One of the easiest ways for businesses to save money, increase productivity, and support their employees is by taking away one of the most complex office tasks – printing.
Setting up, overseeing, and managing the day-to-day responsibilities of printing can be a massive drain on your company's resources. Sourcing and purchasing the best printers, setting them up securely and efficiently, and regularly troubleshooting and problem-solving these complex machines can eat up hours every month. This extra work must be managed by your IT or office management team, keeping them away from more critical, business-focused tasks.
Instead of relying on their in-house team to manage their printers, many businesses have opted to work with a managed print service (MPS) provider.
This is an external individual or organization that q1can step in to manage your office printing environment, ensuring benefits like:
- Increased printer cybersecurity
- Lower initial and monthly printing costs
- Improved efficiency
- Reduced administrative burden
- More sustainable policies around paper and ink usage
While the benefits of working with a managed print service provider are clear, many businesses don’t know how to choose the right partner.
Tips for Choosing the Right Print Service Provider
When you establish any new partnership, it helps to do your research. Choosing between managed print providers is no different. Each company offers a unique blend of expertise and experience and provides different levels of service that may or may not work for your needs.
Here are some tips to help guide you through the process of choosing a managed print services provider.
Seek out a recognized industry leader
Like most industries, managed print services has industry leaders whose experience and great reviews speak for themselves. To start, seek out a few recognized industry leaders, and see if they offer service in your area. You can also ask your peers in the industry for their recommendations.
Consider the technical capabilities of a provider
Each provider offers unique technical capabilities, depending on their team’s expertise. Some standard services you should expect to see include:
- Proactive maintenance
- Software Integration
- 24/7 help desk
- Device monitoring
Regardless of their services, a capable managed print services provider should be able to address technical challenges quickly and resolve any issues promptly. By considering the technical capabilities of your MPS provider, you can ensure a reliable and future-proof print infrastructure that aligns with your business goals and enhances overall productivity.
Assess customer service and support offerings
The customer support options offered by your provider directly impact how your staff will benefit from this service. If your staff have to wait hours or even days to resolve their printing issues, it will quickly affect their experience.
Before picking an MPS provider, contact the companies you’re considering and explore their customer service options. Will you get access to a 24/7 help desk, or are their staff only available during business hours?
Then, consider the needs of your team. If none of your staff ever require after-hours printing, you can probably rely on a provider offering only business-hours support. However, if your team regularly needs to access the company printer on evenings or weekends, you should plan your support accordingly.
Take into account the total cost of ownership (TCO)
The total cost of ownership (TCO) refers to the full amount you can expect to spend on your print fleet over its lifetime. While this figure can be difficult to calculate on your own, any MPS provider you’re considering should be able to give you some estimates based on your business’s needs and goals.
Once you have TCO estimates from a few different providers, you can compare and contrast.
3 Questions to Ask Before Entering into a Contract
Most MPS providers ask their clients to sign a service agreement to ensure they’re both on the same page regarding service packages, support options, and cost. Here are some questions you should ask before signing any agreement.
- What’s the length of the contract? And will it automatically renew, or should you expect to have a discussion with your providers before renewing each year?
- Does the provider offer any additional benefits or services? Even if you aren’t sure you’ll use every one of their benefits or services currently, it helps to know what they offer in case you need this flexibility in the future.
- Is hardware included in the plan? Never sign any agreement until you’re 100% sure you understand what is included. If you want your managed print services team to provide hardware, it must be spelled out in your contract.
Ready to Improve Your Printing?
If you’re tired of continually troubleshooting your printers, performing ongoing maintenance, and dealing with an insecure printing environment, we can help.
AOP focuses on managed print security and so much more. Our expertise allows us to custom-tailor solutions that keep your printing environment secure and your staff productive, no matter what office equipment you use.
Want to learn how we can help your business? Visit us online or call us at (337) 477-3700 for a quote.