the front desk. Whether you’ve evolved from 1 device to 1000, one of the best things you can consider for optimal business workflow is a dedicated (and local!) managed print services provider.
So, first things first.
What are managed print services?
Managed Print Services (MPS) is a tailor-made program created around your specific print environment that provides clients all the supplies (except paper and staples) and service required to maintain their desktop printer fleet remain up and running, at all times.
By understanding your print environment, print challenges, business goals related to printing, and budget, your managed print services provider can identify areas and opportunities for optimization thus creating your managed print strategy.
Why use managed print services?
The benefits of a MPS program are toner spend savings and reduced IT burden, read: reduction in operational costs. Your MPS provider should provide detailed reporting, hot swaps, do printer fleet analysis, and auto-toner delivery. With MPS you will be able to determine if printers need to be removed, re-allocate the printers in the office, if necessary, help to reduce print volumes, and most importantly improve the security of your data.
The MPS print assessment will give you insight into your print environment and point out obvious and not so obvious areas of improvement. In some cases, an assessment will identify printers with finishing and speed that would better serve in another area of your office, and in others help to identify printers that should be on your network (protected!) but aren’t. Valuable information for your team whether you move to MPS or not.
Are managed print services worth it?
Absolutely. Wouldn’t it be better to have your MPS manage your printers while you manage your business, one image at a time? In most cases you can save approximately 20% just on your current toner spend.
Does the world have your business thinking about Sustainability?
If your organization has a sustainability initiative, there are great programs like PrintReleaf. This program has an algorithm that back calculates the amount of printing you do to determine the number of trees that would need to be replanted to offset your carbon footprint. They will then plant a tree on your behalf in the region of your choice, such as the US, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, etc.
Their system is fully automated to track your printing with “you print, we plant” as the core of their PrintReleaf Certified Global Reforestation Project. Fully seamless, once you sign (typically through your MPS strategy, tracking begins and is monitored. Each month your business receives a sustainability certificate verifying your contribution. These are great for sharing with your team, or even to your customers and partners.
How does managed print services work?
It’s a very easy program. The first step is a printer fleet assessment, the best MPS providers will offer this for free. Areas of waste, redundancy, print volumes are identified and recommendations are made where necessary.
A managed print strategy is created, offering you the best insight into office device management. The plan is then implemented ensuring all your devices are online and accounted for. For those printers that are on the network, a management tool like Printanista, will notify us when your toner is low and your managed print partner will automatically ship the toner which takes that burden off your plate.
If your devices are not on the network and you need service or toner, you’ll call your provider with the tag # on the printer, and they will either dispatch a tech to repair the printer or simply send the toner you requested.
How much do managed print services cost?
MPS is a very customized program. MPS Pricing is dependent of several factors:
- How many printers you have in your environment?
- How many different models are in your environment?
- How much is your organization printing?
- Are there any copier or print devices that need to be removed and or upgraded?
Cost is typically based off total black and white and color print volume for all the printers, then multiplied times the rate to determine a monthly base rate.
Which manufacturer copiers and printers can be included in an MPS plan?
If your device is a networked device, then it can be included in a managed plan. Your MPS partner should have service techs that are also certified to work on those devices, make sure you ask. Canon, Epson, HP, Kyocera, Xerox, and most others are definitely included and able to link to an MPS plan. In some cases, your device may need an upgrade to qualify, but this is a detail you’ll find out as your MPS partner accesses your print environment.
Are there other benefits to adding a Managed Services Plan?
One that we haven’t mentioned yet, is the value of added security. Once you have all of your devices on a monitoring program, you have better insight into the printing activities, but you can also add an element of end point security to your network. As each network is different (but every network should be considering security) it’s best to reach out and partner with a managed IT services or MSP partner to align your two programs for full coverage. Many will offer a free environment assessment and if your MPS also offers managed IT services, you’ll align two pieces of your puzzle.
Cost savings is another benefit of managed print services. By placing the right devices in the right places, you can reduce waste, improve your business workflow, and you might even be able to reduce the devices in your network with more efficient and cost-effective devices. The first step is always an assessment.