What Services Are Included in Managed Print Programs?

By: Marco
April 23, 2024

If you’re trying to compare apples to apples when it comes to any managed service, what you’re probably hoping to do is find a simple list of what you’ll be getting and how much you’ll pay. But if you’ve been around the block a while, you know it’s not that simple. 

Every provider works differently, and how they deliver their services can make a huge difference. For example, at Marco, we don’t have the typical provider/client transactional relationship. We prefer to act as technology mentors. What that means for us is that while every client ultimately gets to decide what’s best for them, we believe it’s also our job to look out for them, protect their best interests, and tell them what they don’t know. So in this blog, we’ll answer the question our way…

What Services Should Your Managed Print Program Include?


Here are the services and benefits you’ll find on any managed print services (MPS) contract, plus a few that you don’t always see — but should: 

  1. A simplified purchasing process
  2. Print management software
  3. Device-agnostic capabilities 
  4. Automated supply ordering
  5. Equipment maintenance or replacement
  6. Help desk support
  7. Installation services 
  8. Ongoing account management 
  9. Online account management tools
  10. Print security services 

Let’s explore each of these in more detail! 

1. A Simplified Purchasing Process

Inside the average office space right now, there are probably printers, copiers, fax machines, or MFPs from various vendors. One department might have HP devices, while another uses Lexmark, and so on. On top of managing supplies and maintenance for different devices, there is the cost of paying invoices to different providers of those supplies and repair services that might specialize in devices from different manufacturers.

Your provider should be able to offer you a streamlined purchasing process and a one-stop shop for printer fleet management. 

2. Print Management Software

Anyone can buy print management software, and they might even be able to install it. But actually implementing it and configuring it correctly is not that easy! We see a lot of clients who get frustrated with it and don’t get the results they were hoping for. That’s when they call us.

There are two main types of managed print services software. One serves as a data collection agent that will monitor all of your networked printers. It can identify page counts and supply levels and will send your provider an alert when ink or toner is getting low. 

Another type of software digs a little deeper into the print environment and can assist with behavior modification. In an educational institution, for example, a program like Papercut can track the printing of a single student for the year. If they go over their limit, the college can send them a bill for the extra costs.


This more sophisticated software also gives the ability to do secure printing — also known as pull-printing or follow-me printing. With secure printing, a user will need to authenticate themselves at a device before it releases a print job. That’s particularly important in places like hospitals and law firms, or other businesses that need to protect sensitive data.

Print management software can help you reduce waste, avoid disruptions, and save time, and depending on the particular software a provider uses, it can make a huge difference in the service they’re able to provide.

3. Device-Agnostic Capabilities

Not every managed print provider will be able to support all of your devices, which might mean that your staff will have to give up the equipment they’re familiar with and prefer using. However, some managed print providers have upgraded their print management software, which allows them to serve your entire print fleet regardless of manufacturer. 

Bonus: If you have Zebra printers, some providers (yes, like Marco!) will be able to include them in your contract.  

4. Automated Supply Ordering

We touched on this earlier, but modern print management software also allows your provider to automate supply ordering for your printing devices. Your replacement toner cartridges will arrive at your office shortly before your existing cartridges are empty, saving your staff the hassle of storing and maintaining the right ink and toner for every device. 

Not only does automated supply ordering save your staff some time, but it can help protect your business from common office supply scams

5. Equipment Maintenance, Repair, and Replacement

Maintenance, parts, repair services, and equipment replacement all have a significant impact on the effectiveness of employees and the efficiency of operations throughout the company. When a printer goes down for maintenance or needs a part replaced, there is a cost associated with its downtime. The longer that downtime drags on, the greater the cost of the lost operation time.

That all sounds perfectly obvious, but here’s what we wish more clients knew…

Depending on how a provider incentivizes their technicians, you may experience more downtime. For example, some providers will pay their technicians according to how many on-site visits they make. Not surprisingly, if a technician happens to notice during routine maintenance that a certain component is showing signs of wear and tear, it makes sense for them to ignore it and make another on-site visit when the component inevitably fails. 

At Marco, we pay our technicians more when they help our clients avoid print disruptions. That means our clients will see our techs less often, but we believe in the long run, it makes them happier. 

Bottom line: If you really want to get a glimpse of what your future may look like with a particular provider, ask them how they pay their techs! 

6. Help Desk Support

Even with the greatest installation and maintenance support available, and techs that are paid to anticipate problems before they cause a disruption, a reliable MPS program needs to offer help desk support. Normally, that support will be provided during regular business hours, but you may need to negotiate 24/7 support in your service level agreement (SLA)

Help desk support isn’t all the same. Here are a few things we think you should look for: 

7. Installation Services 

Yes, this sounds vaguely like something Captain Obvious would explain. But if you ask your staff, they probably have a favorite printing device, and that’s probably the one they’re more comfortable using. Installation services should include friendly, professional, and thorough training for your staff, so you can get the most ROI from each one. 

First impressions are important, and for most of your staff, the installation will be their first impression of a provider and the new equipment they’ll be using. Some providers will also provide additional training as needed should your staff or printing needs change. 

8. Ongoing Account Management


Your provider will conduct an initial print assessment to identify potential cost-saving opportunities in your print environment. But that’s not where optimization ends!

Your provider should be able to access detailed analytics to see how your staff is using your equipment and identify any opportunities to boost productivity and reduce costs. 

Pro tip: You should also be receiving regular business reviews to make sure your needs are being met, anything causing frequent problems is resolved, and you’re well-positioned for the future. 

9. Online Account Management Tools

Knowledge is power! Not only should you be able to view recommendations, request service, track support tickets, and access helpful how-tos online, but we believe clients should have access to their real-time data. 

It shouldn’t be a mystery what your provider is doing for you and the value you’re getting, which is why we’re continuously improving our online Client Center.  

10. Print Security Services 


As far as we know, we’re the only provider that includes print security services with our MPS program at no additional charge. 

As printers are now smart devices with many of the same vulnerabilities as laptops, they unfortunately offer another entry point for hackers. Not every client is aware of the risks their unsecured printers may pose. But we feel that regardless of whether or not a client is in a heavily regulated industry, every business deserves to have its systems and data protected, which is why we offer secure decommissioning, application of security patches and updates, replacing default admin passwords, and more. 

Finding the Right MPS Provider

A managed print program's goal is to help remove any print-related obstacles that stand in the way of productivity and profitability. But just like with most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for. 

Our experts recently put together a comprehensive guide to managed print services, including red flags to look out for when finding a provider. Click the link below to zip right to it! 

Get Our Complete Guide to MPS Learn More


Topics: Managed Print Services