Selecting The Right Managed Print Services Provider

By: George Landes

The Managed Print Services industry is rapidly growing with businesses both large and small getting in on a piece of the pie. Over the past ten years the copier & print industries have converged, leading to innovative products including the multifunction printer. With these industry segments coming together businesses have found it more and more difficult to manage their output devices, which is why managed print services has been rapidly on the rise. By using managed print services, businesses  are able to lower overall costs, improve productivity, increase efficiency and reduce burdens on internal staff.

Today, the list of managed print service providers continues to grow and many of them offer unique solutions and benefits. But what of those ‘benefits or solutions’ will really help you save the most money? As it becomes increasingly difficult to determine which MPS providers will offer you the most effective services and most reliable products it is important that you look at several important tips in determining your managed print services provider.

1.) Do they offer fully integrated services?

This is a very important element to consider when selecting your provider. An MPS provider that offers their customers integrated services provides not only the office equipment & software to go with it, but they also incorporate all aspects of the print management process including the print audits, all of the management aspects, maintenance of printers, copiers & multifunction printers, & will provide you any consumable replacements. Fully integrated services will save your company both time & money, giving you a one stop shop for your print management needs.

2.) Do they have quality service technicians?

Every time you have a printer or copier that is interrupting your document workflow because it is mechanically inoperable you are losing money. When selecting a quality managed print services provider it is essential that the service technicians are certified and professionally trained with the ability to quickly diagnose and fix your office equipment. If you are unsure as to whether or not the technicians are certified, then ask. There is never any harm in asking questions, only harm in not asking any at all. By asking such a simple question you are setting your company up to save money in the long run on repair costs and financial/productivity losses due to equipment downtime.

3.) Does the MPS provider use the latest in print technology and software solutions?

In many cases there is more to an effective print management solution than you may be aware of. You want to try to identify whether or not the provider will collaborate with you to understand your business and provide innovative ways for your employees to work more effectively – beyond simply managing print.  Many MPS companies such as Imagetec L.P., a Chicago based Print Management & Office Equipment Dealer, use sophisticated  tools and resources  giving them the ability to monitor your print fleet and provide you with the necessary supplies, maintenance & service before your office equipment is hassled by low toner or  malfunctioning equipment parts. If a potential managed print services provider takes advantage of innovative solutions such as this or incorporates the latest print software such as Print Audit 6, then you can count on maintaining efficient document workflow.

4.) Do they have a proven track record?

When searching for the right managed print service provider you should always look for a track record of proven success. You want to make sure you can rely on your provider for timely service, exceptional customer service, reliable office products & affordable prices. Without a proven track record of success you could be setting your business up for additional short term and long term financial stress as well as long term productivity issues.

5.) Can they provide you with options?

All businesses are different; they have different needs and different demands. When selecting an MPS provider you should look to see if they offer a variety of solutions based on your particular industry & business needs. For example, the Healthcare industry prints a lot of important paper work and documents entailing confidential medical information. If you were a hospital or a health center looking for an MPS provider you would want to make sure they have exceptional security options ensuring those documents are safe & secure. The more variety and customizable solutions, the more effective and efficient your managed print services program will likely be.

When selecting a quality MPS provider make sure you ask a lot of questions. A knowledgeable company will be able to provide you detailed insight about your current printer fleet, how to manage an effective document workflow environment, and provide you cost effective solutions to optimizing your current fleet. It is proven that effective managed print services can lower print costs upwards of 30%, streamline document workflow and provide an increase in office productivity.(See Case Study) Follow these tips and ask the right questions  and you will find a well-established, experienced MPS provider that will offer you quality customer service and reliable office equipment options.