The Growth Of The Managed Print Services Market

Only a short few decades ago, the only way for a business to get something printed would be either to send an order out to a professional printer, or use an in-office printer directly connected to a single computer. As technology has evolved, so have the capabilities of that once-tethered office printer – as well as internal complexities and potential issues. The chance of an average office worker, or even IT team member, understanding beyond-basic printer troubleshooting is becoming more remote with every passing year. That’s because complexity and ability are directly linked: in short, the more businesses demand of their printers, the harder they are to maintain, let alone repair. Because of this, it can be hard to create a solid print environment that can support all of your needs.

Just like “shade tree mechanics” are stumped by the computer-heavy build of modern cars, today’s large multifunction printers, networks, and intricate print security needs require a professional touch. Increasingly, companies are turning to managed print services to fulfill this need, as it not only solves a range of immediate printer-based problems, it introduces a shield of liability against catastrophes in the process. There are many benefits of managed print services to take advantage of. So while it’s obviously a convenient option for modern businesses, why exactly has the managed print services market experienced such a recent boom?

 

 

Remote Workers Are Becoming The Norm

Until relatively recently, “remote” workers were usually a case-by-case concept, a temporary reprieve from office appearances granted because of geolocation or medical issues. For example, when a worker was out sick for an extended amount of time (but needed to stay in touch/print in the office), an IT team member could set the employee up directly. However, implementing that same attention to detail on a large scale to meet company’s printing needs simply isn’t possible without bloating IT departments or budgets. With the “work from home” bomb dropped in the form of COVID-19 challenges, companies have found themselves in a bind – requiring company-wide access for all remote workers, yet lacking the resources to make it happen.

As hybrid in-office and work-from-home teams are collaborating regularly, the need for both sides to be able to access printers and printed materials has never been clearer. Managed print services has become a beacon of organizational hope for setting up print permissions and functionality between both sides of these teams. When an employee can print that vital last-minute report from their couch despite staying home sick, everyone in the organization benefits while staying safe.

 

 

“Printers” Are Doing So Much More

All-in-one printers are a force to be reckoned with in terms of efficiency and results, but all those features mean additional components that need to be maintained regularly and fixed in the event of an issue. While “just printers” of years past only had to concern themselves with putting ink to paper, multifunction printers need to scan clearly, duplicate already-printed papers and photographs, send faxes, and of course meet all printing needs as well. Managed print solutions provide companies with the peace of mind, knowing that their all-in-one devices will never become “just printers” unexpectedly – or worse yet, paperweights awaiting repair. An MPS provider can help support your supply chain and create a solid print environment that your company can rely on. In short, as office printing devices and networks have gotten more complex, so have (fortunately) the solutions provided by MPS. 

 

 

Timelines and Deadlines Are Tighter

Emails have transformed business and sped up the proverbial clock, thanks to virtually zero built-in downtime during office hours. While employees aren’t waiting for physical mail or scheduling traditional phone calls for the information they need – already relayed in some 102+ emails received each day by the average worker – that speed also means that results are expected more quickly on each project. With that kind of pressure, an uncooperative or malfunctioning printer can spell disaster without help. 

Managed print solutions provide a timely, accurate answer to printer-based problems, particularly when the alternative is a generic IT department handling all other tech-related issues in a company. Initially, MPS providers are usually involved in selecting printing devices for offices, so they are familiar with the company’s printer needs – and therefore capable of getting right to the heart of the issue or technicality at hand.  An MPS helps reduce printing cost while creating an ideal print management strategy for any organization.

 

 

Entrepreneurship and Startup Growth

A great idea can go viral overnight, leaving tiny startups and driven entrepreneurs with some serious growing pains, or even turn them into struggling victims of their own success. In a world where a smart, capable business concept can grow at a staggering rate in a short period of time, the need for flexible, scalable business solutions has never been clearer. There are so many industries that can benefit from an MPS provider. When invoices, product labels, reports, and more need to jump from a print queue of 100 sheets to one of 10,000 sheets a day, it’s easy to become quickly overwhelmed. Getting expert advice on printer models, capabilities, and the cost(s) of associated printing resources is just smart business. 

Whether a startup is growing out of a small garage or even their first corporate offices, they need a printer network solution that’s ready to grow with them. MPS offers that functionality as a convenient, cost-predictable service, ensuring that even the most explosive business growth doesn’t overextend itself trying to keep up with print-based demands.

 

 

Lean Operations and Data Analytics

Business philosophies and strategies have evolved in incredible ways, thanks to artificial intelligence, computing power, and an unprecedented amount of available data points. Because most office printers are on an “observable” online network – with the right security permissions, of course – they have a wealth of data to collect and categorize in regards to usage. For companies anxious to embrace a “lean” philosophy of “only what it takes to get the job done” in terms of operational printing expenses, this data is priceless. It enables them to adopt a just-in-time approach to expenses like reams of paper and toner, or to fold the material cost into an MPS contract for single-billing ease. 

Data analytics enables even deeper study of those usage data points, highlighting potential waste or printer misuse versus printer needs. These problem areas or bad employee habits can then be adjusted to help save printing costs over time within an organization and improve supply chain management.

 

 

Convenience, Consistency & Safety: Why Every Industry Benefits From Managed Print Services

Managed print services industry trends continue to guide this powerful solution to more and more companies. These businesses are, in turn, embracing convenience and consistency, and ending their days of workflow-halting paper jams and malfunctioning, underpowered machines with the guidance of MPS providers. In addition, as we navigate through the uncertainty of COVID-19, implementing an effective MPS module printer fleet can improve company-wide productivity for remote working scenarios while ensuring the safety of your company’s employees. 

 

  

Sources Cited:

1)      Plummer, Matt. “How to Spend Way Less Time on Email Every Day.” Harvard Business Review (hbr.org), https://hbr.org/2019/01/how-to-spend-way-less-time-on-email-every-day. Accessed November 29, 2020.

2)      Wong, May. “Stanford research provides a snapshot of a new working-from-home economy.” Stanford News (news.stanford.edu), June 29, 2020, https://news.stanford.edu/2020/06/29/snapshot-new-working-home-economy/. Accessed November 29, 2020.

3)      Knight, Rebecca. “How to Manage a Hybrid Team.” Harvard Business Review (hbr.org), October 7, 2020, https://hbr.org/2020/10/how-to-manage-a-hybrid-team. Accessed November 29, 2020.

4)      Lachapelle, Tara. “If 2020 Weren’t Strange Enough, Printers Are Staging a Comeback.” The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com), June 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/if-2020-werent-strange-enough-printers-are-staging-a-comeback/2020/06/30/1e800ad0-bada-11ea-97c1-6cf116ffe26c_story.html. Accessed November 29, 2020.