Every year businesses are tasked with new ways on how to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency. Firstly, consider your annual budget. So which area of your business costs can you reduce by 30%? How about your print and copy costs? Many offices have printers, copiers, scanners and MFDs scattered around the office. There’s no control over their operations – this leads to significantly higher print/copy costs. Independent research analysts Gartner refers to this part of the business as ‘the last great area of uncontrolled costs’.
The solution to this challenge is a more structured approach to document production – a Managed Print Service.
What is a Managed Print Service?
A Managed Print Service broadly encompasses hardware, software, supplies and also service. It is offered by most manufacturers and major copier/printer dealers. It typically comprises of three main phases:
Assessment: This involves carrying out a review of the current print environment – ie devices and output volumes and providing recommendations for a rationalised fleet that show achievable savings. Assessments range from basic online analysis right up to full document workflow. Environmental impact analysis and document security assessments may also be identified.
Optimisation: This is where device rationalisation and consolidation takes place to reduce device-to-user ratios. Print management policies can also be put in place to set controls and rules for copying and printing.
Management: A Managed Print Service is a continuous process of improvement which includes regular business reviews, service level agreement monitoring and also remote management.
To learn more about the three stages of a Managed Print Service, download our White Paper.
Key Benefits of a Managed Print Service include:
– Savings of 30% and more on your copy/print costs
– Single supplier for equipment, service & support
– Internal IT resource can concentrate on core tasks
– Employee productivity is enhanced
– Confidential documents remain secure
– Environmental targets will also be met
*source: Gartner Group
Things to Consider when Looking at a Managed Print Service
– Management Buy-In: Companies considering implementing a Managed Print Service must align this with a sponsorship structure that covers IT, facilities, procurement and other stakeholders. A clear matrix of roles and responsibilities should be defined within the business and mapped to the Managed Print provider.
– MPS expertise: Capabilities vary between different providers so it is important to consider the provider’s track record. Look beyond equipment provision to ensure that the supplier can provide a complete solution that integrates hardware, software, training and support.
– Device support: Some vendors support only their own brand of devices whilst others manage third party manufacturers. Consider if existing equipment can be economically retained. What is the upgrade policy on existing devices? How is service handled on multi-vendor equipment? It is best to seek the advice of an independent supplier.
– Service level agreements (SLAs): Based on a comprehensive assessment, the business and provider can suggest and agree on key performance indicators. This should also define a technology (hardware and software) road-map, support plan and service offerings.
What else is also a factor?
– Measurement and reporting: The Managed Print Service provider should offer regular reporting to ensure SLAs are being achieved, and to identify and address any changes in print usage and requirements. Ongoing management and control is fundamental to the success of any Managed Print Service engagement.
– Payment Plans: Cost transparency through quarterly billing is only effective if tools are utilised to monitor usage and departmental print spend. To ease administration, Managed Print Service billing should cover all print, devices and volumes.
– Change management: The impact of a Managed Print Service should not be underestimated and employees should be involved and educated on the objectives and the changes to their printing practices from the outset. Consider what change management methodologies and processes are implemented by the Managed Print Service provider.
– Sustainability: An effective Managed Print Strategy can significantly reduce a company’s environmental footprint through reduced energy consumption and lower paper usage. The use of document workflow solutions can further minimise wasteful printing and should be considered as part of an overall platform that supports business process transformation.
Curious about your print/copy efficiency?
So why not call us on 0131 557 4747 to make an appointment to see how we can help right-size your fleet.