When you think of ‘managed print services’ there are a number of different ideas that might come to mind, and that makes sense since MPS covers quite a lot. In general, however, it means bringing all of your office printing into one resource – that might be in-house or it could be out sourced. It is still referred to as managed print services either way.
Although the phrase might make you think of printers, and although MPS does cover them, there is more to it. It also covers scanners, copiers, fax machines, multifunction printers and anything else within the office environment that deal with generating paper. The machines come under the MPS umbrella and that means that all the maintenance does too – including emergency repairs and regular servicing. Some MPS contracts even include regular deliveries of ink and toner (and perhaps even paper); it all depends on what you have signed up for.
If you’re considering implementing managed print services for your company, you will want to look at the pros and cons such as:
If all the printing in centralised and employees have to go and retrieve what they have printed, it is likely that they will print only what really needs to be printed. This means less paper is wasted, which is better for your budget and the environment. Plus, if you are printing less you’ll use less ink as well.
If you have a dedicated IT department, having one centralised printer will help them immensely. Although they are currently probably spending a lot of their time fixing many ‘broken’ printers, this is not what their main function really is; yet they are unable to get on with their more important jobs. Having just one printer means that your IT department will have less input in this area and be able to maintain your infrastructure better.
When something does go wrong, just one phone call or email is needed to a single source in order to have the problem solved. That will mean that all spare parts are sourced, there is no bill to pay (usually – it will be covered by your MPS agreement) and no time to wait as it will all be done as quickly as possible.
If you sign up for an auditing service with your managed print services contract, you can easily track sensitive documents to ensure that they are kept safe and that you are compliant with all regulations.
If you are outsourcing this task then there will be monthly/quarterly/etc. costs (whatever is agreed in the contract) but when you look at the long-term picture, you can see that having good managed print services is actually cost savings. Think of everything you are paying for at the moment such as printing hardware, maintenance and supplies, and take into account the fact that your printing machines will always be in working order. You will also save on ink and paper usage costs as previously outlined.
In some cases, having a centralised printer, scanner, fax machine and so on can be seen as being much less convenient than each department – or even each desk – having its own machine. Depending on the size of your office, it can be much better to have a number of different machines in strategic locations. This also means that sensitive documents can be printed with no fear of them getting lost or being seen by unauthorised people.
By having one central space for all the printing and copying that needs to be done within an office, employees are losing valuable working time by printing something and then having to head off to pick it up from wherever the printer is located, for example, rather than being able to pick it up from their desk or at least somewhere in the same room as they are in. Plus, when they do go to collect the work, they may waste even more time speaking to colleagues who have gone to do the same thing.