If you’re in the market for managed print services (MPS), you’re probably already aware of the benefits of partnering with a professional printing provider.
A good MPS provider doesn’t just help your business achieve better productivity and efficiency, it can also help you improve your network security, and get the most out of your printing devices.
But with so many printing companies offering different services at varied price points, it can be hard to choose a provider that’s right for you. If you’re just starting to consider the MPS approach for your business, or want to renegotiate an existing contract with your current provider, here’s what you need to know.
What is an MPS provider?
MPS providers are usually third-party specialists that can help you manage all aspects of your business’s printing needs. They can help you optimise your print devices to save money, improve workflows, and enhance your organisation’s printing security and accessibility.
MPS providers will also ensure that you’ll never have to worry about things like toner replenishment, and that any maintenance and upgrades are taken care of by professional technicians.
Here’s a quick look at just some of the benefits of having MPS in your firm:
- Optimise your printer fleet – reduce your total cost of ownership, and get the information you need to understand whether you need to consolidate, or replace any devices.
- Improve security> – get an additional layer of security with device data and encryption, and the ability to ensure people only have access to the information they need.
- Get better control – an MPS provider can give you more insight into your print environments and help you refine your operational processes.
- Reduce your waste and environmental impact – some MPS providers employ innovative technology that can help you reduce your organisation’s wasted supplies, paper usage, and consolidate devices to lower electrical consumption.
- Minimise IT Support - Technologies that provide a single driver use and centralised support of your print fleet can reduce number of calls to your IT department.
What you can and should expect from your MPS provider
If you’re evaluating a number of vendors, look for print companies that are:
Knowledgeable, reputable and reliable
- Have they served other clients in your industry?
- Do they seem like they have a good track record of dealing with organisations like yours?
- Can they diagnose and solve any printing issues you’re facing, in terms you can easily understand?
- Can they provide insight into your print infrastructure?
- Are they flexible in their solutions, and are they transparent with price?
Innovative and results-driven
- Are the technologies they use on par with or better than what’s available in the market?
- Are they focussed on helping you achieve the results you want, such as optimised workflows, cost savings and simplified IT support?
- Are they able to help your organisation reduce waste?
What’s the best practice pathway to implementing MPS in your organisation?
If you’re confident your print vendor has the means to support your organisation’s managed print service needs, the next step is to enquire about how they plan on making MPS a functioning reality in your business.
You’ll know you’re in good hands if your print management provider has an implementation strategy that covers these five areas:
TIP: Getting involved in the implementation process keeps your provider accountable and helps you get the most out of what they have to offer.
1) Needs assessment
The first step to streamlining your printing fleet, maximising efficiency, and decreasing expense is to have a thorough understanding of your print environment and its associated costs.
Before starting to implement MPS in your organisation, your provider should perform a needs assessment to determine how each print device in your business is used, and how much printing costs your business.
The assessment results will help your provider recommend the right solutions for the goals and results you want to achieve.
2) Designing a custom solution
Every business, no matter the size, has unique printing needs.
Your MPS provider should develop a strategy that suits these unique needs, and be able to accurately identify any gaps in efficiency that can be filled with an MPS solution.
The recommendations your provider makes should also include how the implementation project is to be carried out, and address any foreseeable short- and long-term issues (with necessary training, for example).
3) Project managing the actual implementation
Moving from a traditional to a managed print solution requires some participation from your business.
Depending on the scale of change, the implementation process – including installing new devices, configuring networks, setting up user permissions and more – can involve key personnel from your business and result in some disruption.
Your MPS provider should work with you to ensure that your organisation is clear on:
- what’s involved during the transition;
- who’s involved and in what way, from planning to roll out;
- how to minimise downtime; and,
- how to test for success along the way.
4) Ongoing management
If you’re still having headaches about finding the right toner, or have to regularly call on different service and repairs vendors for a varied fleet of devices in your firm, it’s time to to stop.
One of the best things about partnering with a MPS provider is the convenience of having your consumables automatically topped up, and your devices regularly maintained and kept in the best working condition. It also frees up your IT team to focus their time on more important tasks.
5) Continued optimisation
Making the change to an MPS is a decision for the long term, and as your organisation grows, your printing needs will also change over time.
A good MPS partner will continue to work closely with you after you’ve implemented services in your firm, continually reassess your requirements and make sure they’re met.
Every business looks for ways to improve output and lower costs. With printing still playing a large role in many digitally-forward organisations, there’s no time like the present to stay on top of your document management processes with an MPS solution – you’d be surprised at how much you can save in the long run.
Having a reliable managed print services provider around to optimise your printing needs will help you continually lower costs, increase productivity and improve company processes while staying in touch with the latest print technologies.