Unlocking the Benefits: A Beginner’s Guide to Managed Print Services


Alexander Watson

Unlocking the Benefits: A Beginner’s Guide to Managed Print Services

In today’s digital age, it’s easy to overlook the importance of efficient, cost-effective printing. But for businesses big and small, managed print services (MPS) can be a game-changer. As an expert in the field, I’ve seen firsthand how MPS can streamline operations and save costs.

But what exactly is MPS, and how does it work? In this article, I’ll break down the basics of managed print services, shedding light on this often misunderstood aspect of business operations. Whether you’re a small business owner looking to cut costs, or an IT manager seeking greater efficiency, this article is for you. Let’s dive into the fascinating world of managed print services.

Understanding Managed Print Services

Delving deeper into technical aspects, let’s unravel Managed Print Services (MPS) and its functionality.

The Concept and How It Works

Managed Print Services, at its core, refers to external services provided by specialized vendors to optimize businesses’ print environment. It comprises three primary processes: Assessment, Optimization, and Maintenance.

  1. In the Assessment phase, vendors identify the current print fleet, examine usage patterns, and pinpoint areas of inefficiency.
  2. Optimization follows next, where existing devices get streamlined, redundant operations get eliminated, and user practices get refined for improved efficiency.
  3. Lastly, in the Maintenance phase, vendors ensure the optimal performance of the entire print-fleet, undertake frequent audits, and provide on-demand support when breakdowns occur.

The Role of Managed Print Services in Modern Business

With the evolution of business ventures, Managed Print Services plays a dynamic role in modern business. It offers multiple benefits that can significantly boost operational efficiency.
For instance:

  1. Cost Reduction: MPS helps in identifying redundant print operations, hence significantly cutting costs and saving up to 30 percent of total print expenses.
  2. Enhanced Security: By implementing advanced print software, MPS ensures data security and maintains confidentiality.
  3. Sustainability: MPS aids enterprises in becoming more sustainable by reducing paper waste and energy consumption.
  4. Improved Productivity: Lastly, MPS fosters productivity by reducing downtime, automating mundane tasks, and freeing IT resources to focus on core business objectives.

As such, it’s evident that Managed Print Services, if harnessed correctly, can serve as a catalyst for business growth and progress. Now let’s turn our attention towards how you, too, can reap these benefits by implementing beneficial MPS strategies.

Key Components of Managed Print Services

Assessing Printing Needs

The initial step in Managed Print Services revolves around understanding and evaluating printing needs. This stage comprises an in-depth analysis of the current print environment, delving into aspects such as the print volume, most-used devices, and patterns of use. Through detailed overviews, businesses gain valuable insights into their printing needs, facilitating better decision-making on deploying the right devices and minimizing wastage. It’s important to note that this assessment isn’t a one-time occurrence; instead, it forms a critical, recurrent component of any MPS strategy, ensuring firms stay attuned to their evolving printing requirements.

Streamlining Printer Fleet

Once a concrete understanding of the printing needs is in place, organizations move towards optimizing their printer fleet. Streamlining involves consolidating printers, scanners, fax machines, and copiers to create a lean, efficient fleet that can satisfy all printing needs without excess redundancy. It often involves deciding on whether to maintain, upgrade, replace, or eliminate certain devices based on utility, performance, and ongoing costs. The streamlined fleet thereby reduces complexity, contributes to cost reduction, and serves to promote environmental sustainability through reduced waste generation.

Ongoing Management and Optimization

Managed Print Services don’t end with an optimized printer fleet. The core includes continuous printer management and optimization, which ensures the printing environment remains efficient and cost-effective over time. MPS providers offer remote monitoring services that allow for real-time tracking of printer use and automated supplies replenishment. They also provide regular reports and reviews of the print environment, making adjustments as necessary to achieve peak operational efficiency. This ongoing management forms an integral part of MPS, ensuring a continually evolving, efficient print environment that adapts to the changing needs of the business.

Benefits of Adopting Managed Print Services

Delving further into Managed Print Services (MPS), it’s imperative to understand their vital benefits.

Cost Savings and Predictable Budgeting

Managed Print Services offer substantial cost savings. Businesses notice a reduction in the printing costs by up to 30%. This is thanks to a simplified printer fleet, less wasted supplies, and more efficient workflows which stem from adopting MPS. Regular monitoring of printer use opens the door to cost predictability. With the knowledge of printer use patterns, it becomes easier to map out a more predictable printing budget. Thus, MPS brings financial stability and foresight.

Enhanced Security Measures

In the digital age, data security forms a core concern. With MPS, you’re provided with tools and protocols to enhance the security of your print environment. From user authentication at the device to encryption of data being transmitted between devices – MPS ensures data security is upheld at all stages of the print process. Examples include secure printing features that require a user ID or swipe card to release print jobs, ensuring sensitive documents don’t end up in the wrong hands.

Environmental Sustainability

Finally, environmental sustainability forms an integral part of MPS. Optimized print environments can significantly reduce waste, power usage, and the overall carbon footprint of a business. By streamlining the printer fleet, businesses utilize fewer devices and reduce energy consumption. Moreover, automatic supplies replenishment helps to eliminate over-ordering and wastage of print supplies. By doing so, MPS not only fosters sustainability but also endorses the business’s green initiatives.

Challenges and Considerations

While Managed Print Services provide numerous benefits, implementation requires careful consideration and planning. The challenges mainly arise in three areas: assessing provider capabilities, integrating with existing IT infrastructure, and considering the long-term commitment and flexibility of the service.

Assessing Provider Capabilities

Choosing the right MPS provider often poses as a complex task. A perfect match isn’t just a provider with competitive pricing, but one that identifies the unique needs of the business. From maintaining hardware to understanding security requirements, the service provider’s capabilities play a pivotal role in achieving the desired results. For instance, a credible provider forms proactive strategies, helping businesses stay ahead in order fulfillment and addressing any possible equipment issues. It becomes essential that an MPS provider not only meets the ongoing requirements but can anticipate future needs.

Integration with Existing IT Infrastructure

Having the capacity to integrate with existing IT infrastructure is crucial. Most businesses have substantial investments in IT equipment, and the MPS solution needs to align with this infrastructure. For instance, in a business that largely depends on cloud storage, the MPS solution should have the ability to support cloud-based printing. Furthermore, an integral part of MPS functionality is providing comprehensive reports that detail usage patterns, flagging potential security breaches, and providing insights on how to approach cost-saving strategies.

Long-Term Commitment and Flexibility

Committing to an MPS provider implies a long-term relationship. Remember, the services extend beyond the initial improvements that provide immediate cost savings. Thus, it’s necessary that the chosen provider shows flexibility to adapt to ever-evolving business landscapes. In scenarios such as businesses scaling up or scaling down, or even altering their operating methods, the MPS provider must tailor their services accordingly, adjusting for these changes and maintaining an optimal print environment.

Steps to Implement Managed Print Services

Implementing Managed Print Services (MPS) isn’t unachievable, it just requires systematic planning. In this case, we’ll put the focus on three critical steps: Conducting a Print Audit, Choosing the Right MPS Provider, and Training Employees coupled with Continuous Evaluation. By mastering these steps, optimal results can be achieved in implementing MPS.

Conducting a Print Audit

Implementing MPS effectively starts with a comprehensive print audit. Undertaking this analysis helps to understand the print environment within an organization, including printer volumes, locations and corresponding costs. Standard software tools such as those integrated with various MPS packages are leveraged in this step. For instance, Xerox’s ‘CentreWare Web’ serves to scrutinize the print volumes and the cost per print. After the audit, a thorough report aids in creating a strategy for the next phase.

Choosing the Right Managed Print Services Provider

The next important step is making the right choice in selecting a Managed Print Service provider. They play a pivotal role in realizing the benefits mapped out by MPS. A perspective MPS provider’s capabilities, and their alignment with an organization’s needs and goals, are the key criteria here. Lexmark and Canon, for instance, have a broad range of MPS services suited for various organizations. Both offer flexible services to cope with changing organizational needs.

Training Employees and Continuous Evaluation

The final step in successfully implementing MPS lies in the hands of an organization’s employees. It’s essential to train employees on the new systems. This fosters understanding and ease in the use of new processes, posing less resistance to changes MPS brings about. Alongside training, continuous evaluation must remain a staple. It enables tracking progress, ironing out limitations, and facilitates the adaptation of systems and procedures as necessary. For clarity, a quarterly report on print volumes, costs, and bottlenecks is beneficial for the continuous evaluation process.


So, there you have it. Managed Print Services (MPS) can be a game-changer for businesses, offering cost savings, enhanced security, and sustainability. But remember, reaping the full benefits isn’t about just choosing a provider like Lexmark or Canon. It’s about conducting a comprehensive print audit, training your team, and continuously evaluating your MPS strategy. With careful planning and alignment with your organizational goals, MPS can truly transform your print environment. The journey towards a more efficient, secure, and sustainable print infrastructure starts with understanding and implementing the basics of MPS. And I believe, now, you’re well-equipped to take that first step.

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