Taking Managed Print to the Next Level
When people think of managed print services, they tend to view the support through a limited lens, causing them to misunderstand the overall goals and benefits of hiring a managed print provider. Most people seem to think MPS is about looking at print history over a long period of time and then predicting the future based on past usage.
We view managed print from a different approach than simply looking at the past and guessing what will happen in the future. With over ten years in the industry and as leaders in creating formats of managed print assessments, our goal is to educate on the larger opportunities in managed print services and to alleviate any fears.
In this article we look at the "big tent" services of managed print, as well as discuss our goals to advance what is now possible with newer technology, based on our methods and an understanding of exactly what can be done.
Managed Print: Then and Now
Managed print is more than just servicing your printers and delivering toner. It's really about measurement, specifically continuous measurement, and making that data meaningful so decisions can be made off of real-time data. This is easier said than done.
In the past, ManagedPrint has presented information in one of two formats. One, we would go over spreadsheets, which can be overwhelming to read and explain. The second way was to do a quarterly business review with a PowerPoint presentation to show the data. This data will be gathered through a data collection agent (DCA) where we have an initial reading and then a final reading. If you take the initial reading, and there were 12,000 prints made, and the reading was taken a year ago, you know that the printer is doing an average of 1,000 pages a month.
It was good, but it was static data, because it was based on when that information was collected. We decided to approach things from a different perspective, based on the potential ways to analyze the data. We asked ourselves two questions: “What if you could look at your data in a meaningful way on a real-time basis?” and “What if we could use any combination of that data? Rather than knowing your printers print 1,000 pages a month, you could see what times of year are busier. What if you did 10,000 of the 12,000 pages in March and April (like an accountanting firm, for example)?
The Next Generation of Managed Print
What we found was that by using our methods, we could extrapolate new combinations of real-time data to analyze any number of potential issues and resolve them.
For example: Suppose you wanted to find all of your MFPs that were at the end of service life, or all of your MFPs that were color, or were highly or under-utilized? That information on a real-time basis is much more powerful if you are looking at your current fleet. If you are looking at the last three months of your fleet activity, it is much more precise for your planning process than if you are looking at what you did a year ago.
With our business intelligence reporting, we analyze things from any number of ways, including location, utilization, workgroup category, device category, manufacturer, and many other filtering methods that would be relevant. This means we can combine them in new ways to discover issues and prevent them, as well as implement programs that save costs that would have otherwise remained undiscovered.
The Benefit of Modern Managed Print
When you can look at the data in a dynamic fashion, it is easier to make better business decisions. Rather than simply making decisions on print volume, you can use utilization numbers, volumes, device types, etc. These data points allow your business to make fleet decisions that can save money as well as improve productivity.
As leaders in the industry, we know what managed print has to offer, how to make it better, and what the future looks like. If you would like to learn more about our services, give us a call and we will be happy to answer any questions.