You’ve done your research; you know a managed print service (MPS) can save your business time and money while reducing waste and enhancing security. Now you just need to find the right managed print service to do it.

To help, we’ve compiled a checklist of the top 10 questions to ask before choosing a managed print service, so you can find the right MPS to meet your business’ needs and growth while complementing your values and goals.

Let’s jump straight in.

1. How can your MPS improve my business and deliver long-term value?

An office full of shiny new printers is only great if it delivers long-term business value. Challenge a potential MPS by asking them how they will improve your business in the short- and long-term, including:

  • On-boarding
  • Analysis
  • Software suggestions
  • Automation
  • Equipment placement

Now’s also an excellent time to get a feel for whether an MPS has the capacity and capability to grow with your business and scale its services to your future requirements. If they’re not asking questions specific to your company and its future plans, they won’t provide you with a service tailored to your needs.

Useful reading: How managed print services can help your business grow

2. What cost, efficiency, and environmental benefits can I expect from your managed print service?

An experienced MPS will analyze your current printer workflow, costs, and supply consumption to estimate how much money they can save and waste they can reduce for your business.

Knowing this information is essential for conducting a cost-benefit analysis. If you have specific goals in mind, raise them early on and ask for evidence that the MPS can help you achieve them.

3. How will you analyze my current printing infrastructure?

Your managed print service provider should conduct a print assessment by analyzing your existing printing roadmap, benchmarking current performance, and identifying areas for improvement – therefore, they need access.

Ideally, your MPS will use a virtual management device to analyze your current printing equipment and processes, including usage, life, problems, and restocks. They will use this information to suggest improvements that result in cost, efficiency, and environmental benefits.

4. How will your MPS integrate with my existing IT network?

Your software, systems, and processes must work in harmony with each other, including your MPS.

Speak to your potential MPS about your existing IT network and ask how they plan to integrate with as little disruption as possible. Look for an MPS that takes the time to understand your infrastructure and explains how they can complement it without adding unnecessary systems and software.

5. What services does your managed print service contract include?

This question is crucial because it signals whether you’re entering a one-off support contract or an ongoing business partnership.

To gain the full benefit of an MPS, look for a provider offering a service level agreement (SLA) that specifically sets out the services provided going forward, including:

  • Staff training on new equipment
  • Ongoing monitoring of existing equipment
  • Ongoing maintenance and support
  • Replacement of old or outdated equipment
  • Ongoing reviews and feedback

Relevant reading: What’s included in a complete managed print service package?

6. What software and hardware does your contract include?

Printer technology is continually developing, so you want access to the latest tools and applications to keep your business productive and innovative.

Ask your potential managed service provider what software they include in your contract and how often it’s updated and replaced. For example, you might want cloud printing, mobile printing, cloud storage, and cost recovery software.

Don’t forget about reporting and analytical tools too. These tell you how much time and money you spend printing, scanning, and copying documents – essential information for continuous improvement.

7. How will your MPS make it easier to run my business on autopilot?

You don’t need us to tell you that a printer problem can put a massive spanner in the works of your business – sometimes, stopping you from functioning at all. Therefore, you want a proactive MPS that works hard to ensure business continuity and resilience, whatever happens.

Ask your potential manager print service about:

  • How they ensure you never run out of ink or toner (the longer they wait to replace consumables, the more chance you have of running out)
  • Support desk hours and typical response time
  • The number of local engineers/technicians and typical response time
  • How they proactively manage your printing infrastructure to prevent problems from occurring

8. Talk me through your printer security

Printer security is the one area you should never compromise on, so this is a true make-or-break question. Ask each managed print service how they assist with legal data handling responsibilities, how they ensure watertight security of your printing workflow, and how they can supplement your existing IT security processes and systems.

In their answer, they should reference printer hard drive encryption, security assessments, firmware verification, and cybersecurity policies – if not, ask them about it.

9. Can I speak with existing clients?

Any reputable MPS will shout out about their positive reviews, happy customers, and previous achievements. Ask to speak with existing and previous clients about their experiences with the service provider and any statistics on efficiencies and savings.

We also recommend carrying out a quick Google search of your intended provider to read impartial reviews and testimonials, and to find the top MPS service for your business.

10. How much does your managed print service cost?

Finally, ask about the cost of a managed print service, including:

  • Onboarding costs
  • Ongoing retainers
  • One-off fees, such as call out charges
  • Delivery costs
  • Warranties

The last thing you want is your printing cost savings diminished by unexpected MPS costs.

Final thoughts

Above all else, you want to find a managed print service that matches your company’s values and has the passion, flexibility, and willingness to deliver an outstanding service now and in the future.

An MPS should change your business for the better – take your time to find the right partner who will make it happen.