Is there a difference between print management and effective managed print services?
Most businesses often lookout for solutions to optimize their IT functions and manage their IT challenges efficiently. The IT challenges are mainly around high-volume printing costs and addressing in-house printer issues. Device underuse and unbalanced IT asset use are other common issues in businesses across industries.
Solutions to address these challenges and manage tasks such as printing, allocation of printing costs, tracking print activity, setting print quotas, print policy enforcement, print job redirecting, reporting, etc., can maximize cost savings and enhance workplace productivity.
In this context, the terms print management and managed print services are often used interchangeably - though they are pretty different.
What is Print Management?
Print management software captures documents generated by users - on devices such as desktops, laptops, mobile handsets, etc. - which are headed to a printer or multifunction peripheral. Effective print management helps eliminate problems from the printing function integrated with operating systems such as Windows or other similar operating systems. Print management services eliminate the requirement of a print server and provide efficient error handling, print job accounting, product personalization, and optimization of other printing-related functions.
A good print management software equips the business with data on the existing print environment and the usage of print devices by the end-user/employee. In addition, print management software helps identify and plug security vulnerabilities due to printers and computers connected to the network.
What is Managed Print Service?
A Managed Print Service (MPS) is a printing solution provided by a third-party print vendor that takes care of and optimizes the complete printing requirement. Typically, the MPS vendor provides needs assessment, the printing devices (printers, scanners, copiers, and faxes), replenishes printing consumables, and performs preventive/breakdown maintenance. The managed print solution also helps keep track of the utilization of the printing devices, problems, and end-user satisfaction. By availing of total printing life cycle management through an MPS, the contracting firm can enhance operational efficiencies, improve security, reduce costs, and help deliver a superior end-user /employee experience.
Effective Managed Print Services
Typically, businesses do not have a system for tracking their print spend or tracking employees’ print habits. Also, businesses lack a clear strategy or process to back their device purchase decisions and rarely have clearly articulated device security guidelines.
The print infrastructure needs to be customized specifically for each business. For example, the printing needs of a law firm are different from that of a healthcare facility, which in turn is different from that of an insurance company.
Managed print services can help address the above customization requirements, save costs for the business, and improve the end-user experience. An MPS provider will deliver cost savings by right-sizing print assets and freeing up the IT team from the need to perform routine tasks - enabling them to instead concentrate on core business tasks.
Availing of managed print services leads to several long-term benefits for the business:
- Cost savings.
- Access to hardware/software that enhances data security.
- Increased operational efficiency.
- Improved end-user/employee experience.
For most business/IT leaders, managing the firm’s print assets is a low priority concern. Instead, their attention is focused on business goals and people management. However, inefficient print infrastructure management can add substantially to operational costs.
Managed print services, most importantly, helped in the reduction of business print service costs. MPS also helps regulate print supplies by freeing businesses of the need to hold expensive inventory by shipping print supplies/consumables only when the business needs them.
The print assets are also usually the cause for most IT tickets. Through preventive maintenance and predictive analytics, MPS helps reduce print infra breakdown, improving operational efficiencies.
The Right Approach to Managed Print Services?
Having the appropriate print strategy is essential for streamlining operations, reducing costs, and providing a superior employee experience.
While arriving at the right approach to managed print services, it is essential to be aware that there is no one-approach-fits-all solution. The solution will vary with the size of the firm and the nature of the business. For example, a 50-person and 1000-person business will have different print needs, and the requirements of an insurance firm will be different from that of an IT firm.
An MPS provider can help with this - by performing an in-depth analysis of the business's existing print infrastructure. The analysis will help reveal:
- Wasteful expenditure on printing devices and supplies.
- Inefficiencies in the management of print devices.
- Data security risks.
- Potential productivity improvement measures to free up resources from device maintenance activities to focus on business growth.
The choice of the managed print service vendor, expectedly, has an outsize influence on service outcomes. A business should pick an MPS vendor based on:
- The managed print partner should have deep expertise and prior experience in the subject area.
- The vendor should have a proven ability to optimize the usage of devices and provide advice on improving efficiencies.
- The MPS provider should be the right fit for the business. The vendor should have the right processes and team to support the business’s print needs.
- The vendor should be brand-agnostic and should have the technical capability to support your brand of print devices and not try to sell his preferred brand.
- The managed print provider should be a trusted addition to the business’ team by relieving the business of print-related worries.
WeP Solutions Limited is an experienced MPS provider that manages your print needs and leaves you free to grow your business. WeP’s managed print solutions will save you the Capex on print assets, 10-15% savings on print supplies, and ensure data security.
To learn more and start a free trial, click here.