Managed Print Services Implementation Process Regardless of your particular business or industry, your business relies on a printer (or printers) to operate efficiently and grow. With that in mind,...
Benefits Of Managed Print Services
Businesses looking to build their profits, customer bases, or sales territory all have a common enemy: scalability. Whether it’s outgrowing their original business headquarters, needing to expand their fleet of company vehicles, or just keeping up with their printing needs, growing businesses need products and services that are ready and able to grow with them. If that flexibility isn’t built into future planning for workflow and budget, the growing pains that follow could take a serious chunk out of their bottom line. Implementing a managed print services strategy may be the right call. Below, we’ll be reviewing the managed print services benefits and how it can affect your business.
Why Use A Managed Print Service?
There are a wide range of industries that benefit from managed printing services. In some industries, the weakest link in workflow is as thin as a sheet of paper: when printing grinds to a halt, so does the business that relies on it. When a printer goes down – or worse, the entire building’s print network does – the cascade effect can cause some serious issues, including:
- Billing can’t print out invoices to manually distribute or mail
- Any department that needs package delivery or postage can’t print labels
- Reports, such as inventory, can’t be printed to check against physical stock
- Manifests and driver paperwork can’t be printed for in-house or 3PL deliveries
- New contracts and legal documentation needed for new accounts can’t be printed
Even in an age of digital convenience with portable tablets, the need for physical paperwork is built into many existing business environments, which is why having a managed print solution is absolutely critical. Faxes are still an integral part of healthcare communication and insurance approvals, for example. Real estate offices and tax firms need physical documentation for notaries and filings. Laboratories and research firms need to produce regulatory documents on a regular basis. As you can see, the managed print services market is still a growing and thriving industry.
A managed print service provides third party services within a company’s offices, taking on the burden of maintaining the printers themselves as well as regular service and appropriate print supplies.
Toning Up Toner Usage
Efficiency is one of the biggest benefits of managed print services; with a third party company monitoring and managing your print usage and printer supplies, they can accurately predict when you’ll need toner. This means they can swap it out as it’s needed, ensuring that no one in an office is confronted with the dreaded “no toner” icon moments before an important meeting where a printed report is necessary. Larger and more complex printers also require equally sophisticated ink cartridges and toner dispensers: relying on a brand-trained professional to assess toner levels and make optimization recommendations eliminates potential damage and waste.
Printing Up Solutions
Companies that start small get used to bootstrapping: they may be used to working around print issues, or “making do” with sub-par print quality as a holdover from tighter budget days. Using a managed print service offers more than immediate benefits in the workplace: it also gives a company access to expert opinions and guidance.
Not only do these MPS providers install, maintain, and troubleshoot each printing device office-wide, they also assess a company’s individual needs through a professional lens. If, for example, they can save a company money by setting up a brochure-printing solution in-house, the company can then print exactly the number of brochures they require on an as-needed basis. This avoids the minimum order quantity restrictions and high printing cost of using an external printer, and puts the power back into the company’s hands.
Additionally, an MPS company can also keep scanners operating efficiently, allowing an entire workforce to scan in physical contracts, make legally-required copies of regulated documents, and catalog large swaths of physical data, images, notes, and more – securely and in seconds.
Securing Printed Documents
Even within a company, there are documents that need to be kept secured. These include:
- Pay stubs, for example, or health insurance forms from HR with sensitive information
- Manager reports with performance data that isn’t intended for an entire team to see
- NDA-covered information, images, and more that could harm a company if “leaked”
- Proprietary assembly, sourcing, or manufacturing information that could be sold to a rival
- Internal memos that could damage a company if sent to a news outlet or published online
- Incomplete or out-of-context financial information that could trigger an audit
In an “unsecured” print environment, these sensitive documents may be sent to a large group printer, where they can then be glanced over (intentionally or unintentionally) as the printer-user makes their way to the machine.
Using an MPS provider, layers of security can be built in instead, requiring the use of a password or the swipe of a magnetic ID badge to finish the physical print at the machine. This keeps physical documents under the watchful eye of their rightful holder at all times, eliminating those prying eyes and curious glances around the group multifunction printer.
Reducing Cost And Waste
The larger a company becomes, the harder it becomes to keep waste to a minimum, even in something as routine as printing. Using a managed print provider allows managers and their C-suite alike to gain valuable insight into departmental printing habits, potential misuse by individual employees, and exactly how much they’re saving by moving certain print services in-house.
By analyzing and optimizing the ordering, delivery, and implementation of both printers and print supplies, an MPS provider delivers a truly custom, lean solution to printing cost bloat. Companies aren’t compelled to order closets upon closets of paper reams to get access to professional pricing – and they won’t have to give up valuable office square footage to store it all, either. Companies can also say goodbye to those panicked runs to overpay for a single ream of paper at a local office supply store: a managed print provider plans ahead and always has the printing resource stock a company needs to keep growing, even in a hurry.
Managed print services help reduce stress on a company, ensuring they won’t need to spend a great deal of budget on procuring, maintaining, and replacing their print network every few years.
In addition to being convenient for companies focused on growth, this “third party” approach to office printing also gives a print environment the longest useful life, thanks to regular maintenance at the hands of a professional. While running a successful business is inevitably filled with unexpected expenses, printing costs don’t need to be one of them: use a managed print services provider to keep your printing costs low, quality output high, and downtime to a minimum.
An Alternative to Google Cloud Print
Google Cloud Print was a popular service first introduced in 2010. It connected work and home printers to the web, essentially allowing businesses to print from anywhere and from any device with a Google account. Google Cloud Print also allowed for remote management of printers and print jobs.
Unfortunately, Google is discontinuing this service starting December 31, 2020, which forces many companies to find a new alternative. The good news: most modern managed print services also incorporate cloud-based models that allow for the same thing. Many can also implement hybrid systems that use both on-premises and cloud systems in conjunction. Switching to a managed print service gives you much of the same functionality as Google Cloud Print, but with all the added benefits of working with an MPS.
Printing can come with plenty of complexities that can be difficult to manage or understand on your own. Managed print services benefit just about every aspect of your company and allow your employees to focus more on clients and provide good service.
1) “Gartner Glossary.” Gartner (gartner.com), (no published date), https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/managed-print-services-mps. Accessed November 25, 2020.
2) Lores, Enrique. “Print Security Is A Strategy, Not An Afterthought.” Forbes (forbes.com), December 15, 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/hp/2016/12/15/print-security-is-a-strategy-not-an-afterthought/?sh=71b3699368bf. Accessed November 25, 2020.
3) “What Are Managed Print Services?” Industry Today (industrytoday.com), April 13, 2020, https://industrytoday.com/what-are-managed-print-services/. Accessed November 25, 2020.
4) “We hijacked 28,000 unsecured printers to raise awareness of printer security issues.” Cybernews (cybernews.com), August 27, 2020, https://cybernews.com/security/we-hacked-28000-unsecured-printers-to-raise-awareness-of-printer-security-issues/. Accessed November 25, 2020.