What is a Managed Print Service?
Geerings defines MPS as the assessment, optimisation and proactive management of the print environment, delivered by a provider under a contracted service level agreement. MPS contracts are either based on a cost per page model, which requires minimum volume commitments or a pay per print model where billing is based on what is actually printed.
Many organisations are turning to print management services (MPS) to optimise their print infrastructure through device consolidation and streamlined print management. Not only does MPS deliver significant cost savings and productivity improvements, it also offers far-reaching environmental benefits , helping a business reduce its carbon footprint.
By deploying energy- efficient printers and multifuctional printers (MFPs) and implementing responsible and secure printing practices, MPS enables organisation to cut energy usage, eliminate unecessary printing and reduce waste. With hardware disposal and consumables recycling, MPS can play a key role in an organisation’s green IT strategy.
Managed Print Service covers three broad categories
A review of the current print environment to provide recommendations for a rationalised environment and estimated potential future savings, Assessments range from basic online assessments to full workflow assessments. Environmental analysis and document security may also be included
Device consolidation of printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines with fewer, faster, more energy effiecient and more strategically placed printers and MFPs. This phase reduces user to device ratios and develops print policies to minimise wasteful printing.
Centralised print management tools monitor device and supplies usage, manage access to colour printing and provide full visibility of print usage, by user and device. This enables continuous process improvement and service level agreement (SLA) monitoring.
An effective MPS delivers increased visibility and control over usage, improved device availability, significant cost reductions and environmental benefits.
Reduced and predictable costs: An effective MPS will realise savings by rationalising the printer fleet, increasing the employee /printer ratio and utilising more efficient MFPs. Lease based agreements overcome the need or capital expenditure to purchase new hardware and replaces a capital expense model with one where monthly/quarterly payments, which include hardware, service and supplies, provide transparent and predictable costs.
Improved productivity: As MPS provides proactive support and maintenance, employees benefit from increased up time and the IT support burden is reduced, leaving staff to focus on core competencies.
Enhanced security and compliance: An MPS can identify particular document risks and recommend relevant solutions, such as ‘pull printing’, that enhance privacy and provide audit trails on print usage.
Reduced environmental impact: Energy consumption is reduced through device consolidation, whilst paper usage can be reduced through responsible printing practices such as duplex, booklet and secure printing. Excess paper and ink/toner usage through ‘lost’ output that is just left is the printer tray or is picked up by the wrong person is also avoided through the use of pull printing. MPS programmes also offer environmentally -friendly provision and disposal of consumables.
Drivers for MPS
Through independent research, Geerings has discovered that the key drivers for MPS are consumable reduction and improved tracking of print costs, indicated by 73% and 68% of respondents respectively. Whilst almost 60% view paper usage reduction as an important driver for MPS, only 23% indicated energy consumption, despite this being a top print management challenge. This suggests that business do not fully appreciate how MPS can help them gain environmental efficiencies from device consolidation and deployment of energy efficient printers or, if they do, it is not yet a primary motivator.
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