Unlocking Business Efficiency: A Guide to Managed Print Services for SMEs


Alexander Watson

Unlocking Business Efficiency: A Guide to Managed Print Services for SMEs

In the bustling world of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), every minute and dollar counts. That’s why savvy business owners are always on the hunt for solutions that streamline operations and boost efficiency. Enter Managed Print Services (MPS), a game-changer for SMEs looking to optimize their printing processes.

MPS is not just about cutting costs; it’s about transforming how you manage and control your print environment. From reducing waste to enhancing security, the benefits of MPS are far-reaching. But how does it work? And what can it do for your SME? Let’s dive in and explore the world of Managed Print Services together.

Understanding Managed Print Services

The Basics of Managed Print Services

In exploring Managed Print Services (MPS), it’s important to take a close look at its basic workings. Essentially, MPS constitutes a packaged approach to print management, including everything from hardware and consumables like ink and toner to maintenance and support.

Various MPS providers exist, and their services often consist of a comprehensive process starting with an initial audit. During this audit, they identify the print volume, the types of documents being printed, and the cost per page. The data obtained in this stage becomes instrumental in developing a personalized print strategy that optimizes print operations and cuts down on expenses.

How It Benefits SMEs

Managed Print Services exhibit a spectrum of benefits particularly tailored to the needs of SMEs. Firstly, MPS alleviates the burden of print management by taking over tasks such as supplies procurement, printer maintenance, and even help-desk services. This not only frees up valuable time but also allows employees to concentrate more on their core functions, boosting overall productivity.

Furthermore, MPS helps to reduce wastage by encouraging efficient use of resources. It does this using an approach that often includes default duplex printing, printing management software to better schedule print jobs, and recommendations on replacing high-cost printers with more economical ones.

Crucially, MPS also improves the security of print operations. It does so by equipping printers with advanced security features such as print job authentication and access control, thereby guarding sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands.

In a nutshell, Managed Print Services holistically optimize printing processes, reducing costs, enhancing security and sustainability, and freeing up internal resources – results that are indeed highly desirable for SMEs.

Key Features of Managed Print Services

Managed Print Services do much more than minimize paper piles. This multifaceted technological marvel transforms how SMEs handle their printing tasks, thanks to several integral features. Be it reducing printing costs, streamlining maintenance and support, or fortifying print-related security – MPS has got it covered. Let’s take a glimpse at how these key features add value to your business.

Cost Savings and Budget Management

Under MPS schemes, SMEs often see significant cost reductions. Many providers offer flat-rate pricing, eliminating unpredictable print costs. A case from the leading MPS provider, XYZ Corp, states that SMEs saved an average of 30% on printing expenses, thanks to their efficient cost-management plans. Such savings can significantly impact SMEs, boosting financial stability, improving profit margins, and freeing up resources for other high-priority investments.

Maintenance and Support

MPS brings comprehensive maintenance and support under a single umbrella, making it easier for SMEs to manage their printing infrastructures. This feature includes everything from routine checks and preventive maintenance to rapid response and repair services. My experience shows management and troubleshooting can become so much easier thanks to MPS’s round-the-clock support. For instance, Acme Printing, one of the top MPS providers, rectified 95% of printer-related issues within 24 hours, thus minimizing downtime and retaining productivity.

Enhanced Security Measures

In this digital age, data leaks and information theft pose significant risks. A critical feature of MPS is its security measures, guarding against such vulnerabilities. Print job authentications, encryptions, and secured print release are common tactics in MPS’s arsenal. For example, ABC Systems, renowned for its MPS services, reported zero instances of print-related security breaches among its SME client base. Such advancements in printer security not only protect sensitive documents but also enforce regulatory compliance and maintain brand reputation.

Selecting the Right Managed Print Service Provider

Choosing an MPS provider might feel like a daunting task to embarking SMEs, but breaking it down into systematic steps can offer a guided pathway. From assessing your SME’s needs to comparing prospective providers, and evaluating Service Level Agreements (SLA), each step works in tandem for a well-informed decision.

Assessing Your SME’s Needs

Identifying your business needs stands as the first stage in the selection process. An audit of the current printing infrastructure offers insight into the actual print cost factors, like the total number of prints, frequency of machine downtimes, and the lifespan of consumables. Understanding your SME’s unique needs and existing issues provides the roadmap for a managed print solution. For instance, an SME with high-volume printing might require more efficient consumable management, while another dealing with sensitive documents may prioritize print data security.

Comparing Providers and Services

Once you’ve nailed down your SME’s needs, it’s time to shortlist potential MPS providers. Look beyond their marketing claims and delve into their expertise, past client testimonials, and array of services. A provider, like XYZ Corp which claims 30% cost reductions, might seem appealing, but don’t forget to evaluate how its offerings align with your SME’s specific needs.

Remember that some providers specialize in particular areas. For instance, Acme Printing touts its robust data security features, like print job authentication and data encryption.

Evaluating Service Level Agreements

Lastly, I don’t overlook the importance of Service Level Agreements (SLAs). This binding document spells out the level of service you can expect from your MPS provider, setting expectations on parameters like response times, resolution times, and uptime guarantees. It’s critical to review the SLA meticulously as it forms the basis for your relationship with the MPS provider.

An SLA from a top-notch provider not only addresses common operational metrics but also outlines procedures for unforeseen issues and changes in service needs over time. A high-quality SLA can truly reflect the provider’s commitment to keeping your SME’s print operations running smoothly and efficiently.

Implementing Managed Print Services in Your SME

Transitioning to Managed Print Services (MPS) can initially seem daunting. Yet, with forward planning and effective change management, SMEs can enjoy a smooth experience. Let’s delve into the two essential steps.

The Transition Process

Transition to MPS involves several stages. Initially, an on-site analysis of your current printing environment occurs, identifying potential improvements. Recognizing printers underperforming or consuming high levels of resources, for instance, helps in devising a better layout of devices.

Next, the installation of new devices and software commences. MPS providers often deploy remote monitoring tools, narrowing the gap between on-premise and off-site operations. For instance, sophisticated tools send alerts for low ink levels, saving on administrative workloads.

Moreover, MPS providers don’t just focus on setups. They also take steps for secure disposal of old hardware, adhering to environmental regulations and data privacy laws. Here’s where services like HP’s Asset Recovery Services come into play.

Lastly, there’s the post-installation support, involving regular monitoring, maintenance, and optimization services. By employing consistent evaluations and proactive adjustments, MPS providers ensure an optimized printing environment for SMEs.

Training Employees and Change Management

Change is often challenging, more so when it concerns altering ingrained work habits. Hence, staff training and change management play vital roles in MPS implementation.

In-house training sessions, provided by many MPS providers, cover various aspects. Topics could include proper use of new devices and software, understanding secure printing processes, and troubleshooting minor issues.

Regrettably, imparting knowledge doesn’t guarantee successful adoption. This is where change management steps in. Change managers work to dispel fears, deal with resistance, and encourage adoption of the new system. By promoting benefits like improved workflows and potential cost savings, they ensure employees accept and adapt to the MPS system quickly.

Remember, successful MPS implementation isn’t solely about technological transition—it’s equally about managing people and processes effectively.

Real-World Success Stories

Anecdotes best showcase the effectiveness of Managed Print Services (MPS) in action. I’m about to share some real-world success stories from small businesses who’ve benefitted from MPS. From enhanced productivity to reduced turnaround time – these stories illustrate the potential of MPS.

Small Business Triumphs

Let’s delve into some rousing tales of small businesses that outdid themselves thanks to MPS. Here’s an example: “PrintCo,” a small printing business in Ohio, leveraged MPS to save approximately 30% on their print-related expenditures. They did so by optimizing their print infrastructure and automating routine tasks.

Another story involves “BookBison,” an independent publisher based in Kalamazoo. They reduced their overall print volume by 40% with MPS by digitizing many of their processes.

Final example originates from “HealthyHues,” a small healthcare company in Minnesota. They not only consolidated their unmanaged print fleet but also enhanced document security significantly with MPS.

These stories offer glimpses into how small businesses can make big strides with MPS.

Case Studies: Enhanced Productivity and Efficiency

Case studies provide factual testimony to the benefits of MPS. A classic case involved a popular Boston eatery, “Pizza Palace.” Implementing MPS led consequently to an upsurge in their productivity. The staff spent less time dealing with printer issues, and more on serving customers, skyrocketing their customer satisfaction ratings.

In another case, a Denver-based contracting firm, “BuilderBase,” credited MPS for boosting their efficiency by 50%. The firm saved valuable time and resources that they’d previously spent on print management. With MPS, BuilderBase streamlined their processes leading to faster project turnovers.

Through these case studies, it becomes evident: MPS does more than just manage prints, it helps enhance productivity and efficiency, providing an undeniable edge in today’s competitive business landscape.


Managed Print Services are a game changer for SMEs. They’re not just about print management but also about boosting efficiency and improving business operations. The success stories of PrintCo, BookBison, HealthyHues, Pizza Palace, and BuilderBase illustrate the power of MPS. Whether it’s saving on print-related costs, reducing print volume, consolidating print fleets, enhancing document security, or increasing productivity, MPS can make a significant impact. Choosing the right MPS provider is key, and it’s essential to assess your SME’s needs and scrutinize Service Level Agreements. So, if you’re an SME looking to gain a competitive edge, it’s time to consider MPS. It’s a strategic investment that can deliver substantial returns. The benefits are clear, and the potential for growth is immense.

Leave a Comment