If you’re new to managed print services (MPS) or you’re looking to get started, this guide will cover everything from finding the right MPS provider to measuring MPS success once you’ve launched your program. But before we jump ahead and begin comparing enterprise and SaaS and turnkey and customized solutions , let’s start with the basics of MPS – what it is, how it works , and the benefits to you and your customers.
What is managed print services?
An online search for “managed print services definition” turns up over two million results. That’s a lot of reading if you’re looking for a quick description, so here’s the cheat sheet definition of MPS:
Managed print services is the proactive management of an organization’s print devices, including desktop printers and multifunction print devices.
A complete MPS program may include services such as assessments, hardware sales, part replacements, service for devices, and supplies fulfillment. The services offered as part of a managed print program will vary depending on the program, but MPS generally covers three broad service areas:
• Assessment – The initial review of an organization’s current print environment used to provide recommendations for optimal device management.
• Optimization – The process of consolidating devices and defining print-related processes in order to develop a complete MPS strategy.
• Management – Regular business reviews, service level agreements (SLAs), monitoring, and remote device management are used to make ongoing improvements.
How does managed print services work?
All MPS programs require a software application such as a data collection agent (DCA) to collect print data like meters, supplies, error codes, and other attributes from networked devices. Some DCAs can also support local devices such as a printer connected to a computer by USB. The DCA is installed at the end user’s location and print data is securely transmitted to a web portal that the MPS provider can then access. From there, the MPS provider can set up alerts and schedule reports to remotely manage their customers’ devices.
Benefits of MPS
Managed print has many benefits for both end users and providers, but the biggest one by far is insight into how much print actually costs. As many as 90 percent of companies don’t know how much they spend on print, and MPS can not only help them calculate these costs, but save up to 30 percent on them as well.
Managed print can also help businesses streamline their print processes and increase efficiency. One of the main reasons for high print costs is the absence of a print strategy. Consider your own office. Do you print one-sided or on both sides? Do you print in black and white or color? Who orders supplies when they run out? Who places service calls when the printer isn’t working? If you’re not able to answer these questions, you’re spending time and money on print that you could be saving with an MPS solution, and the same goes for your customers.
With an MPS solution, providers take care of supplies and service fulfillment so end users don’t have to worry about placing orders or making service calls. On top of that, MPS providers help end users optimize their print environment by consolidating devices, replacing old ones that may be costly to manage, and defining print practices so end users can save money on print. But end users aren’t the only ones who benefit from MPS. By adding managed print to your existing service offerings, you can use MPS contracts to generate a recurring revenue stream.
For a more comprehensive introduction to managed print, download our free Complete Guide to MPS.