Whether you’re choosing an MPS program for the first time or are switching to a new vendor, implementation is one of the most crucial aspects. During implementation, your MPS is responsible for choosing hardware and software solutions, matching hardware to your business needs and plans, and creating a schedule that will work for you. At the same time, you’re responsible for integrating MPS into your organization, gathering buy-in from stakeholders, and ensuring employees are cooperative, ready for change, and on-board.

Taking the time to implement an MPS program properly will ensure you get the most from your managed print services.

Assessment and Audit

Most MPS vendors will provide an initial assessment or audit of your organization, during which they will review your print needs on a department by department or team-by-team basis. They’ll also review existing usage, likely what you’re currently paying, and determine the best cost-saving solution for your needs.

It’s always a good idea to conduct your own assessment before or at the same time as the MPS vendor. This will allow you to understand what they are quitting, understand your existing costs, and have a better idea of whether or not a new plan will save you money. For example, you should know how many pages you print per month on average, what you typically pay per month, and have some idea of what is waste or not.

Why is this important? Understanding where you’re starting will allow you to track if a program is successful, will allow you to see what changes, and gives you a good basis for holding your managed print service provider accountable.

Share Your Business Plans and Growth

Change management is crucial to any new implementation and it should include risk mitigation, employee change management, and ongoing optimization. This means that you have to create and share your growth strategy with your MPS provider, so they understand where you’re going and why.

For example, at what rate are you hiring new employees? At what rate are you adding new departments or teams? Are you restructuring soon? How quickly are you growing? Do you have any major growth periods planned?

You also want to share goals for the organization. Here, items such as digitization, potential increases in productivity, or other changes that could impact how much is printed will be important. If you’re planning to digitize within 5 years, your managed print services vendor knows that you will likely have to scale your print needs down at that time. They may also be able to help you with a digitization service, providing hardware, server storage, and so on for digital files.

It’s important that you continue to communicate change expectations and actual change to your MPS as it happens, but sharing projections allows both your organization and the vendor to remain prepared.

Create Buy-In and Build Employee Interest

Getting employees on-board for new solutions and hardware can be difficult. Large-to-enterprise businesses cannot simply expect to implement new hardware and have that be the end of it. Instead, you have to introduce MPS to your stakeholders, promote buy-in, and sell the change from the top-down. For example, if stakeholders such as managers and squad leaders are fully onboard, everyone else will soon follow.

Your MPS vendor may be able to help with information that will promote buy-in (for example, Xerox created an infographic) such as:

  • More suitable printers
  • Reducing costs by an estimated X%
  • Reducing waste-paper and/or carbon footprint by an estimated X%
  • Making printers more accessible, available, or easy-to-use

Here, you can introduce a simple change-management plan tying education and training into a program to drive awareness. Here, you should consider sharing information via email and intranet, using physical or digital posters, and focusing on the potential positive benefits of the MPS.

Introduce Hardware, Software, and Training

Introducing new printer and hardware can be met with resistance, even with buy-in from stakeholders. Individual users might struggle with using hardware, with figuring out new software, and with adapting to change.

Your MPS provider should be able to provide on-site training and support, which you can organize into workshops on a team-by-team basis. Here, you should ensure employees show up and receive training on items such as using new printers that are accessible to them, using new printer software that is accessible to them, mitigating waste, and mitigating risk by using security protocols. Offering training as part of MPS implementation ensures that individuals know how to use new printers and scanners, which will reduce frustration while improving productivity, especially if many struggled with using old printers.

You should work out a schedule with your employees and the MPS to introduce training in a schedule that works for your teams. This should align with printer implementation and with team schedules, so that it doesn’t impact work or productivity.

Stay Visible and Continue Communicating with Your Provider

Implementation is an important first step of working with an MPS but it’s only the first step. It’s crucial to create a plan with ongoing touch points so that you can communicate with your MPS as plans, needs, and solutions change. For example, integrating regular reviews of managed print services and solutions, determining how to share data, and how to ensure that the MPS provider has the tools to offer continuous and ongoing support, as well as continuous improvement.

  • What data is shared? Why?
  • How is data shared? When is it shared?
  • When do you connect with the MPS? How?
  • How often is maintenance and optimization performed?
  • What happens if printer performance targets are not being met?

In most cases, your managed print services provider will manage your printers through your software as well as through repair and maintenance management. This means they will automatically collect data on printer usage, number of pages, costs per page, potential waste, printer performance, and so on, which they can then share with you at key points or on a mon

An MPS program can help your organization to save money, reduce waste, and improve productivity but implementation is crucial. Taking steps at the start of your program to build buy-in, ensure training is completed, and to put processes in place to ensure continuous ongoing optimization will help you to get the most out of your program.