What to expect from your managed print service provider
Printing is a key office function that is often dismissed as a necessary expense without being given much thought. This results in the overheads associated with printing being rarely optimised or cost-effective.
Managed print services (MPS) are offered by an external service provider to take care of your print infrastructure and document output. When you work with an MPS provider like Forum Group, all aspects of your business printing can be included in your agreement, including hardware, toner and other consumables, maintenance and ongoing service.
Engagement with a managed print provider will generally begin with an honest and accurate assessment to determine your specific requirements and unique needs. When Forum undertakes these assessments, it is not uncommon for us to find a number of areas for improvement. This may include aligning the right equipment and device numbers to your needs, adjusting and optimising your spend, and improving the level of service being received. We’ll look at printers, scanners, photocopiers and multifunction (MFP) devices, as well as existing document management systems and processes.
Flowing on from this review and the introduction of a new baseline of office equipment, your MPS provider will then oversee every aspect of your office equipment. As well as upgrading hardware according to the agreement schedule, a comprehensive MPS covers ongoing servicing, account management and related consumables. Leading providers also give you ongoing usage reporting, which provide you with a clear picture of your business print usage, problems and needs.
An MPS can help make your team more productive and efficient through increased access to technology, reporting and services – all at a better price.
The benefits of a managed print service
1. Cost savings
So, what exactly can a managed print service do for you? The most attractive benefit for a business is cost savings. Your provider will help deliver this by working with you to map out unnecessary spending on office hardware. For example, Forum Group worked with Findex to reduce print spend on upfront costs by a significant 40%. MPS providers with multiple manufacturer relationships can also leverage increased buying power and product range to find devices that fit your budget.
2. Improved workflow
An effective workflow is key to keeping your business running at maximum efficiency. Working with an MPS means you have access to professionals who understand the core functionality and capability of all of your devices. They will share their knowledge and experience to help you to streamline your document workflows so it works best for you and your team.
3. Enhanced security
Security is another benefit of an MPS. While you might not think so, your print services are in fact a security risk. This is because – just like any device connected to WiFi or the internet – they increase your ‘cyber-attack surface’. Quorica’s Print Security 2019 report found, for example, that 59% of businesses reported a print-related data loss. However, only 66% rank print in their top 5 risks, showing a big gap in understanding print-related risks. Your MPS provider will help plug this hole.
Finally, managed print services save your business time by overseeing the management of equipment servicing, ink and toner ordering, breakdowns, sourcing parts and troubleshooting. This frees up your team to focus on tasks that they specialise in and which add maximum value to your business.
What to look for in an MPS provider
If you are looking to optimise your print services through a managed print service, there are a few key indicators to look for when choosing your MPS provider:
- What cost and time savings can you expect?
- Are they flexible and adaptable to your changing requirements?
- Can they source and support a range of devices?
- How well can they integrate with your IT infrastructure?
- What level of support do they offer?
- How can they optimise your business processes?
- Do they have a proven track record and good reputation in the industry?
- Can they address your environmental sustainability goals?
Make use of the publicly-available information about potential MPS providers. Case studies, Google reviews and social media pages can say a lot about a company’s customer experience and give you a good overview of their services.
Before entering into an MPS contract, it’s also important to consider the future. Does your MPS contract accommodate future growth or contraction? Does it detail an upgrade to your equipment when the time comes?
Also, consider how you expect to communicate with suppliers. Assess if your chosen MPS supplier has a communication cadence that matches yours, so you can get the most out of your relationship.
Finally, trust your gut. Office machinery is a sizeable long-term investment and your MPS provider will be a key part of your business infrastructure for the foreseeable future. So, it’s important you feel good about working with your chosen provider.
What leading MPS provers offer
At Forum Group, we follow well-established steps to optimise our customer’s print services and save them money. These include:
- Upgrading equipment and hardware
- Integrating existing equipment
- Optimising equipment based on your team’s specific needs
- Offering future expansion of services
Many MPS providers are loyal to a specific brand, or only sell their own products, meaning you can’t shop around for the best combination of price and functionality. Forum Group aren’t committed to any particular vendor, so we have the freedom to work with all leading brands to find the best solution for your business.
Our managed print services challenge the traditional model. We work to complement digital transformation, rather than restrict it, and our tailored options ensure you’re only paying for what you only need.
Get in touch
If you want to be confident you’re getting the best value out of your managed print service, get in touch.
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