What Is the Purpose of Managed Print Services (MPS)?
You may have gotten a proposal from a print vendor to do an assessment or an audit of your print environment. There can be a lot to look at, and if your printers seem to be working well, the question is likely to come up — Why bother?
We have been helping companies manage print for many years and have thousands of devices under agreements to optimize and normalize print fleets. Our most typical client has between 10 and 1000 printers. They can be anywhere in the USA.
In this article, we will go over not only how to reduce your printing cost with a managed print solution, but what to look for to ensure your print environment is at maximum efficiency.
Managed Print Services – Why Bother?
The purpose of managed print services is to lower and track costs to make the business more efficient. As business models have changed over time, and businesses themselves have grown, they often end up with dispersed fleets across their offices being used in inefficient ways.
What inefficiencies do you find?
The fact is, a lot of waste goes on with fleets, especially larger ones. Some basic ways that larger fleets create inefficiencies are:
- Black-and-white print jobs on color copiers
- Unnecessary color printing
- 50% of printers do 90% of the work, while others do the rest, if they are working at all (often they are sitting there broken.)
- Overstocked and unused supplies and toner
- Unnecessary printers or copiers
- Office copiers that do little to no printing
- Production printers not being used
One of the simplest ways to reduce cost is making sure that your centralized color copier isn’t being used by everyone to make what should be strictly black-and-white copies. That centralized copier is an excuse to go for a walk and make small talk. Meanwhile, the cost-per-print is higher and so is the use of any color in the document. You want the print volume on the larger devices to reflect the capability of the product.
We are not arguing that your office should be set up to maximize the printers and minimize the labor. Part of helping your print environment is to look for inefficiencies. The printing cost may be higher if you use a decentralized printing environment, but the labor costs can go down. There is always a give-and-take between people and the printing devices you have at your location. Optimizing a printer fleet looks at both the technology and the staff.
What devices are being overutilized, and which are underutilized? This can reveal any unnecessary devices, as well as help with where we place the ones we are using. It also cuts down on machines breaking because of overuse, so you can get the full lifetime out of them.
Document management systems (DMS) let you set parameters for which kind of printing will be done on which devices. It can also help you make sure your fleet is located in strategic places, so that a trip to the centralized copier becomes totally unnecessary. This will also alleviate uneven printer use. We have seen a dramatic shift to electronic records when a DMS is employed, which totally changes the printing environment.
Whenever you make a big change in your office technology to a new system like DMS, there will be a natural impact your printer fleet management company should help you consider. Usually, this will mean more scanning and fewer printers.
One huge advantage of working with a company that only does print management, as opposed to working with a manufacturer, is we work to optimize the technology environment and don’t have quotas on printers and copiers like a manufacturer’s MPS rep could potentially have.
Have stock such as toner sitting around that never gets used? Maybe that device is used too little, or is now being replaced by a newer model. Now you have wasted costs that can be alleviated by managed print. You can even get your toner orders set to a cycle that fits usage.
We look at the fleet like a spoked wheel. In the center are your primary copiers used for the heavy work. Follow any spoke, and you have a support printer or multifunction printer for a department or section of the building. Making sure that these make sense and are fulfilling their intention could lead to being able to remove some devices, therefore removing costs.
Managed print services bring all of this and more under control. By assessing, we can formulate a plan that reduces wasteful printing, and track any jobs being done. The first thing we do is measure all aspects of the fleet, from the volumes to the inventory, to the costs. This is done on a regular basis to ensure that nothing is “getting away” from us.
What measurements are you looking for?
We track inventory, monthly volumes, costs on a monthly basis, locations and the devices themselves. Using that information we can get a pretty clear picture of where, what and why spending is either too high or unfocused, and how to implement ideas to drive down costs.
To learn more or to receive an audit of your fleet, call us today.o