Finding a great managed print services (MPS) provider can save your business up to 30% on print costs, increase security and reduce waste. But it’s tough to find a provider without having to become somewhat of an expert yourself. Not all providers are the same. And because contracts usually last from three to five years, you’ll need to make sure the provider you hire is a good fit.
Let’s explore everything you should know about a managed print provider before you sign on the dotted line.
1. WHO ARE THEIR MANAGED PRINT SERVICES CLIENTS?
When an MPS provider saves a business a lot of time and money by taking over one of the most potentially frustrating workplace tasks, they should have no problem producing a list of ecstatic clients. Check out their website for case studies or ask for a list of references.
2. WHAT WILL YOU BE GETTING?
Take a good look at their Service Level Agreement (SLA). What services and repairs are included? What are their guaranteed response times and service hours? Will the MPS provider be providing all preventive maintenance, parts and supplies? Are there any upfront costs? Compare the SLAs of more than one managed print provider, and you’ll easily see how they stack up against each other. Just like most other products and services, you tend to get what you pay for.
3. HOW MUCH WILL YOU BE PAYING?
Some MPS providers bill by print volume, and therefore will collect regular meter readings. In a light-usage month, you may pay less for their services. However, your staff will be burdened by collecting this number each and every month on each and every printing device, and you will get a nasty surprise on your bill if your staff prints more the next month.
Other MPS providers may provide exactly the same services but will bill differently. After gathering feedback from our clients, Marco now offers an unlimited print model, so it’s easier to budget for managed print services, and there’s no need for clients to produce monthly meter readings.
4. WHAT DO THEY THINK ABOUT YOUR EXISTING EQUIPMENT?
Over the years, our print experts have found that a surprising amount of organizations are simply using the wrong equipment for their needs, and it’s wasting tons of supplies, energy, and time. To be fair, there are a lot of printers on the market, all of which have various advantages and disadvantages. There is not one perfect printer that’s right for every organization, and choosing the right one can be complicated. So be wary of an MPS provider that makes a printer recommendation without really getting to know your organization and what you need to print.
5. WHAT ARE YOUR PRINTERS ACTUALLY COSTING YOU?
It’s pretty hard to know how to fix a problem when you don’t fully understand what it is. 90% of companies don’t track their printing costs and might be shocked to find that their printing expenses amount to between 1% and 3% of their annual revenue.
A good MPS provider will conduct an initial assessment to get data on all of your devices, which users have access to them, how often they’re used, and more. Once the assessment is completed, they’ll have better data about how much your printers are costing you, and how best to save you money.
6. HOW CAN THEY BOOST YOUR CYBERSECURITY?
When organizations are trying to reduce their cybersecurity risk, they typically think about almost every device in their office except for their printers. Unfortunately, that oversight can be costly. To hackers, networked printers are just another gateway into your organization’s infrastructure and sensitive data, much like a computer or a tablet.
Printers that are over seven years old are simply not equipped with the cybersecurity tools necessary to safeguard your network. A good MPS provider can suggest ways to save money and time while also boosting your cybersecurity.
7. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Technology is becoming more and more interconnected, and so are technology companies. A top MPS provider may have strategic partnerships with a variety of manufacturers so they can get you the best deal. For example, Marco’s strategic printer partners include Sharp, HP, Lexmark, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, and more.
Finding a great MPS provider is an increasingly popular choice. In fact, some estimates indicate the industry will be worth $60 billion by 2025. There's a good reason for that; as I’ve stated throughout this blog, an excellent MPS provider can reduce workplace frustration, boost security, reduce waste and save time and money.
You don’t need to become an expert on printer management to know how to find a good provider, but because the industry is growing so quickly, it’s tempting for newcomers to enter the field. Therefore, if you only follow one recommendation from this blog, pick the first one. Ask a potential provider to provide a list of references, and give them a call.
It’s perhaps the easiest way to get a quick overview of the services you’ll receive, and what you might expect from a provider. If an MPS provider is hesitant to share this information, that will also tell you everything you really need to know. Save yourself the trouble and move on.