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4 Questions to Ask Your Managed Print Service Provider

Kelly Moran

Most workers or IT people don’t like to think about their office printer or multi-function device too much. It’s an integral part of every office, but most of us just expect it to be there, producing quality output whenever it’s needed.

But what if your printers, copiers, or multi-function devices are not as productive as they could be? What if your print devices are draining resources or wasting your time and energy? Even if you have a managed print service, is your service provider strategically improving your print network? Are they being proactive, or is the service provider just standing by and ignoring issues until something breaks?

Here are the questions you should ask of a Managed Print Service provider to determine if they can truly improve your business, save IT resources, and improve efficiency.

Can MPS Reduce wasted toner and paper sitting in a supply closet?

Yes. If your MPS offers Just-in-Time delivery, there is no reason to have ANY toner on hand at all. A supply of paper next to your multi-function device should be your only stockpile. Everything else should be delivered as needed. 

For example, GFC customer Sauk Prairie Healthcare had too many printers and copiers and no way to manage them. However, the biggest problem may have been that the company had a stockpile of printing supplies which took up valuable space. “We had a 4 by 4-foot room full of toner and supplies that we needed to get rid of,” says Rick Sauer, Director of Financial Services, Sauk Prairie Healthcare. “We were looking for a partner that could help us manage the machines we had and get control over our paper and toner usage.”

Sauer says that eliminating toner and supply storage got rid of a logistical nuisance, although some staff missed the stockpile. “Some people were used to having three toner cartridges on a shelf and would get nervous when a machine was running low,” he says. “But we showed them that the toner and supplies will be there when they need them.”

Will it get rid of underused machines?

MPS is not just a program to manage the machines you already have. It should take stock of the resources you have and integrate them into a new, optimized system. If done properly, underused machines are eliminated and the printers you have will be merged into a network of newer multi-function devices, and old machines phased out until the printers you have are working at peak efficiency.

As an example, Velocity Urgent Care is a fast-growing medical provider in Virginia.  As the organization has grown quickly, Freddie Lucas has had to reallocate resources and purchase new devices to outfit new clinics.

At the start of this process, Practice Velocity had 40 print machines for 7 locations. Today, the company has 16 locations but only 41 machines. “Honestly, we had more printers than we needed,” says Lucas. “We found some machines that weren’t being used very much, so we’ve been able to reallocate devices and do more work without having to buy new machines.”

Can it help control the way people use printers?   

Yes. MPS should take advantage of a managed print software solution to track, control, and manage usage. To see what we mean, consider Wisconsin Lutheran College, a liberal arts college with a nine-building campus near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When John Meyer became Director of IT for Wisconsin Lutheran College there was no print management solution in place. That meant some print jobs were sent multiple times, piling up on printers and leading to waste and frustrated users. He wanted a solution to provide print and copy services to students, track and manage usage, and recover the costs as part of each student’s tuition.

The Warrior OneCard is Wisconsin Lutheran College’s official photo identification card. It has a magnetic strip so students can access buildings, pay for meals on campus, and work out in the Recreation Complex. The Gordon Flesch team was able to integrate uniFLOW managed print software, the OneCard, and the campus Microsoft Active Directory. Suddenly, all printing and scanning functions were integrated with every student’s personal account. Meyer says the swipe to release function cut paper usage in half almost immediately. “Suddenly, we didn’t have backed up printers, there were no lines of people waiting, and we saw a huge savings,” he says.

Can it Reduce my Overhead Costs?

MPS is the best possible solution for controlling print costs, and that includes eliminating fraud. For many years, Blanchard Valley Health System’s printer fleet was supplied, managed, and serviced by several different vendors. BVHS recently added 70 devices to GFC’s imageCARE program, which will deliver BVHS an additional 50 percent cost savings, with new, monthly cost savings of $900. “Before working with GFC, there was no real system for tracking and managing purchases,” says Amos Cramer, Information Services Supervisor. “Now our maintenance, toner and supplies are delivered just in time by GFC.”

Even more importantly, Amos Cramer received an invoice for toner cartridges from an IT services company. But since BVHS’ entire printer fleet is managed by GFC, it was obvious this was an attempted fraud. “One great thing about having our Managed Print service is that it eliminates the possibility that we will get hit by a toner scheme or false invoices …even if we get an invoice that looks genuine, I know without checking that it’s not legitimate.”

Today’s Managed Print solutions can benefit organizations of all sizes in unexpected ways. If you’d like to discover the benefits of a Managed Print program for your organization, contact us today for a no-cost, no-obligation Managed Print Needs Assessment.

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