Efficiency is everything in any modern business setup, especially the printing department. One lone copier may be enough for one office, but adding a few more scanners and printers can get complicated quickly. Managed Print Services are the ever-evolving answer to this problem, constantly offering new ways to optimize workflows and maximize efficiency. This article will take you through the core features of what an MPS offers and why your workflow may need one.

What Are Managed Print Services?

Managed Print Services (MPS) are a holistic solution to an organization’s printing and imaging needs that lie in outsourcing their printing and copying needs to a dedicated provider. The result is a more streamlined – both in cost and productivity – printing solution.

It’s important to keep in mind that an MPS is a comprehensive business solution rather than any one product or company service. And though it’s mostly outsourced, there are instances where departments within a business take on this role.

Any organization can maintain a print fleet in-house, including healthcare practices and law firms. But they may struggle to keep track of all that equipment. The result can be printing inefficiencies, aging hardware, unnecessary errors, and wastage that can develop into staggering costs without proper management. A solid MPS puts control of the maintenance and repair of the equipment under one department, to keep things running smoothly.

How It All Works

Every MPS will differ according to the needs and structure of an organization. Some crucial factors include:

  • The size of the organization
  • The volume of printing required
  • The specific needs of the company i.e. quality, image fidelity, paper types, etc.
  • Any security needs and data protection
  • Projected growth or scalability

In addition to the specific requirements of the contracting organization, the solution offered by the outsourced MPS will also be unique in its approach. While individual steps may vary, they can be roughly grouped into four major categories:

  • Assessment – In this stage, the MPS provider conducts a thorough analysis of the organization’s printing fleet, software, and systems. They’ll carefully inspect current practices and performance and identify key areas to improve upon.
  • Design – Based on research and findings, the provider will then develop a bespoke solution for the organization. This is a holistic solution and may encompass everything from maintenance schedules and installing custom software, to suggesting equipment upgrades and supplying monthly toner replacements.
  • Implementation – The solution is then put into practice in the organization. The necessary systems are put into place and the software is installed. The MPS provider will be on hand to iron out any kinks that may arise immediately following implementation.
  • Management – This is the “service” part of an MPS. A good system will require a close eye and regular attention to stay safe and effective. This can be done remotely or on-site. Software and systems will require regular updates, and any hardware errors will be addressed as they arise. The MPS solution requires regular business reviews to keep things smooth.

The Benefits of Managed Print Services

While an MPS may seem like an unnecessary expense and time-consuming solution to set up and maintain, the results speak for themselves. Here are the major benefits of implementing an MPS:

  • Lower costs through better efficiency – Perhaps the biggest reason to implement an MPS is its impact on the bottom line. All print jobs and systems are monitored and an organization can keep track of costs per transaction. Wastage can be reduced as systems are tweaked and improved.
  • Kinder to the environment – The introduction of computers didn’t herald the era of the paperless office as expected. While printing can’t completely be cut out, it can be made more efficient and sustainable with an MPS. Reducing paper usage and improving recycling helps an organization reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Better productivity – Outsourcing an MPS to a provider returns valuable work time back to employees who would otherwise be stuck resolving printing issues. Maintaining printing speeds and fewer errors means that output is kept high with few hiccups and employee downtime.
  • Constant monitoring – A printing fleet is a significant investment and needs the best care to ensure it delivers. Through an MPS, an organization will have a dedicated team with a complete grasp of the equipment, software, and practices. They’ll be well-positioned to maximize the equipment’s potential and keep them working up to speed, be it through updates or regular maintenance. The entire system will be watched over by industry professionals.
  • Better security – Depending on the nature of the organization, sensitive data can be passed through printers. This makes printing fleets a choice access point for hackers looking to infiltrate a network. In 2023, 61% of organizations have reported data loss due to unsecured printers. Thus, the systems need to be protected and constantly monitored. An MPS protects a system against data breaches and ensures industry compliance.

Choosing the Best Provider

When it comes to making the decision to contract Managed Print Services, it’s helpful to consider the needs of the organization and how a provider will address them. Here are some key areas to bear in mind when searching:

  • Your needs – What’s the size of your organization? What are its printing capabilities and requirements? Have you identified areas for improvement? How much can you spend? Understanding your needs will help narrow down the choice of provider.
  • Reputation – The best providers will often have a reputation to back their services up. Investigate all choices: their reviews, and track records, before making a choice. Look for client testimonials and take recommendations from friends and trusted colleagues.
  • Services – What does a provider offer and how much will it cost? Some companies provide a bigger range of services, while others include additional extras as part of the package. Are they flexible and always accessible? Be sure to investigate pricing and services to understand what’s on offer. Price can be a deciding factor, but it shouldn’t be the only one.
  • The right SLA – A service level agreement (SLA) is the agreement between a provider and an organization that outlines the terms of service and their duration. Read this document carefully and ensure all maintenance, response times, and security practices meet your needs.
  • Compliance – A provider should be in line with data protection regulations, and their data encryption and security needs to meet industry standards. Ask prospective providers about their security and compliance measures.

Manage Your Printing

It’s crucial to understand the MPS landscape to make the best decision possible for your business. The right service is one tailored to your business by a professional provider and one that will save you time, money, and a lot of stress.

If you’re searching for an MPS solution around Green Bay, Menomonee Falls, or Fox Cities, then we at Wisconsin Document Imaging will have the perfect one for you. With over a decade of experience behind us, let our expertise help you better manage your print fleet and ensure your success.