5 Steps to Determine Managed Print Service Costs

How much does it cost?
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There are two primary ways for a business to deploy and maintain a fleet of printers:

  1. Buy the hardware and pay or retain IT personnel to keep the devices up and running.
  2. Hire a Managed Print Service provider to provide the machines you need, perform upgrades and maintain them.

If you already own and maintain print devices, you might be concerned that hiring a Managed Print Service (MPS) provider is more expensive. The truth is that MPS can deliver significant cost savings – when done right.

How much do Managed Print Services cost? There is no single answer because prices are based on an organization’s unique needs. However, you can determine whether MPS will save you money by following these steps. 

Step One: Determine Your Printing Needs

Not every business is a fit for MPS, and a reputable provider will tell you up front if you don’t need their services. Managed Print probably doesn’t make sense if you have low monthly print volumes or have minimal print needs in your office. However, if print costs, downtime and maintenance are perpetual issues, MPS can deliver a streamlined, cost-effective print environment that is hassle-free.

Experienced MPS providers have professional business analysts who use special software and their industry knowledge to identify disparities in processes and identify opportunities to deploy and often eliminate machines appropriately.

Be sure to ask whether the MPS provider you’re considering offers print assessments, and whether they charge for them. Then, take advantage of their free services.

Step Two: Know What’s Included in an MPS Agreement

Managed Print Services should offer more than just hardware and supplies. Ideally, they’ll provide attentive support, continuous improvement, modernization and even help streamline your business workflows.

Unfortunately, many small or upstart Managed Print companies offer enticingly low prices for hardware but minimal support or process improvements. In fact, many low-cost providers charge customers for things like training manuals and documentation, or hit their customers with surprise delivery and maintenance fees. A true MPS partner provides an all-inclusive service that can support all of your print-related needs.

Managed Print should offer one comprehensive price for your hardware, software and support. Installation, service, updates (software, drivers, security patches, etc.) and maintenance are all part of the package and should be spelled out. MPS should be a custom fit for your needs rather than a cookie-cutter package.

In many cases, a Managed Print Services provider can buy out an existing contract and take over maintenance of your machines. You can replace as many or as few printers as necessary to fit your needs and your budget. This is especially true when you're going out to bid during an Managed Print Services RFP. It's a great time to make sure your provider is giving you the most financially responsible options.

Step Three: Deduct Hidden Print Costs

Once you’ve received a thorough assessment of your current printer fleet and your needs going forward, the MPS provider will give you a detailed and clear-cut price. The MPS cost is typically shown as a convenient, single monthly bill.

To determine whether Managed Print Services will truly save your organization money, however, you also need to deduct unseen print costs and headaches that will be eliminated as a result.

For example, some studies found that:

  • Up to half of IT help desk calls are print related
  • IT teams spend 15% of their time responding to print-related issues
  • 45% of documents end up in the trash
  • 90% of companies don't know how many printers they have or how much they spend on print
  • Most companies have more printers than they really need

When you factor in the hidden costs of labor, downtime, waste and excess equipment, you’ll likely discover that a Managed Print Services program brings significant savings.

This chart can be a helpful way to compare Managed Print costs, in addition to other benefits.


WITHOUT Managed Print

Managed Print

Predictable Monthly Costs

Right-sized printer fleet

One contact for service and supplies


Just-in-time toner ordering

Remote, proactive device monitoring

Preventative maintenance, timely updates and repairs

Monthly reporting of print activities with print management software

Improved security and compliance

Automated duplex printing, black and white printing and other cost saving settings


Pull printing, badge readers and proper routing


RELATED: How to Calculate Printing Cost Per Page

Step Four: Examine Real-World Use Cases

For a real-world example, consider the case of UW Health, one of the largest hospitals in the Midwest. After adopting an MPS solution, they recovered an estimated $300 per device in consumables. Additionally, they produce 10–15% less waste from abandoned print jobs. Most notably, their printer fleet was reduced by more than 800 machines.

MPS is also useful for small and medium-sized businesses like Velocity Urgent Care, a fast-growing medical provider in Virginia. Before MPS, Velocity Urgent Care had 30 copiers and printers at eight locations. Today the company has doubled the number of locations to 16, but they haven’t doubled the number of printers; they added only about a dozen more overall. By standardizing multi-function machines and deploying them more thoughtfully, they’ve learned to do more with fewer devices.

Step Five: Request a Print Assessment

Here’s the bottom line: in the short run, your bill may go up or down. In the long run, however, an organization typically experiences total cost savings in supplies, management, IT labor and more.

Discover the benefits of a Managed Print program for your organization. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation print assessment to determine your organization’s specific needs and MPS costs. It might just be the best cost-saving decision you make all year.

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