Millions of organizations are relying on flex and remote work. Flex and remote work were increasing in popularity, with some 57% of U.S. organizations offering flex work. For many, work from home impacts infrastructure needs, including print.

Most organizations shifting to remote and flex work have more print needs, not less of them. This is important for organizations of all sizes, because it means shifting print resources to meet changing demands like security, virtual print management, user access management, and digital workflows.

MPS vendors provide most of these services as a standard and can offer the print capacity to deliver printers to remote locations, maintain secure print standards over a distance, and reduce the costs and risks of remote print.

MPS Seamlessly Adapts to Remote Print Needs

Organizations attempting to adapt print needs to remote work on their own will face considerable expense, technical barriers, and operational barriers.

Switching to a software solution could require weeks of testing solutions, learning those solutions, and implementing them onto servers. Implementation could require installing new servers and increasing network capacity. Plus, actual rollout, which involves assigning users and user access rights could demand more than the capacity for your IT team.

MPS vendors can step in to roll-out similar solutions in under a week. With a strong understanding of market options, they can simply implement a print management tool from their library, install it and hardware needed to support it, and deliver training and support at the same time.

Digitizing Print Processes and Workflows

Accounts payable, sales, and HR each typically heavily rely on print and print services. How do you adapt that to digital? Millions of organizations have been digitizing for years, and for good reason. Digital processes are faster, cheaper, and better for the environment.

If you’re already in the process of digitization or already digitized, you know that. If not, there are plenty of ways to digitize most paper processes and save money in the process. Most importantly, managed print services deliver this digitization as a standard part of services. Even if you’re already working with an MPS vendor, you can likely request digitization services and have them delivered. What does this entail?

1) Digital File Management

Digital file management means having digital copies of files, editing them in a cloud tool, and having sharing and print capacity from that tool. Most systems share files to either a cloud or hybrid server, automatically uploading and categorizing files as they are created. Digital files can them be printed on-demand, accessed by anyone on the server, and pushed into workflows without physical access.

2) Digital Workflows

Paper-heavy workflows are expensive and time-consuming. Many organizations are already in the process of digitizing workflows, especially for accounts payable. Doing so also enables accounts payable to work remotely without slowing the process further.

A standard payroll process involves several stages of acceptance and review, each of which might involve printing the same document. Payrolling involves similar stages of printing documents for verification, signature, and approval. Digital workflows handle these processes with digital files, meaning that the only paper you use is on the final stage of printing a pay slip, an invoice, or another document.

3) Automation

Automation is not an essential element of going digital, but it is extremely helpful. Most managed print service providers will deliver workflow automation as a standard part of process, neatly rolling it into print software and document management software.

Here, automation works to auto-verify requests, to auto-scan documents, to auto-file and save backups, and to automate workflows.

In the case of an above workflow, such as for accounts payable, an automation workflow might auto-alert the stakeholder when an invoice comes in, automate data-entry to enter the information into your system, and then automatically send the invoice to relevant parties for approval. Once approved, the system might auto-generate a payment, or simply alert a key person of approval. Everyone saves time, because manual data entry is handled automatically.

What does that have to do with MPS? A lot. Managed print services function around saving organizations money in print, and that means cutting waste time and improving efficiency.

Delivering Remote Solutions

Moving people out of the same office reduces the amount of paper they might need to print for meetings, personal notes, or other review. But, it won’t reduce print needs entirely.

Payrolling may have to deliver print checks and payroll statements. Accounts payable may have to deliver paper invoices. Sales may have to deliver paper receipts. And some documents like contracts will generally require printing for the client or customer.

While you can digitize to reduce those documents as much as possible, you will always need some print capacity. Doing so remotely presents additional challenges that your MPS can help with.

1) Security

Managed print solutions include secure standards like automated malware and antivirus scanning, real-time alerts, central printer management, virtual private networks, user access management, and firewalls.

These standards ensure that your print network remains secure, even with users accessing it remotely. VPN ensures that connections remain secure, no matter where employees are logging in from.

User access management allows you to set print capabilities and track usage and access on a per-user basis, so that suspicious activity can be flagged immediately.

Most importantly, MPS generally includes automated software and firmware updates across devices, meaning that no print device is more vulnerable than it has to be.

2) Remote Devices

Some remote workers still need access to printers and scanners. MPS can deliver units to individual locations to create a remote print fleet, which you can manage from a central location. While most employees don’t need this type of support, MPS allows you to roll it out on an as-needed basis, so that everyone has the tools needed to work.

Remote work means that people stay home and often utilize their own devices and tools. MPS allows you to deliver secure, virtual solutions ranging from virtual private networks and firewalls to user access management and remote device deployment. Most importantly, a managed print services provider can deliver those services quickly, at no extra cost to your organization, and as part of your existing print fleet.