This is part one of our new managed print services blog series. Stay tuned as we answer questions about MPS, its benefits and some common MPS software solutions.
Whether you’ve heard of managed print services (MPS) before or are just learning about it for the first time, we promise our new MPS series will have something for you. In this introductory article we’ll define what managed print services are, their benefits and how you can get started with one.
What is managed print services?
Managed print services is a program designed to monitor and optimize your office’s printing environment. It accomplishes this through analysis of your current equipment, gathering information about your company’s needs and providing comprehensive strategies to improve overall efficiency.
Managed print services take a long-term approach by continuously monitoring your devices and their use. In doing so, your MPS provider maximizes productivity by taking control of your printing environment. They accomplish this by performing tasks like automatically delivering toner, providing routine maintenance and studying usage data. In short, having a managed print service means you’ll spend less time worrying about your printers and more time focused on your on core business.
Managed print services generally include:
- Conducting an assessment of your current printing environment.
- Monitoring and optimizing your devices.
- Delivering supplies — like paper and toner — as needed.
- Streamlining printer access.
- Alerting you of potential issues and offering solutions.
- Providing advanced data about equipment.
- Training employees on equipment use.
To learn more about managed print, visit our MPS page.
Do I need a managed print service?
So now that you know what a managed print service is, how do you determine if you need one?
While almost every organization can benefit from print management, whether or not you need MPS is largely dependent on three factors:
1. Number of employees
2. Size of printer fleet
3. Document dependence
Organizations with a large number of employees and/or printers are most likely to see immediate substantial benefits from an MPS program. This is due to the difficulties these organizations often face trying to manage a large fleet and/or ensuring that their equipment is adequate enough to meet their staff’s needs. Both tasks are time-consuming and difficult to perform without imaging equipment expertise.
Additionally, organizations that work in document intensive fields, such as law firms and healthcare groups, are also more likely to benefit financially from MPS solutions. These organizations have extensive printing needs and downtime means lost profit. If you can’t afford downtime, managing your own equipment and supplies can be an unneeded headache that really could cost your business down the road.
At the very least, every institution can benefit from a managed print consultation. Most MPS providers will conduct one free of charge and it’s a great way to gain insight into your current printing environment. At the conclusion of a managed print study, the provider will present you with device usage data and strategies to reduce your printing expenses. Therefore, regardless of your industry, an MPS study is always worthwhile.
How much will a managed print service save me?
While the answer to this question depends on your organization’s unique situation, there are some general statistics that serve as a good baseline. A recent InfoTrends study found that organizations in the legal, healthcare and financial sectors slashed their printing costs by close to one-third. Here’s the breakdown by industry:
Legal – 41 percent.
Financial – 33 percent
Healthcare – 27 percent
How can I get started with MPS?
Alright, so you’ve decided to take the next step and start shopping for print management partner; what steps should you take to get started? The first step is to contact an MPS company to gain additional insight into your printing needs. If you were to contact Metro Sales, for example, we would perform a comprehensive print study of your organization. We would do so by installing non-invasive software to monitor your device usage and gain a better understanding of where your inefficiencies lie. From there, we’d recommend devices and strategies to help reduce printing costs and improve office productivity.
What should I look for when choosing a managed print services provider?
While cost is obviously important, you should also consider many other factors when choosing an MPS solutions provider. Remember, managed print is really a partnership between two organizations; you’re trusting the MPS company to monitor usage and keep your equipment running smoothly. As such, it’s paramount that you truly feel comfortable with your MPS partner.
To that effect, we recommend that you learn as much about the MPS company as possible. Ask for their relevant industry experience and industry specific references. In this way, you can get an accurate read on how well suited they are to deal with your sector’s unique demands.
Finally, consider any additional solutions you may wish to enact. Government organizations, for example, often desire secure printing solutions. Print quotas, meanwhile, are very popular among educators. Take some time to study some of the more common software options and make a list of the features you’d like to implement. This will definitely help streamline the shopping process.
Curious about what managed print services could do for your organization? We’re offering a free office technology consultation to help you find out. Request one today by calling us at 612-861-4000 or filling out our consultation form. Thanks for reading and we’re looking forward to helping you improve your office!
Have a question you’d like us to answer about MPS? Leave a comment below and we’ll gladly provide an answer.