Personal printers and toner are among the most unaudited costs incurred by many businesses. The time spent managing and maintaining these devices adds up quickly and reduces productivity that could be routed to more strategic administrative tasks. Companies are finding it easier to outsource this area of their business to professionals who specialize in assessing and managing print environments. If you’re reading this, you’re probably relating to these statements. Here’s 5 questions to consider when looking for a managed print services (MPS) provider that will compliment your organization.
5 Questions to Consider When Evaluating MPS Providers
1. Do They Have a Successful Track Record?
Entering into a new partnership can be frightening. It’s important to choose a partner that has a history of maintaining long term relationships with their clients. Ask your prospective provider to provide you with a few references that you can reach out to for quality feedback.
2. What Does Their Consultation Process Look Like?
A consultation should occur in the first meeting and should include many questions about your workflow, document types, security, and your specific goals for implementing a managed print solution. Their main objective should be to start with an assessment of your environment so both parties can understand what you are using, how you are using it, and how you want to manage it over time.
3. Do They Have Attention to Detail?
Most organizations will have a mix of networked and local printers. Your providers attention to detail will show you how seamless the implementation will be. Ideally, they will identify your devices for you and create a plan to manage both networked and local printers efficiently with manual meter reads removed. Ask them to write out their implementation plan with specific dates and goals. Some other details to consider are: Do their invoices come with detailed location and main contact note for each device? How do you order toner, request service, and recycle cartridges? If these steps are not outlined and clear for both parties, it is likely you will have to put extra work into a solution that should have saved you time.
4. Are They Willing to be Flexible?
Most providers are willing to be flexible with your solution; however, it is important to establish some ground rules throughout the process. You’ll want to work with a provider that understands your business will evolve over time and will be committed to growing with you.
A few simple questions to ask here would include:
- What happens when we want to add or remove devices from our contract?
- What if our page volumes change?
- Can we raise or lower our monthly volume commitment? If so, how do you handle that process?
5. Are They Able to Plan For Your Future?
Implementing a managed print solution is the first step to improving your print environment. An ideal MPS provider will start by helping you manage your current fleet as it sits without making many changes to the equipment. However, they should be able to outline a process for you as a “go–forward” tactic to help improve your printing practices. The goal is to work with a provider that will continue to bring value to your organization over time. If this is done well, you will have a provider that will help you;
- Outline a plan for strategic upgrades to mission critical devices.
- Refresh older devices that are at the end of their life cycle.
- Assess any devices that have security vulnerabilities.
- Formulate a plan help you reduce your output.
- Document management software offerings should be discussed to help eliminate paper intensive processes.
Congratulations on taking the first step to cost control within your organization. Choosing a provider that will grow with you and help make improvements to your organization will give you the peace of mind so you can continue to focus on your strategic goals.