What is a Managed Print Contract?

By: Dan Larkin
January 20, 2022

A managed print contract is an agreement between a business and a Managed Print Service (MPS) provider. The precise language of the contract will depend on exactly which services you'd like. But a typical contract would include the purchase or lease of print equipment, installation, supplies, and any required maintenance and repairs. A good MPS provider should be able to monitor your contracted equipment for potential vulnerabilities, supply usage data, and track user satisfaction.

The Benefits of Managed Print Services

If your business is relying on its own copiers, printers and fax machines, then you probably already know just how frustrating these devices can be. They're a frequent office pain point, and one that is felt throughout the entire organization. Entire movie scenes have been devoted to employee frustrations with their office's printer, and their notorious unreliability has been mocked in various social media memes.

Managed Print - Tired of Your Printer - FB- V2 (1)

If your business is relying on its own copiers, printers and fax machines, then you probably already know just how frustrating these devices can be. They're a frequent office pain point, and one that is felt throughout the entire organization. Entire movie scenes have been devoted to employee frustrations with their office's printer, and their notorious unreliability has been mocked in various social media memes. 

If your office's print devices are costing your employees' precious time, you're really not going to like how much money they're costing you. On average, it's the third highest business expense…just down the list from the costs of maintaining your office space and payroll.

It doesn't have to be that way.

If you decide to contract with an MPS provider, you could reduce operating costs by as much as 30%. That statistic reflects a combination of reductions in equipment cost, waste, energy consumption and toner use. Your staff will also save a tremendous amount of time when they don't have to manage supplies, troubleshoot equipment and keep on top of regular maintenance.

But there's an additional reason that contracting with an MPS provider could help your business, and it's one that every business owner needs to know about. Any networked equipment, including your office's printer, can be vulnerable to cyber attack. It's important to regularly update the software on these devices  to prevent unauthorized access, and safeguard employee and client data. Keeping up to date on cybersecurity threats is usually best left to an expert; a good MPS provider should be able to reassure you that information being sent to your printer isn't accessible to cyber criminals. 

What Should Be Included in the Contract?

Not all MPS contracts are the same, but your contract should specify who's ultimately responsible for the following printing needs:

Security

This item is rarely listed first, but in recent years, it needs to be top of mind. Millions of networked printers are currently vulnerable to hackers, so your provider should specify how they will keep networked printers safe. Depending on your business’ needs, your contract may also include a user authentication system.

Assessments and Planning

Printers can have vastly different capabilities, and if you haven’t researched this technology lately, you might be surprised at what a cutting-edge printer can offer. Therefore, a contract with an MPS provider will typically include an initial assessment of your business's printing and copying needs.

Equipment and Installation

You'll want to pay a lot of attention to this section of your contract. Before you sign anything, make sure your MPS provider is licensed to sell and service reputable products that can accommodate the diversity, quality and volume of materials that your business will be printing.

Repair and Regular Maintenance

In addition to troubleshooting and repairs, your provider may also be able to perform routine maintenance tasks, offer help desk services, and access your system remotely. These services should be spelled out so you understand what your business is responsible for, and what your provider is taking off your plate.

Employee Training

Many MPS providers will also offer training to inform your employees about printing policies and best practices to safeguard data without negatively affecting productivity.

Waste Reduction Tools

These days, MPS providers can save you quite a bit of money. In your contract, you might see additional capabilities like user authentication, auditing and cost recovery software.

Printers, when not properly managed and maintained, can provide more than their fair share of unpleasant surprises.  Perhaps the best part about contracting with an excellent MPS provider is how often you can avoid this unpleasantness entirely. 

With more predictable expenses that are partly offset by reduced waste and improved energy efficiency, a good MPS provider should be proud to walk you through the finer points of their contract, and specify exactly what services they'll offer, and which tasks (if any) you'll still be handling in-house.

Are your print devices causing more issues than they solve? Schedule an Assessment

 

Topics: Managed Print Services