Managed Print Services entail massive changes for the organizations that adopt them, shifting responsibility for print hardware and software to an external partner. But, while MPS is one of the fastest growing industries in print, many organizations still approach it with misconceptions related to cost, service delivery, and what managed print services actually are.
If you’re considering switching to MPS, it’s important that you understand what it includes, what the possible benefits are, and what the drawbacks are. This article covers 6 of the most common misconceptions about Managed Print Services.
6 Myths about managed print services
1) It’s Expensive
Outsourcing is normally more expensive than insourcing, but often, this expense only holds up to a cursory inspection. Managed print services, like other forms of outsourcing, can ultimately prove cheaper than insourcing, simply because it alleviates pressure on internal resources.
Managed print services are often very cheap, with some organizations charging as little as 0.03 cents per black and white page, set to a minimum number of pages per month, and no additional costs for hardware, supplies, repairs, maintenance, or software. MPS can manage this because everything is sourced by a single company and distributed as part of a single service, the only difference is location.
- MPS deliver print services as a core feature, they can invest in improvements and cost saving measures that would be out of reach for your organization
- MPS deliver print on a large scale, allowing them to reduce the cost of machines, software, and supplies
- Sourcing everything from a single vendor means removing contract costs which can be considerable
- MPS functions to reduce the cost of print, which will pay off in your organization over time
- Costs are typically fixed on a monthly basis, so there are no surprises or sudden increases during peak print usage.
While not every managed print services vendor offers a quality and cost-effective solution, many do. Consider researching what you’re currently spending on print (The average is 1-3% of revenue) and calculate what you’ll likely spend on MPS.
2) It’s All About Print Hardware
A lot of organizations see MPS as something of a glorified lease. But, while managed print services do provide printer hardware and software, that’s only a tiny fraction of provided services. In fact, most managed print service vendors deliver printing solutions as a secondary service to print optimization, cost reduction, and training. Your vendor will likely deliver:
- Printer hardware
- Print software, including network management, antivirus and antimalware, automation, workflow automation, etc.
- Print optimization, including cost analysis and optimization, carbon footprint reduction, and waste time reduction
- Workflow optimization, including measures for automation, digitization, and hardware/solutions that best-fit work
- Training to ensure employees understand
The result is that an MPS vendor steps into a company and provides ongoing support and automation, potentially greatly reducing costs and impact over time.
3) It Means Replacing All Print Hardware
While an MPS vendor will certainly replace hardware if it is ill-suited to the team, costs too much, or it would be cheaper to implement another model, you’ll often retain and continue to use any hardware you currently own. If your organization currently rents or leases hardware via separate contracts, you will likely have to replace all of it to consolidate your contract down to a single vendor.
4) MPS is More Complicated than Owning Your Own Print Services
While a managed print services provider will step in to offer significantly more complex services revolving around long-term assessment and optimization, the result is often simplification of print for organizations.
Why? MPS take print out of the hands of IT and help desks, who no longer have to spend valuable time maintaining networks and servers, updating software, or maintaining print. Your organization consolidates all existing contracts, including maintenance and repairs, into a single contract. And, when you need supplies or repairs, there’s just one number to call.
MPS deliver training, user access management, print volume management, security, central management, and other solutions, which can greatly simplify how print works in your organization. And, while ending a contract means losing that, it’s easy to simply choose another vendor to re-implement a total solution.
5) You Lose Control of Your Print Fleet
While it’s true that outsourcing means you don’t have full control over every aspect of print, most MPS vendors give organizations a considerable level of influence and choice regarding brands, models, implemented services, software solutions, and service level. While you want to research what brands and solutions a provider offers before choosing them, you can choose to implement proffered solutions or not, and will always have the option to make changes.
Most importantly, MPS allows you to implement hardware and software without the massive upfront cost of signing a lease contract or making a direct purchase. You get more control in that if a printer or solution isn’t working out, it will be exchanged for something that will.
6) Implementing MPS is Time-Consuming
Implementing managed print services is a lengthy process which typically includes weeks or months of print analysis, implementing hardware, and delivering training across your organization. Employees need to understand how to use new hardware and software solutions, your MPS vendor may want to deliver training to reduce print waste or vulnerabilities, and your entire network may have to be optimized.
While it’s true that this process can take time, most of it is not on your end. Instead, your MPS will integrate software to automatically collect data, implement solutions within a day or two, and deliver training in ways that aligns with your schedule to best reduce impact on your organization. You’ll always be able to align schedules with the provider, to reduce impact on teams and their projects or goals.
Managed print services are immensely popular and mostly because they offer real and calculable business advantages. If your organization is considering an implementation, it’s important to understand what that means for your organization. Most vendors will deliver upfront assessments and offers as part of a quote, allowing you to make a better choice.