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, take a moment right now and ask yourself a few questions about the state of printing within your business:
- How many pages does your organization print a day? A week?
- What type(s) of toner do you need for your printer(s)? Could you order them without checking?
- If one of your printers / scanners / copiers breaks or malfunctions, who do you call to help?
Chances are, you had to stop and think about at least one of them – that’s perfectly normal, and the state of most businesses today. Businesses operate at peak efficiency when they trust experts to take care of what they do best, allowing the company to focus on its own growth. A managed print services strategy takes the guesswork out of printing, and ensures that you – as well as your employees – never have to worry about another printing pop quiz again. So, what are the benefits of managed print services? Our team of experts is here to explain.
The Managed Print Services Implementation Process
So your business has decided to take the jump and try managed print services (MPS) on for size: great choice! Now you’re likely wondering what’s the next step to making it happen? The first stop on the managed print service implementation train is an important one: assessment. Once you’ve decided on a provider, you’ll reach out to get things started. An MPS provider individual or team will make contact with your company directly in return, and you’ll discuss the current state of your printing network, as well as future goals. Be prepared to answer as honestly as possible, even if the answer is legitimately an “I’m not sure.”
Your managed print service provider will want to know information like your current and expected print volume, rough percentage of black-and-white versus color printing, and any printing related “pain points” you may currently be experiencing, such as slow production or constantly jockeying for place in the printing queue. When they understand the current state of your printing network and how far it stands from your goals, the managed print services company can identify areas for improvement and make informed suggestions for printer devices, services, and more. Part of forming a successful managed print services strategy is breaking down the task into logical parts:
- Your Machine(s): While it’s possible that your current printer devices are suitable and able to be monitored, chances are that your new MPS provider can recommend a few upgrades. They can offer guidance on topics like wireless access reach for wireless-enabled printer models, printers designed to keep up with high-volume printing, or precision-geared office printers that are exceptional at rendering true colors in print. Part of this decision-making process will also likely incorporate office “head count,” and how easy/accessible the printer is to your entire team. Depending on business needs, the managed print services company may recommend placing one or more additional printers around the office for fast, easy access.
- Your Access: Depending on the way your team is structured (e.g., in-office, work-from-home, or a combination), your MPS provider will discuss options for both physical and remote printer access. They’ll ensure that every employee that needs access to a printer will have it, and they can also help with solutions for “one off” situations where an employee may only sporadically need printing, with a preference for closing off access the rest of the time.
- Your Resources: Your provider will also discuss budget and preferences for your printing needs, including type of paper, ordering volume, and frequency of order placement. Once your managed print services are set up in your offices, data from your usage will also help inform and fine-tune approaches to ordering supplies, ensuring you aren’t overspending or ending up with an unwanted surplus of paper or toner. Whatever your printing needs may be, your service provider will make sure that all of your existing devices are up and running.
- Your Security Needs: Every company has a preference for print security, but in some industries that security is necessary for local or governmental compliance, such as in healthcare settings. Your provider will go over options for print security, such as linking print capability to a physical ID card swipe, rather than automatically printing sensitive documents in an area where coworkers may accidentally see or read them. Monitoring can also be discussed, both within and external to your printing network, to scan for malware threats, cybercriminals, or potential employee security issues.
- Your Maintenance Schedule: It’s in the best interests of both you and your MPS provider to keep all of your printing devices in perfect working order. To that end, they’ll likely discuss a maintenance schedule – timed, of course, to be as non-disruptive as possible to your office workflow – where printers can be cleaned, examined, and serviced to keep them at peak efficiency. The to-do list may involve color calibration in scanners and printers, lubricating moving gears and parts, and vacuuming/cleaning out any spare toner dust or ink to prevent it from clogging the system.
- Your Troubleshooting Preferences: If a printer malfunction occurs, it’s once again in your mutual best interests to communicate ASAP with your provider. This will prevent further damage from occurring to the printer, and get your office back into their normal printing routines more quickly. Your provider will give you the contact information you’ll need when printer issues happen; most likely a direct phone number, a website to file a trouble ticket, or a direct email to make a service appointment.
Because managed print services are designed to adapt and adjust to the changing needs of a business, the information you discuss initially with your MPS provider isn’t “set in stone”. The best way to get the most for your managed print solution is to communicate proactively, listen to advice, and don’t hesitate to discuss your future printing plans with your provider. They can help you align more closely with your ideal print network management goals, and keep your printing, scanning, and copying devices in efficient, reliable working order – no matter how much you ask of them in a given day.
1) “CompTIA Quick Start Guide to Managed Print Services.” CompTIA (comptia.org), (no published date), https://www.comptia.org/content/guides/comptia-quick-start-guide-to-managed-print-services. Accessed November 29, 2020.
2) Quicke, Simon. “Sustainability is a growing part of the printing pitch.” MicroScope (computerweekly.com), October 26, 2020, https://www.computerweekly.com/microscope/news/252491092/Sustainability-is-a-growing-part-of-the-printing-pitch. Accessed November 29, 2020.
3) Johnson, O’Ryan. “5 Biggest Drivers In The Managed Print Services Market.” CRN (crn.com), April 26, 2019, https://www.crn.com/news/components-peripherals/5-biggest-drivers-in-the-managed-print-services-market. Accessed November 29, 2020.