Printing is an essential function for most businesses, and it’s often more expensive than most business owners realize. This can have a significant impact on a small or medium-sized businesses bottom line.
Thankfully, there are different approaches for how an organization can manage their printing. The approach chosen will impact how much printing costs your business, what responsibilities your IT team will have and how efficient your company’s printing processes are.
The approach you take will depend on your organization’s printing requirements, budget and workflow. Managed print services is a popular solution, particularly for organizations that rely on printing and have large printing requirements.
With that in mind, in this blog we’re going to explore what a managed print service is, the pros and cons of using this solution and whether it’s the right choice for your organization.
Managed print services: A definition
Managed print services (MPS) is a business solution that allows companies to streamline their printing and document management processes.
The goal of MPS is to help businesses save money, increase productivity, and improve security by outsourcing the management of their printing and document-related activities to a third-party provider.
Here’s how Gartner defines managed print services: “Managed print services (MPS) are services offered by an external provider to optimize or manage a company’s document output. The main components provided are needs assessment, selective or general replacement of hardware, and the service, parts and supplies needed to operate the new and/or existing hardware (including existing third-party equipment if this is required by the customer). The provider also tracks how the printer, fax, copier and MFP fleet is being used, the problems, and the user’s satisfaction.”
Choosing a print solution that complements your company’s unique needs and requirements is important for the productivity of your team and your organization’s bottom line. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of managed print services.
What are the benefits of managed print services?
✔️ Cost savings
One of the main benefits of MPS is cost savings. By outsourcing the management of printing and document-related activities, businesses can reduce their overall printing costs by consolidating their printing fleet, optimizing their print environment, and reducing unnecessary printing. Additionally, MPS providers often offer discounted prices on hardware and supplies, further reducing costs for businesses.
✔️ Improved productivity
Another benefit of managed print services is improved productivity. MPS providers can help businesses streamline their printing and document-related activities by outsourcing routine tasks (such as maintenance) and providing real-time monitoring and reporting. This allows businesses to focus on their core competencies and reduce the amount of time that IT resources spend on managing their printing environment.
✔️ Better security
In addition, a managed print service provider can help companies with IT security. MPS providers can help businesses secure their printing environment by implementing security measures such as password protection, access controls, and secure printing. This helps businesses protect sensitive information and comply with industry regulations.
✔️ Access to printing expertise
MPS providers are experts in their field and can offer valuable insights and advice to businesses. They can help companies select the right hardware and software, identify areas for improvement, and develop and implement a plan to optimize their printing environment.
What are the cons of managed print services?
X Loss of control
Outsourcing the management of printing and document-related activities means giving up some level of control. Businesses may not have as much say in how their printing environment is managed or which products and services are used, depending on the third-party that is partnered with.
X Lack of flexibility
When a third-party provider offers a managed print service solution, the buying company has to follow their rules and regulations. A contract is usually in place which limits the company’s ability to change their service options, typically tying the organization down for a specific number of years.
X Limited services
Some MPS providers offer a limited range of services that may not meet the specific needs of a business. This can mean that businesses may have to contract additional providers to meet their full range of needs, which can increase costs and reduce the overall efficiency of the service. When looking for a managed print service provider make sure to partner one that not only meets your printing needs now, but will scale with you as your company grows.
Is managed print services right for your business?
While managed print services can provide many benefits to businesses, it may not be the right solution for every organization. Companies should weigh the pros and cons carefully and consider their specific needs and goals before deciding if managed print services is the right choice for them.
For businesses with a small number of printers and staff that are well-versed on managing them, then MPS may not make sense financially.
In most cases, managed print services makes sense for:
Large business: Large companies with a high number of employees, printers and multi-location operations, could find a managed print service to be an efficient way to manage their printing environment. MPS providers can help large companies consolidate their printing fleet and optimize their print environment, which can result in significant cost savings.
Small and medium-sized businesses: Small and medium-sized businesses may also benefit from managed print services. These businesses may not have the resources or expertise to manage their printing environment effectively, but with a MPS they can outsource these activities to a prover with the expertise, skills and knowledge to do so effectively.
To decide if managed print services are right for your business, consider the following questions:
- How much do you currently spend on printing supplies and hardware? If you feel like you are spending too much, an MSP may be able to help you reduce costs.
- Do you have a high volume of prints? If so, an MSP can help manage and optimize printing.
- Do you need to tailor printing processes to specific departments or employees? If you need a lot of custom printing processes and setups for different departments and employees, an MSP can help save you time and money, while improving security.
- Do you need to print remotely or in multiple locations? If so, an MSP can help you come up with a strategy and ensure your printing needs are always filled no matter where the printers are.
- Are you looking to improve document security, streamline the document printing process, and reduce printing costs? If yes for any of these, an MSP can help!
- Do you have the technical knowledge and manpower to manage your printing needs in-house? Hiring someone in house to manage your printing needs can be expensive. Even if you luck out and find an employee who can manage the printers on top of their regular job, you risk having them spend time away from more critical jobs to manage the systems.
Once you’ve addressed these questions, you’ll have a better idea of whether managed print services are the right choice for your business.
To implement managed print services, a provider will usually conduct an assessment of your company’s current printing environment to understand the current usage, cost, and pain points. Afterwards, the provider will recommend a plan that is tailored to your organization’s specific needs - including hardware, software, and services.
Overall, managed print services can help businesses save money, increase productivity, and improve security by outsourcing the management of their printing and document-related activities to a third-party provider. It can be a great solution if you are looking to streamline your printing and document management processes.
Interested in learning more about managed print services and how it could work for your business? Get in touch with OT Group today. Our team of IT professionals and office technology experts would love to answer any questions that you may have.