About Managed Print: Pricing Models, Service Coverage and Supply Chain
Many organizations have turned to Managed Print Services to resolve the issue of ongoing printer care and oversight. Maybe you’ve already looked at some MPS proposals yourself to deal with this situation.
But the question may linger, why do I even need managed print? If you’ve ever wondered, this article will help you better understand three key areas of this type of business technology service. You may decide it’s not the best choice for your company, or you may realize you need to start with MPS solutions right away.
We’ve helped all kinds of businesses launch managed print programs for years and have thousands of printing devices under contract. We do have a bias here, but we believe more business managers should understand all sides of managed print. And if that means someone decides they aren’t the best fit for a managed print services program, so be it.
When Does Managed Print Make Business Sense?
The more devices you have in your print environment, the more managed print makes sense. This is true not only from a print costs standpoint, but also from the service angle. A good MPS provider helps companies understand their users and print environments and creates the appropriate service contracts for all the devices and locations.
Three Pricing Models for Managed Print Services
Pricing for a good MPS provider varies depending on the contract type and term. These are a few typical pricing models:
- Cost per print
- Cost per user
- Cost per device
These are the most common arrangements for managed print contracts. Let’s look at advantages of each cost model as a print strategy.
Cost per Print
By far, the most popular and common way to manage print cost is a pay-per-print model. This can be done a couple of ways. If you have your own printing devices already, it’s based more on cost of toner + maintenance averaged out on a per-print basis. What’s important in this cost model is ensuring the devices at each location are logical and correct. The cost of new equipment can be added to the print strategy, but it’s less likely it will be on a cost-per-print basis.
A good managed print provider normally goes beyond a cost-per-print support agreement and looks at your overall print volumes to ensure the correct devices are in place. If you have $2,000 printers at each location, all doing low print volumes per month, then this device model may be too much for the actual work. That leads to ongoing unnecessary spend, especially if the unit cost is standardized over a large fleet of printers.
If you have a printer doing just 2,000 pages a month, but you’re spending $2,000 per unit, you may be better off with a $600 printer. The job of a good managed print service is to know the best printer options and advise if your technology is over- or underutilized.
Cost per User
This model resembles the cost-per-user model often charged for managed IT services. There is no cost per print. Instead, cost is averaged out as a cost per user to print what they need. This managed print arrangement is generally made with conditions that the amounts printed don’t change drastically from when the agreement is originally signed. This is more of a fixed cost contract, making the print services spend more predictable. Month to month, it’s the same bill, thereby reducing the effort needed to account for printer support and device expenses.
With this type of agreement, the managed print provider is often given the freedom to swap out a printer or copier to help keep overall cost as low as possible.
Cost per Device
This printing needs support method is similar to the cost-per-user agreement, but rather than counting users, each device incurs its own monthly price to cover all needed support and supplies. If you need a new device, the managed print provider looks at historical print volume to ensure the right printers go into your print environment.
Like a cost-per-user agreement, the MPS provider is typically allowed to swap out units in the print environment as it makes sense. Let’s say one device prints 10,000 black-and-white pages at three cents a page. The managed print provider may decide to put in a new device to get the costs closer to a penny per page. The result can be savings of $200 per printer per month. Multiply this across every print device in a print fleet, and the impact is impressive.
A good MPS provider will understand and align with your goals of lowering print technology spend, while still getting regular, professional service and uptime.
What Kind of Managed Print Coverage Do You Need?
This is one of the most important questions when selecting a managed print partner: Is there adequate service coverage in all your geographical locations? As you consider whether a certain MPS provider is right or wrong for you, service could tip the scale.
A device that’s remote and an off brand is harder and more expensive to service. One of the goals of an initial assessment by a professional MPS team is to determine what you have and where, and how difficult it is to cover each device.
This thorough cost breakdown is needed, because no company does things the same way, and no MPS program will run the same way. A print assessment may find your printer fleet has an abundance of weird, off-brand print devices. Or it may be a total Konica Minolta, HP or Lexmark shop. Whatever the case, it’s critical to know what you have and where you stand with managed print service.
How Healthy Is the Supply Chain Behind Your MPS Contract?
With ongoing shortages in parts and chips, some printer manufacturers have fared better than others. Part of our managed print expertise is to know what device models will be easier to support, and which will be high-maintenance. Ultimately, you’ll decide what you want to do about toner and service for your printer fleet, but we want to prepare you for what to expect, especially for hard-to-service office locations or a challenging print environment.
If your print environment has hundreds or thousands of printers around the USA, we can likely manage toner, parts and service for all those printing devices. (We’ve done it for many customers already.) We cover the entire US with our Managed Print Services. If you have some questions after reading this article, or urgent printing needs, just reach out.