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What is a Managed Print Service?

Kelly Moran

Almost every business has a printer or fleet of printers and multifunction devices. Whether it’s in your office building, in a home office or on a manufacturing shop floor, printers are the lifeblood of most companies.

The question is, does every company know what their printers are doing? Do you know who is using them, how often and for what purpose? How much is each printer costing your company? Are you paying for a printer that rarely gets used? Is your printer overworked or ineffective for what you are asking it to do? How much paper or toner is getting used every week? Is toner sitting, obsolete, in various supply cabinets?

There are so many questions you should be asking about your printers. The good news is that there is a way to get easy answers and make sure you find good solutions to any problems your company may have. As you might guess from the title, I am talking about a Managed Print Services (MPS).

Managed Print Service, What Does That Do?

Printers and printing are typically considered office fundamentals — part of the cost of doing business. However, it is wrong to take them for granted and just assume your costs are inevitable. Look at your office and see if there is:

  • Reams of wasted paper in the recycling bin
  • Unprotected printers connected to your network
  • A system or processes for managing supplies and minimizing waste
  • Underutilized or inefficient printers
  • Excessive downtime and labor costs due to printer problems

Most offices probably have all the issues listed above to some degree. But what does MPS do to solve them? First, a Managed Print provider will take an inventory of your existing devices to determine which printers may still serve your needs and those that may be inefficient or no longer fit the applications. Your specific situation will be assessed to evaluate your current device use, output and supplies, and recommendations will be determined.

Then, once your needs are determined, best-in-class software and printer hardware is provided to optimize your current print environment, reduce frustrations and educate users on best practices for a more time- and cost-efficient organization. With remote monitoring, an experienced MPS will 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.

Great, But How Does It Save Money?

Simply taking a critical look at your printer fleet and leasing machines that fit your unique needs can have a huge payoff. Consider the Racine Unified School District, which had 109 multifunction machines and 2,100 single function printers across 32 schools. GFC reduced that to 4 single function printers and 319 multi-function machines. Four years later, GFC again optimized the environment, replacing all the machines with 286 new multi-function devices, eliminating 33 underutilized printers.

Also, having experienced printer technicians can pay huge dividends in repair costs and lowered downtime. A team of experienced technicians has specialized technical training to understand your entire fleet’s unique functions and configurations and perform preventative maintenance and machine cleaning.

And with advanced features like print-to-release, pages are not printed until the user actually logs into a machine. Some of our MPS customers have seen the swipe to release function cut paper usage in half almost immediately, eliminating backed-up printers and lowering toner costs. Plus, Just-in-Time toner delivery means you never have more ink/toner than you need and don’t have to have wasted storage space for toner boxes.

In addition, your printer will no longer be a potential security risk, as cybersecurity protections and security options can be enforced. Round-the-clock remote monitoring of your printers helps ensure that potential problems are proactively addressed before they occur — preventing potential interruptions and minimizing downtime and associated costs. And businesses can put measures in place to meet compliance rules and reporting requirements — like HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley and other federal mandates.

MPS is one of the easiest ways a business can get a handle on uncontrolled costs. Your costs will be regular and predictable, and you can track and recover costs and even allocate them to various departments with improved billing accuracy. If you’d like to discover the benefits of a an MPS program for your organization, contact us today or check out our Guide to Managed Print Services.                                                                                                                  

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