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In-house vs. MPS: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls

Kelly Glaser

We are firm believers that a Managed Print Service (MPS) is superior model for managing a printer fleet. When compared to managing a fleet of printers in-house with IT resources, MPS should offer endless advantages. However, that is only true if a Managed Print Service delivers on the promise of delivering the right equipment with the right software and service.

When done right, MPS will minimize the time your team spends dealing with printers and copiers and allow you all to focus on critical functions that help grow your business. But when done incorrectly, it may not be different than managing your printers in-house. Here are the pitfalls to avoid and ensure an MPS works for your company’s best interests:

1. An MPS Must Redeploy Your Printers

The point of a successful MPS is not to simply replace your existing printer fleet. A successful Managed Print Service will improve and maximize the performance of an existing fleet. This is achieved by redeploying underperforming machines and replacing old or outdated technology.

Even when a device is well within its useful life, it may not be cost effective to run if it is incorrectly deployed. We find that too often a device is well over- or under-utilized in its current location. The good news is it is possible to redeploy machines so that they are more cost-effectively used. And when a device is at end of life, defined by print volume, it can be replaced with a more cost-efficient multi-function device or more modern machine.

In other words, a successful MPS eliminates underperforming machines and volume can be directed to other units in the fleet. If an MPS provider is not suggesting device reductions, they might not be serving your best interests.

2. MPS Needs to Cut Your Costs

Similarly, if an MPS provider performs an assessment of a printer fleet, they should be able to provide a plan for reducing the amount you are spending on supplies, toner and other related costs. For example, the UW Health Hospital adopted GFC’s just-in-time delivery and the University is now using 20% less toner and supplies. UW Health estimates the solution has helped the organization recover $300 per device in consumables. In addition, UW Health is producing 10 to 15 percent less waste from abandoned print jobs.

In addition, an MPS program should offer a plan to reduce volume or pages with print management, usually through the use of print management software such as PaperCut or UniFLOW. These solutions can prevent excessive printing and help track costs so you can identify wasteful usage. Find an MPS provider who delivers a thorough assessment and offers a future state design that controls waste.  Which brings me to my third and final point:

3. MPS Providers Must Work with You

Don’t be hands off or too deferential to your MPS provider. Insist on working with potential vendors through the presales process in order to ensure they are offering true cost savings. Assign a person or team with authority to work with the vendor throughout the program – be involved and proactive especially at quarterly business reviews.

What should this look like? A quality MPS can offer remote monitoring of devices and continued personal attention to help identify further cost-saving measures and strategies for sustained Managed Print success. This approach also ensures issues are proactively addressed to minimize potential downtime and that necessary updates are performed — saving time, money and resources.

We believe a successful Managed Print Service is a strategy that addresses issues to improve workflows and office efficiencies — saving you time, money and frustration. Printers and printing are typically considered office fundamentals — the proverbial cost of doing business. Ensure an MPS is addressing:

  • Wasted paper in the recycling bin
  • Cybersecurity protocols and internal security measures
  • Inadequate processes for managing supplies
  • Underutilized or inefficient printers
  • Downtime and labor costs due to printer problems

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 or check out our Guide to Managed Print Services.

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