HOW MUCH DOES MPS COST? | 7 MIN READ
Managed print services aren't a new concept, but true MPS providers are able to offer their customers significant savings to their printing costs if they are good fit. Paired with the additional benefits of increased efficiencies within your print environment and workforce, and leveraging the benefits of MPS starts to look like a no brainer. But how much do managed print services cost?
If you aren't convinced that MPS is the way to go for your business, then consider this: printing/and print device management is the second highest office expense that is often left unchecked or unnoticed.
On a per device basis, printers and their consumables appear to be negligible expenses. In mass, these expenses can add up to thousands of dollars (millions for larger corporations).
Before diving into all of the factors and considerations of managed print services pricing, it's important to note that pricing should not be the only deciding factor when picking a provider.
The lowest price is not always the best choice for your organization, and simply choosing the cheapest option could have major implications on your organization.
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Costs for NOT Leveraging MPS
There can be several hard and soft costs for not choosing a managed print service provider. Here are some of the most prevalent :
- Wasted Supplies - It is highly likely that the person purchasing supplies, like toner, is also doing other job requirements. Because of this, they aren't likely to purchase supplies within a "just-in-time" strategy. The result often becomes too many supplies or the wrong supplies purchased, and toner that expires before it can be used.
- Older Devices - There is nothing wrong with stretching the life of a print device... until the maintenance on the machine becomes cost prohibitive.
- Maintenance and Downtime - if you aren't using the service of an MPS provider, then it's only a matter of time before a device breaks down. Fixing the device involves boxing it up and shipping it back to the manufacturer for repair. The result, often, is organizations choosing to purchase a new device instead of waiting for the repair.
All MPS partnerships are unique, therefore, there are several considerations when a provider determines the overall price of your MPS plan.
There are many companies who struggle to properly budget for ink or toner cartridge replacements, and it is shocking for them to discover how costly it can be to their bottom line. Much of this is due to a lack of understanding to the true coverage of an ink or toner cartridge.
When you look at the packaging of a cartridge, you may have noticed that it states something like 1,500 pages at 5% coverage. 1,500 pages seems like a lot of printing (and it is), but the issue is what print coverage is and how much 5% really covers.
Print coverage is the total amount of ink on the page. So, 5% page coverage means that 5% of an 8 1/2 x 11 inch page is covered in ink. Standard Office Systems ran various documents through a print coverage analyzer and created the graphic below to better illustrate what various levels of print coverage look like:
As you can see, it's very easy to look at 5% page coverage and imagine your usage to be far greater. It isn't hard to see 10% looking more like a normal print job in the office, and suddenly, that 1,500 pages actually becomes 750 pages. Just like that, your cartridge consumption doubles.
Fun Fact: Color prints can have more than 100% print coverage since color can print in layers, and color cartridges are more expensive, as well.
Managed print services protects companies from this scenario, because with MPS, you are contracted for one flat, easy-to-budget rate that includes all of your service and supplies
The cost of managed print services will vary based on three main factors:
- Expected monthly volume
- Black and white vs color
- Efficiency of the devices
Honorable mention goes to inkjet vs toner printer cartridges, but believe me when I say that unless you have a specific purpose for using ink, toner is the way to go.
How Much Do Managed Print Services Cost?
But how much do managed print services cost?
As I mentioned earlier, costs will be based on a number of factors, but you can typically expect to pay $0.01 or less per page for black and white prints, and $0.4-$0.5 per page for color prints.
Do the math. If you have any kind of volume in your print jobs, using a managed print service provider is the way to go.
Other cost considerations:
- Print volume
- Age of print devices
- Quality of services
Print Volume: Organizations that print more often will receive consideration and a bit of a per print price break, but should likely expect a monthly minimum.
Age of Devices: If your device is four or five years old (or more), you should expect higher monthly service costs. This is because older machines require service and maintenance more regularly to maintain a high level of operation.
Quality of Services: All providers are not created equally. But when it comes to MPS, there are only a handful of private MPS providers available in the US. The rest are manufacturers. If you want to know the details behind the differences between dealers and manufacturers, I would encourage you to read the article below.
Who is a Fit For MPS?
Not everyone is a fit for managed print services - at least, not true managed print services.
This is because most companies are too small to see noticeable benefits from managed print. Where MPS really starts to shine is near the 50 user and greater mark. But knowing if your organization is a good fit for MPS isn't limited to user quantity.
To make managed print services worth it for the customer and the provider, these factors are considered:
- Numbers of devices
- Number of location and geographic reach of customer
- Print volume
- Brand of print devices
To truly get a great deal of benefit from managed print services, most organizations are going to be larger, or are going to be doing a heavy volume of printing.
Still, if your organization has the need for a larger print device like a multifunction printer or two, consider consulting with your local dealer. There are still costs savings to be leveraged by working with a provider.
A Word About Service
Choosing a service provider is great, but when you decide to pull the trigger on an MPS provider, you have to consider more than just the price.
After all, you wouldn't purchase a car just because it had great fuel economy and was the most reliable, right? Well, you're probably thinking, "Of course I would!" But what if you needed a vehicle that could transport large objects or pull a boat? You probably aren't going to purchase a Prius.
Keep in mind, a great fleet in the hands of a poor provider or manufacturer service team can become a very average set of units. Inversely, an average fleet serviced by a great team can become a great fleet.
Deciding who to trust for your service is important and there are a lot of myths regarding copier dealer and manufacturers. Educating yourself is the first step toward getting the best machine that matches your needs and your budget.
If you made it to the end of this article and you still have questions, we are happy to help. Yes, we've been in the industry for over 50 years, and yes we provide managed print services, but we are most interested in helping businesses get the service they need.
Posted by Bernie Schom
Bernie Schom is the Vice President of Sales at Standard Office Systems and has been in the copier and printer industry for over three decades.