You're looking for a company to provide service for your print devices. Perhaps you have all matching equipment of the same brand, but you're looking for a change in just your desktop printers. Maybe you like your equipment, but are dissatisfied with the service you receive. You've spoken with various dealers and you've learned of managed print services.
But what are the benefits of managed print services?
Can these benefits facilitate real positive change within your organization and impact the bottom line in a way that wasn't previously understood? This article will break down the benefits of working with an MPS provider and how you can leverage those benefits to improve printing uptime, and benefit from the cost savings and added efficiencies it affords.
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What Are Managed Print Services?
Unlike a traditional copier/printer contract with a local dealer or copier manufacturer, managed print service providers allow for organizations to have a portion or all of their print devices managed - without the need to change printer brands.
This means a business that received new print devices have the flexibility of finding service alternatives if their current provider is doing a subpar job.
MPS providers excel in their ability to be flexible with the device brands they service, making it less about selling equipment being sold to the customer and more about the management of it.
Want to keep your pre-existing line because you like the brand? No problem!
Managed print service providers are able to meet you where you're at with your print devices, and some have technology you can leverage to make recommendations that will increase the efficiency of your current set-up - and if necessary - recommend changes be made for the better.
If you're unsure of whether the provider you are working with is a true MPS provider, a clear indicator that they are not is if they insist or are uninterested in your business without replacing your equipment for newer devices. True MPS can provide service for virtually any brand.
We go into great detail in our article about what managed print services are if you want to read more.
Benefits of Managed Print Services?
Now that we've established a clear understanding of what managed print services are (and more importantly, what they're not), we can list the benefits of these services.
Benefits of Managed Print Services
- Cost Savings
- Flexibility - most print device providers (manufacturer or local dealer) offer a limited selection of brands. This isn't always a bad thing, but it does make it challenging if you like your service, but are looking to make a change in the brand of your print devices (ex: HP to Canon printers, but keeping your Sharp copiers).
Flexibility is also found in the ability to have all or a portion of your print devices managed. Nearly all dealers and all manufacturers are looking to outfit all of your printing with the brands they carry. So, if you're working with a Xerox provider, they aren't likely to be interested in just taking over your desktop printers without also managing your copiers as well.
- Analysis - do you know what your true print volume is, which devices are needing the most service, and ultimately, are costing your organization the most money? Smaller copier/printer vendors are limited in their access to newer technology that's able to properly analyze your printing. An MPS provider is able to connect to your devices, analyze their output, uptime, and overall running costs, and make strategic recommendations that can increase the efficiency of your printing - ultimately, leading to savings and increased uptime.
- Automation - some MPS providers are able to leverage proprietary technology to gather and push data to and from your devices. This information is used to create leaner processes, like automatically ordering toner when your print devices run low. This eliminates the often wasted excess that is created from manually ordering toner and keeping a large supply (which often expires before being used).
For can find an example of this automated print management technology by clicking on the link.
- Cost Savings - as I just alluded to in the benefits above, cost savings become attainable for organizations choosing a true managed print services provider. Through the analysis of your printing, the flexibility of choosing the best devices that meet your needs, and automating manual processes, cost savings are often a result.
How Can I Find a Managed Print Services Provider?
Finding a true MPS provider is relatively limited in the United States. There are many copier dealers - large and small - that will tell you they are a managed print services provider, but the reality is that they are more interested in the "rip-and-replace" model.
Additionally, many of these providers are not interested in "just" taking over your smaller print devices. If they can't service your copiers, as well, then they'll likely pass on making a service offer, or the cost will be prohibitive to you.
It's more likely that they'll offer a creative way to refresh your equipment with newer models at a lower rate. This can be a great deal for your organization and offer you savings on your monthly costs, but doesn't solve the problem of trying to get service on machines you already own if the only other options in your market are dealers who carry other brands.
Additionally, smaller copier and printer dealers are unable to offer full national coverage to larger businesses, and manufacturers who are large enough have a host of other service considerations to understand.
If you're looking for a true managed print provider in your area that is able to service any machine (or any combination of machines), you're likely going to have to look to a larger provider with a national presence.
Unfortunately, that doesn't leave many providers to choose from in the United States. The good news, though, is that providers like Flex Technology Group offer a network of providers across the United States that serve every major market.
But they aren't the only ones.
Pacific Office Automation is another great example of a provider that serves the northwestern United States.
What's most important is to do your research when deciding which providers to reach out to and begin a conversation. Many say they provide managed print services, but few actually do. Knowing the difference in the services is key.
If you're looking for more information on managed print services and how to find a provider that fits your needs. Read the article below or reach out to us directly and ask a question!
RELATED: Are Managed Print Services Worth It?
Posted by Daniel Gray
Daniel has a passion for educating and helping people and has spent over a decade in the education and office technology industries. He has a Bachelor's in Education from the University of West Georgia and an MBA from the University of Georgia. Daniel has been the lead writer at SOS since 2017 and specializes in managed IT services, copiers and printers, and business phone systems. He lives in Atlanta and has a goofy greyhound named Ticker.