Why Do Print Assessments for Managed Print Programs?

By: Jay Brown
May 13, 2024

Any managed print provider worth their salt will want to do an initial print assessment before they propose any changes. If yours doesn’t, that’s a red flag.

Among other things, print assessments are designed to uncover where your print dollars are actually going. At some businesses with only one printer, those numbers might be relatively easy to put together. But considering that  90% of businesses don’t even know how much their printers are costing them, an initial assessment is typically non-negotiable. 

What Is a Print Assessment? 

wasteful printer pile

A print assessment is basically a thorough investigation of your print environment, including: 

  • Your printing devices and their condition 
  • How your equipment is being used and by whom 
  • What your print costs actually are 

You can, of course, perform an assessment yourself. The steps aren’t overly complicated. But a provider that specializes in optimizing print environments will be in a much better position to conduct an initial assessment quickly. And even better — many managed print service providers will also do this for free if you ask.  

What You Get From a Print Assessment

presenting data to company

You might turn up all sorts of things from a print assessment, like the fact that because the fancy printer is closer, your most expensive color ink cartridges are being drained by people printing high-volume black-and-white documents. We’ve seen all kinds of rare and not-so-rare budget-busting nightmares over the years.

The most likely scenario is that you’ll find a lot of waste. Yeah — waste is bad. But finding it and addressing it is a good thing, especially considering that untracked printing expenses can eat up  1–3% of your annual revenue

Print assessments aren’t just great for businesses — they’re also great for any managed print service (MPS) providers they partner with because it helps them do an infinitely better job.

What Is the Value of a Print Assessment for a Managed Print Program?

strong partnership forming

Managed service providers of all kinds — from IT to phones to print — are sometimes still treated like vendors…there to provide a set number of services and nothing else. But depending on the provider you work with, they can function a lot more like strategic business partners or “technology mentors”.  An initial print assessment helps form the basis of a closer, longer-lasting relationship. 

1. Establishing Business Goals

Any good MPS program has to start with a review of your organization's business operations and an understanding of your business goals. 

Maybe in addition to reducing print costs, you’re hoping to get more done in less time or get aggressive about marketing. Believe it or not, these are things a good provider can help you with. But you know the saying: If you don’t ask, the answer’s always no. 

2. Reviewing Your Current Technology

A provider's initial assessment should include a review of your current equipment and technology. Your provider should look closely at the number and type of devices in your inventory, unique models, the age of each device, and the percentage of devices on your network.

Once that step is complete, your provider will be able to come up with a plan to help you operate more efficiently, often with fewer devices.

The Ideal Device-to-Employee Ratio

Many companies we’ve worked with will initially have one device for every three or four employees! That’s way too much.

Different organizations have different requirements, but generally speaking, the ideal ratio is closer to 1:10. This not only optimizes equipment utilization and functionality, it also saves money on supplies and maintenance in the future.

3. Reviewing Service and Supply History

The cost of new devices typically isn't the biggest issue for most organizations, but maintenance and supply costs can be significant. When you operate multiple devices from different vendors, the cost of maintaining and supplying each device adds up quickly. Having an unorganized purchasing process can also drain productivity and add confusion — which office supply scammers are counting on. 

An initial assessment can eliminate these issues by streamlining your print fleet, which will simplify maintenance scheduling, inventory management, and IT support.

4. Providing Clear Performance Analytics

Unless you understand your starting point, it’s almost impossible to know how far you’ve come. And when you know exactly how much a provider is saving you every month, it helps make the relationship better for everyone. 

Hang in there while we explain…

A good provider can solve problems quickly. An excellent one understands how to prevent most of them from happening. That means the better they are at their job, the less often you’ll see them in your space. Case in point: We use print management software to do many things, and one of those things is to let us know when a component is showing signs of wear and tear, so we can dispatch a technician with the right part before something bad happens. 

We hold regular client business reviews to make sure we’re always providing superior value for our clients, but whenever a client wants to check in on how their print environment is performing, that information is available to them — in real-time — in our Client Center. It makes it easy for our clients to see what we’re actually doing, even when they don’t see our technicians in their halls all the time. And it makes it clearer that that’s…actually a good thing!

MPS Next Steps

We touched on this earlier, but we’re always happy to provide an initial print assessment at no charge. But if you’re like most businesses, when you book one, you’re hoping to get valuable information and also vet a potential provider at the same time.

Our managed print services program is one of those rare services that tends to pay for itself. But we’ve also made it easy to get a quick online quote. Just click the button below! 

Get a Budgetary Quote Find your monthly Managed Managed Print costs

Topics: Managed Print Services