Managed Print Services is a business process consulting initiative that lets organizations delegate many of the main tasks associated with maintaining a printer/MFD fleet to a trusted business technology partner while identifying optimization opportunities associated with the life cycle of documents.
A good way to understand MPS is to consider the four phases of implementing a successful program.
In the list below, operating costs generally decrease as you go down the list.
Four Phases of Implementing a Successful Managed Print Program:
- Assessment of the current state
- Management of existing assets
- Optimization of asset deployment
- Implementation of software solutions
Assessment of the Current State
Understanding the deployment of where assets are located in proximity to each other and your end users as well as how they are being utilized is the first step towards assessing the efficiency of the current state.
Reviewing contractual agreements and invoices associated with the management and deployment of current state assets are key components to understanding the financial implications of the current operating costs. Soft costs such as the time spent by internal resources managing these assets and inefficient workflows that consume more time and resources in the life cycle of documents are more difficult to assess, but partnering with the right provider should uncover the extent that these costs add to the overall bottom line of the current state.
Management of Existing Assets
This option should reduce your current state costs 10% to 20% by bundling the supply and service costs associated with managing the current state assets. Your provider should be able to talk through the implications of using OEM vs generic supplies to help you identify which is right for your organization. Using proactive device monitoring tools and providing helpdesk support along with on-site remediation should be included in any agreement. Making sure you understand how the provider handles service responses when devices reach the end of useful life will ensure you don’t have unexpected costs throughout the term of your agreement.
Optimization of Asset Deployment
This option should reduce your current state costs 15% to 25%. As a rule of thumb, the more expensive the asset acquisition cost, the lower the operating expense. Having assets with high acquisition costs that are underutilized or over-utilizing less efficient devices both represent a significant opportunity to right-size the equipment and reduce the total cost of ownership. Based on your historical approach to asset acquisition (lease vs purchase), the optimization of assets may be the second phase of your managed print services strategy or you may be in a position to immediately begin rationalizing the fleet based on the assessment findings.
Implementation of Software Solutions
This option should reduce your current state costs 20% to 30%. Utilizing secure follow-you printing solutions can greatly reduce the need for personal desktop printers. This follow-you software can help rationalize single-function printers out of the fleet and greater leverage the investments you’ve already made in more efficient MFDs during the optimization phase.
Likewise, scanning solutions that allow you to route electronic documents directly to their storage destinations can help reduce the amount of time your staff spends on the business processes around naming, routing and storing electronic files. These solutions can become more complicated based on your unique network infrastructure and the desired end-user experience, so it is important to partner with a provider that has vast experience installing these at a multitude of organizations without the assistance of the software developers – who are typically less responsive and more expensive to work with.
How to test whether you would benefit from MPS
The first step to understanding which print model best fits your organization is to consider the above options in the context of your current printing volume and printing costs.
You can start measuring print costs yourself using two print usage tools available here. One is a spreadsheet template that automatically calculates your printing costs based on your specific printer model and print volume. The other is a simple software that tracks your print volumes and calculates your print costs.
If you don’t know your current print costs, don’t worry. You’re in good company. A majority of small businesses don’t track print costs. But they should. Knowing your baseline costs is the only way to measure the savings potential of implementing a Managed Print Services solution.