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Questions to Ask When Choosing a Managed Print Service Provider

Kelly Moran

Once you’ve made the decision to look for a Managed Print Service (MPS) provider, finding the best one for your business can be daunting and stressful.

To navigate the many available providers and streamline the process, you’ll want to ask the right questions to ensure they are aligned with your business’ technology and goals. Here are some of the more important questions to ask, but don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as necessary to make an informed decision.

What methods and tools does the MPS provider use to assess your current system?

MPS solutions can be entirely different for each business, so you need to understand what is working and what isn’t within your current print workflow before you can improve it. Your MPS provider should use virtual device management tools to analyze your current print output equipment to determine how it’s used, how supplies are stocked, how much life is left, pain points and areas for improvement. Once your MPS provider understands your current infrastructure, they can evaluate your purchasing process and develop a detailed roadmap to put your business on the right track. 

What types of service and maintenance is included in your contract?

Your relationship with your MPS provider shouldn’t end after they’ve installed your new equipment and software. They should be monitoring your systems and sending out qualified technicians as needed, before issues arise, to reduce downtime and help your business run as efficiently as possible.  For example, many companies will swap out toner cartridges when it reaches a 25% level, when in fact it may not need to be changed until a 5% level. Minimizing and managing waste allows more use out of your equipment and can save you time and money.

Thoroughly read the contract and ask your potential MPS provider detailed questions about exactly what you’re getting, like: How many technicians are in my area and what is the typical response time? Is  helpdesk support offered with little to no hold times? Is remote system access available to resolve issues? What other services are included that would benefit my business?

How effectively can the MPS provider integrate with your existing IT infrastructure?

Managed print is all about integrating the right combination of hardware and software in order to help you save time, money and resources. You already have an existing IT Infrastructure in place, and making sure the proposed solution integrates easily is key. Your MPS provider should offer software and implement rules and processes to help reduce the total number of devices you have and the amount of energy and paper you use, as well as provide training to your staff on any unfamiliar software and equipment.

What output management software is included?

MPS is more than just the equipment. Knowing what software is included and how it can help your business can be a deciding factor when choosing a provider. Does the provider offer cloud printing, printing from mobile phones, authentication and auditing, and cost recovery software? These output management tools can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Knowing who is printing what and to where throughout the entire printing process is one of the first steps in minimizing waste and maximizing productivity, while keeping your documents and information safe and secure.

Will your MPS grow with your business and offer continuous improvements?

An MPS provider may be able to meet your current needs, but as your business grows, so should your MPS. Make sure you choose a provider that can scale its services as you grow. Ask if they have the capacity to strategically grow with your long-term business goals. Once your MPS provider has a solution in place for the short term, request a comprehensive roadmap for the future and make sure they are able to implement it.

How will I know my information and documents are safe and secure?

Security is more important now than ever before, and ensuring your sensitive documents don’t fall into the wrong hands should be a top priority. With MPS, you’ll be able to see who printed which documents and to which printer so information won’t leave your environment unless authorized. Should authorization not be obtained prior to removing documents from the premises, security measures such as audit trails and alerts for administrative personal can help locate the paperwork and its holder.

Every business is different, so don’t limit yourself to asking just these questions. Think about how MPS will benefit your business and tailor questions to make sure your provider fits your needs. Finding the right provider can improve your print workflow efficiencies, reduce waste for a greener office and save up to 50% on printing costs.

For a free, no-obligation consultation on how you can improve your business technology environment, contact us today.

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