Managed Print Services, or MPS, make a significant impact on the modern office. To simplify what can be a broad definition, MPS refers to an external provider optimizing or managing your company’s total cost of your printers, their output, and the personnel that support these devices. These costs can account for as much as 15-percent of an average business’s annual spending. By outsourcing print management, your business stands to cut costs by as much as 30-percent.
A trusted MPS provider goes well beyond simply overseeing the printers in your office, however. Through various processes, they’ll also be able to improve your entire print environment by reducing the number of devices necessary and the amount of supplies used, reduce the environmental footprint created by your printing processes, proactively monitor your print environment to identify and solve potential issues before they affect your employees and continuously improve processes to save you time and money. Additionally, your MPS provider should be able to provide network management and IT support.
Once you know what to expect from a Managed Print provider, you can begin to develop an understanding of how to measure MPS success. A recent study conducted by IDC found that most business owners changed their view on the most important factors within MPS after experiencing services for several months. For example, most assume that the price of the contract should be the deciding factor, but soon discover that a clearly defined Service-level agreement is much more important. As Managed Print Services continued, the security of documents and information also became an increasingly important factor.
Unfortunately, this research seems to hint at business owners needing to gain experience with MPS in order to choose the right MPS provider. That’s almost literally putting the cart before the horse. Thankfully, some targeted research can provide an alternative to the initial experience phase.
The same study provides additional answers that will help those just starting the RFP process, as well as those attempting to measure the success of their current MPS engagement.
Participants identified service delivery excellence as the biggest differentiator between MPS providers. That’s made up of many different factors, including optimization to improve efficiency, increased security, cloud-based implementation, and mobile availability.
When entering into an MPS agreement, and measuring the success of an existing MPS contract, IDC’s study suggests focusing on cost savings, reduced transactions costs, and the reduction in print and paper volume first.