If you are using a transactional model for your fleet management, but are considering a managed print service, there are a few things to consider.
The fact is, most organizations purchase toner for their printers on a transactional basis. Purchasing handles that, and they either fix the printers internally or outsource the repairs. However, if you are talking to the IT people, they all hate printers and want to focus on more important things like the network or security.
On the procurement side, it is more about the management and costs; the benefits of managed print versus the transactional method. A managed print service brings the advantage of measuring costs, whereas on the transactional side it is difficult to have an idea of what the usage and spending are.
Essentially, the size of your fleet, the IT costs in time and money, tracking spending, and planning ways to reduce costs, are all issues that may lead you to managed print services.
In this article, we will be answering questions related to supply and device management with managed print services.
If I’m under your service, do I have toners on the shelf? What does that look like in terms of fulfillment of supplies?
When we begin working with a client, typically, the organizations have back-up toner at each site or in every office. We tell them up front that going that route is wasteful, because printers get switched out, making it worthless. It’s not unusual for them to have thousands of dollars in toner just sitting out there, that may never be used.
We believe in a Just In Time (JIT) toner and supplies fulfillment methodology. This allows the client to always be able to print and the managed print solution provider to be able to save money without tons of toner sitting on shelves. The reason the JIT methodology is preferred is because the toner onsite is almost always utilized, saving wasteful spending, and the cost of having too many toners in the closet.
The only way we get paid is if customers print, so we have our toner shipped after a certain percentage is left in the cartridge. That works pretty well 80%-90% of the time, but inevitably, especially with a larger organization, you have to have a back up area. You basically want to have a centralized emergency stock of toner at each location, depending on the size of it, but not everyone should have their own backup supply of toner. That is where waste tends to come in..
Do you tend to put the same models in for replacements, or is it more diversified with a particular client?
We sell HP primarily. In the lower end categories, HP changes their models more often than in the larger ones. We are typically going with what HP is selling. We sell the HP managed devices, and the difference is that you have a much lower cost per print on these, as well as added security. Only select partners, like us, are authorized to sell these devices.
We are biased toward HP as the dominant player on the printer side, and a significant one on the copier side. Because of our relationship with them, if one of our partners is buying OEM toner, we can save them a lot of money.
We can fix other brands, but we aren’t good at fixing Ricoh or Xerox, and companies that claim they are good at printer service across all manufacturers, probably aren’t. If you know the manufacturer you want, we would get the one that is good for you and your business goals. Yes, we work with diversified fleets, but as far as nationwide service expertise, our technicians are trained on HP specifically.
How many models of managed devices are there?
Medium work group, large work group, and within each category, you have color or black and white, printers or MFP’s. There are 25+ models of managed devices.
How varied are you trying to be in your printer placements, given current inventory constraints?
With bigger clients, we go to the standards list. When a client needs a device, our sales rep makes an assessment, and depending on the printer device needs, they go to the standards list and pick from there. That list has all of the pertinent information for making the right choice based on previous device, usage, and traffic.
Part of the job of a solid Managed Print Services provider is to ensure you have what you need, when you need it, but not too much. When we manage a print fleet, these are the items we pay attention to too.
What KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) Do You Use?
We use the print volume trends; their print cost, and effective cost per print. You have volatile costs within your printing. As an example, if a hospital buys another hospital, their printing cost increases. Are they saving money or are they not saving money?
Our KPI is called the Effective Cost Per Print. We take your total service costs and divide it into your total print volume. That total volume is your black and white, and color combined. This allows you visualize the trend line to ensure you are getting the best deal for your print environment.
There are 3 factors that impact the cost of your print fleet. If you have a lot of color you will have a higher KPI. How high your rates are, and the type of devices you are printing too. Each of these will affect the rate.
If you would like to work with a print management company who understands your technology and your printer fleet, give us a call so we can help you with your office printer and copier fleet.
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