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4 Tips for Choosing the Best Managed Print Provider

Kelly Glaser

All businesses, both big and small, rely on printers as part of their operations. Managing those printers, repairs, network connectivity, upgrades, security and more can be burdensome and time consuming. More so, it can be costly.

Most organizations are surprised to discover that enlisting the help of a Managed Print provider reduces their printing costs by up to 30%. No matter your company’s size or type of industry, it’s worth exploring whether Managed Print can benefit your organization, but finding the best provider can sometimes be a challenge. Use these tips to help ensure you find the right fit.

1. Get an Assessment

A reputable Managed Print provider will meet with you to talk through your print challenges, ask questions about your current fleet and security concerns, and inventory existing equipment. They’ll also help you determine not only the types of printers and copiers best suited for your business; but proper placement of the equipment and how it will integrate with existing networks.

Be cautious of providers that start offering products or proposals as a one-size-fits-all solution without even stepping foot inside your business. Each company’s print needs will differ and you may end up paying for features and equipment you don’t need, or discover you’re missing out on key features that would benefit your organization.

2. Ask Questions

Let’s face it; securing a Managed Print service is intended to alleviate pain points associated with your print environment, minimize inefficiencies, even out cash flow and help your business run more smoothly. Asking the right questions and setting expectations up front can help ensure those goals are met. Thoroughly review the contract and make sure you cover the following:

  • Do you offer remote monitoring to proactively address service needs?
  • What’s the average hold time for your support desk?
  • Do you automatically replenish supplies?
  • How many technicians are in the area and what are typical response times?
  • What measures are taken to ensure data security?
  • How are our old machines disposed of, and do you offer a cartridge recycling program?
  • Do you provide training for employees on how to use the equipment?

There are many other questions you’ll want to cover as well, so make sure your potential provider can answer them to your satisfaction.

3. Address Print Security Issues 

Some analysts suggest that print environments may pose the greatest security risk to businesses, yet many companies are simply unaware of the potential threats associated with their print environments. Those that work with cut-rate providers or choose off-the-shelf products can unknowingly expose their networks to hackers and ransomware because the devices either lack proper security settings or the settings never get configured.

Another concern is exposure of sensitive information. It’s not uncommon for someone to print confidential documents and forget to retrieve them. Meanwhile, someone else picks up the printed files and a potential internal data breach or compliance violation occurs.

Make sure your potential provider addresses security issues as one of its top priorities. This includes ongoing vigilance through data encryption, timely software and firmware updates, as well as establishing permission-based printing that requires a password or PIN to release print jobs so that only authorized users can retrieve documents.

4. Look for a Scalable Solution 

As your business grows, your technology will need to grow with it. If your company expands or adds several employees over the next few years, your print needs will likely change. Will you be stuck in a contract that doesn’t allow for expansion without penalizing you? Talk with your potential provider about your anticipated growth goals so that you can plan a roadmap together.

A reputable print provider will also conduct regular reviews of your print environment, analyze data to look for changes in usage, examine service records, and make recommendations based on the findings. A Managed Print provider will keep your best interests at heart and work to establish a business relationship built on trust, adaptability and long-term benefits for your organization.

Working with a Managed Print provider should help eliminate uncertainties, not create more. We’d love to show you how our print experts can do just that and ease the burdens of worrying about security, ordering supplies, unexpected repair costs and outdated equipment. Reach out to us today for a no-cost, no-obligation assessment of your print environment.

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