Small businesses may hear a term like “managed print services” and assume it doesn’t apply to them. Sure, if you only have one printer and it doesn’t get used very often, there’s not a lot to manage and Managed Print Services (MPS) might not be for you. But as soon as a business has multiple printers and you find yourself wondering how much you’re spending on toner or paper, MPS probably makes sense.
Maybe you’ve noticed an increase in printing from your employees but don’t know how to manage it. Or, perhaps you’ve had one or more of your employees tying up the printer or copier due to a large print job or project. Or maybe you’ve got a supply closet full of toner you may never use.
These things can certainly be a nuisance, but it is also simply not a cost-effective way to run a small business—and this is where managed print services come into play. First, let us explain what managed print services are. The short answer is that MPS is a strategic plan for the printing of a business’ documents. A well-run managed print service can help improve print workflow efficiencies, reduce waste and save up to 30% on printing costs.
For a small business, an MPS services plan usually begins with an assessment that:
- Identifies all office equipment, such as copiers, printers, and faxes
- Classifies the locations of where all office equipment is located
- Learns the volume and type of work generated or produced by the business
- Detects the current software used
- Evaluates the labor, maintenance, supplies, and costs of all in-house printing operations
According to a recent survey, nine out of 10 consumers polled agreed that printed materials would always be needed in some form. Having an MPS solution in place means that printing will be available reliably to support the needs of modern customers. An estimated 15% of a typical small to medium-sized IT budget is spent on printing – not a small concern.
The investment in MPS for a business is paid back quickly in several ways. First, because MPS printing is more efficient, money is saved on the costs of equipment, toner, and paper supplies. Staff that would be spending time managing printers and toner can work on more important tasks in the office.
Getting Started with MPS for a Growing Business
Unless a company has some staff on hand that can handle monitoring all the printers, copiers, and multifunction machines, machines will be less efficient, using more toner and paper than is perhaps necessary. Less waste is generated because a good print services management company will review printer usage to determine the most strategic and efficient ways to handle document printing.
Get Help with Equipment and Toner Management
Keeping track of printers and supplies can take a lot of people power that could otherwise be used to focus on the core business. A good MPS provider will appropriately monitor toner levels, handling the purchasing and replacement when it is time. Printers, copiers, and related devices can also be managed remotely to ensure they are working properly and repaired in a timely manner.
Get Better Security for Critical Business Documents
Many managers need to print documents that need to be kept secure. Document security is also important in fields such as healthcare, where strict privacy laws restrict the dissemination of patient information. A good managed print system will offer software that keeps important documents secure. This includes the capability to wipe documents out of printer memory when necessary.
Small businesses may think that they can’t afford MPS, when in fact, many can’t afford NOT to use MPS. The good news is that pricing for MPS is based on providing just the services and support a business needs. Rather than investing in hardware and supporting it yourself, small businesses pay a single monthly invoice that ensures your costs are predictable and manageable. Toner and supplies are delivered on time and you can scale up or scale down the size of your printer fleet to fit the needs of the business.
Businesses that are considering transitioning to a managed solution for print services should first start with a thorough evaluation of their business needs. What is currently working? What is not working? What are the goals of the business? Having some of this critical information and strategy looked at before talking to a provider can make all the difference.
To learn more, visit our Guide to Managed Print Services!