We offer Managed Print Services (MPS) solutions to our customers, but we’ve also experienced the benefits firsthand. Previously, our IT department was responsible for managing a large printer fleet spread across multiple offices.
Managing, maintaining and supporting our print environment was a time-consuming task — one that took away from more strategic IT-related endeavors. We had to drop whatever we were doing whenever a user called to tell us a printer was out of toner or wasn’t working properly.
In my experience, most IT people aren’t print experts. When a printer breaks down, we have to track down a technician who can fix the problem — and fix it as quickly as possible. That means scheduling an appointment and paying a premium for the service. In the meantime the office is stuck without print functionality.
This means users have to find other ways to print, such as heading over to a copy shop, paying inflated prices to print documents, and then submitting that as an expense to the company.
MPS has taken much of the management, maintenance and support of our printer fleet out of our hands. And that means IT staff can use their time to work on more strategic priorities.
Here’s how it works: As soon as a printer is running low on toner or is experiencing a service-related issue, an automatic alert is sent to the MPS provider and a technician drops by to replace the toner or fix the equipment. At the end of the month, we receive a service report.
Previously, we didn’t keep track of how many pages were being printed each month or by whom — like most IT departments we just don’t have time for that. But with MPS, we receive monthly usage data. And it’s been an eye-opener.
We discovered, for example, that our finance department was printing 15,000 pages per month, which I originally thought was a mistake. But it wasn’t. As a result, we’ve been able to educate the team about when to print — and when not to — in order to reduce waste and cut costs.
There’s often a misperception that a managed service will cost more than doing it yourself. But MPS typically saves organizations up to 30 per cent, which is roughly in line with our experience. And with MPS, you pay for the number of pages printed, and that price includes toner and basic maintenance.
We also have a service level agreement that provides for 99.99 per cent uptime, as well as a tight response time to replace toner or resolve any issues.
With MPS, we’re saving money and freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic priorities. We’ve also seen a significant reduction in help desk calls.
This new approach also allows us to take a more proactive approach with our print environment — because, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Now we receive monthly metrics that can help us drive further cost savings, such as reducing the number of pages being printed by certain individuals or departments.
For any organization with a multi-device print environment, MPS means direct cash in your pocket — and fewer IT-related headaches. If you have any questions about MPS, contact your Softchoice Account Manager or email our print team – firstname.lastname@example.org.