Top tips to sourcing a Managed Print Service
In the UK alone, there are a limited number of printer manufacturers within the MPS market, but there are literally hundreds of resellers, dealers or partners selling these products/services. As such, you could end up getting 3 or 4 different quotes for the same technology and the prices being vastly different. (This is the same in the telecoms world too), because of this business owners/department heads often go with the lowest price because the benefits of the solution are often missed out by the salesperson, or not understood by the customer.
Here are our top tips for sourcing a Managed Print Service:
Making the buying choice by price alone could lead to disaster:
We often see customers playing suppliers off against each other in order to get the price as low as possible. While getting good value from your suppliers is something we strongly believe in, doing this with critical business services such as print could lead to disaster further into the contract term. If a supplier keeps reducing their price in order to win the business, what is the reason for this? Have they put such a high margin on their initial pricing knowing that they can drop the price without it really affecting their profits, or will a price drop result in the supplier not providing certain services to you? This is an often-overlooked consequence of price dropping.
Your chosen provider needs to understand your business – more than you do:Your Managed Print Service is more than just a printer somewhere in your business; each business has a different need for their devices – finance need the service for invoice runs as there are still businesses out there requesting paper invoices, creative and marketing teams will use them in order to check design work for marketing materials etc, the use cases for each department is vast If your chosen supplier fails to listen to you and take the time to understand your business goals and how your business operates, there is a chance that the solution that they recommend will not align to these goals and objections and like with the price element, it won’t be until the solution has been installed and running for a while until you notice.
Will your new service solve a problem or fix an issue?You might be coming to the end of your current MPS contract with your supplier and looking at alternative suppliers. We recommend that you always go to a variety of suppliers for your MPS to get a review of the marketplace rather than blindly extending your contract or accepting a new price from your incumbent. Data security is an extremely important part of your business and your printers could be an area that could get your business into hot water. Secure print is just one of the possible solutions to rectify this problem as you look for a new provider. Secure print works by holding print jobs in a queue and will only print when an employee enters a pin number or swipes an RFID card or fob to authenticate the user, this allows employees to print from any device on the network and in bulk, meaning that paperwork won’t be left in the printer until the employee goes to collect it – securing the data until that authentication takes place. This software defined solution is perfect for businesses that handle lots of personal and sensitive data, such as law firms, recruitment companies and finance houses.
There’s an app for that
Applications have been around for decades, but its only really since the advent of the smartphone back in the 2000’s that the term has become mainstream; and now app developers are sought after for businesses big and small. These developers aren’t focusing on app development for mobile devices anymore.
The core technology within a printer hasn’t really changed much over the past 10 years. With that being said, the ability to program these devices to do more than their core functionality of print, copy, and scan has become a rapidly evolving area and should be a key business decision when selecting a print solution. Integration from the printer into directly into online storage solutions(Dropbox, OneDrive) or accounting software through OCR is a quicker and more efficient method of entering invoice data into accounts payable than the traditional method.