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Guide to Starting and Understanding Managed Print Services

Mar 17, 2017 10:28:43 AM / by

Congratulations, you’ve now decided to investigate a Managed Print Services (MPS) program – now what? A robust MPS Program does not mean “everyone loses their printers” or “people are losing their jobs.” A properly designed and implemented MPS Program will return more time back to your organization. This will enable your staff to take on (and complete) more business-related activities that generating more revenue at a lower operational cost.

Consider a 36 month output analysis completed by a nationally recognized organization with over 5,000 employees with 1,500+ output devices found that their MPS initiative:

  1. Lowered their B/W cost per impression from $.035+ per page to about $.02 per impression. On output of 15,000,000 impressions the savings is $225,000 over 3 years.
  2. Lowered their Color cost per impression from $.18+ per page to about $.10 per impression. On output of 15,900,000 impressions the savings $1,272,000 over 3 years.
  3. Reduced all Help Desk calls by 37% shifting resources to more important & urgent projects, (soft costs).
  4. Saved 7,200,000 sheets of paper (1,440 cases of paper!) by requiring duplexing on most print jobs saving $72,000 in 3 years.
  5. Defaulting all printing to B/W (on all color devices) lowered color output, a part of item 2 above.
  6. Creation of an Approved MPS Equipment Catalog lowered administrative time researching devices from hours to minutes and standardizing all equipment to a dozen IT-approved MPS devices.
  7. Lowered administrative costs by eliminating toner purchase P-Card reconciliation, (soft costs).
  8. Greatly improved their Environmental Footprint with the implementation of a Toner Recycling Program.
  9. Improved on-service responsiveness from days to 3 hours or less (soft costs).

Add it up: $1,569,000 in hard cost savings plus soft costs savings over 3 years.


Let’s get started!


To find out where you’re going you’ll need to know where you are. Fleet assessment tools, such as Print Audit, will speed up data collection by capturing the usage data from the networked printers MIB Chip. These tools are non-intrusive and start reporting printer usage immediately with little IT involvement.

Begin Walk Through Immediately

MPS-Floorplan.jpgPrint Audit is great for capturing networked devices but it won’t find non-networked devices, nor will it “see” the number of paper drawers, scanners or non-networked fax machines that exist inside your business. Use a floor plan to chart the type and locations of each device during your walk-through and to provide a visual perspective of your devices in relation to where your employees work. Comparing the “before” floor plan to the “after” floor plan is important in ensuring all employees have reasonable access to the tools needed to perform their jobs effectively.

Once this information is gathered all devices need assessed to determine if they should be included inside a MPS Program.

NOTE: Inkjet printers are extremely expensive to operate and don’t include the necessary MIB Chip. These should be replaced or eliminated whenever necessary. Exceptions would be wide format, graphic inkjet printers, envelope printers, or other specialty ink jet printers.


Usages and Volumes

Once Print Audit is installed, it will start capturing device information (meters & toner levels) of every networked output device. Over time you’ll be able to gather the print volume of your organization enabling you better understand where the output is being made and your money spent! With the individual usage breakdown of each device a “snap-shot” of your output environment begins to take shape. Output histories can become more predictable over time identifying spending patterns that can then be used to determine more accurate budgets.

mps-12m-trend.pngDiscuss the analysis time period with your trusted CDIA+ Consultant to determine what time frame is necessary to capture accurate output data. During this collection phase re-examine how the existing device helps or hinders the departmental job responsibilities.  It might be that you have a 50ppm device in a dept. of 4 people and a 20ppm device in a department of 10 people. This in itself isn’t an issue unless you have the data to prove it. A Print Audit tool will show the usage information providing justification for every device helping you to make better equipment buying or redeployment decisions.

During the evaluation period use the “5 Rights of Print Management” to determine your output environment. The “5 Rights” are: 1) Right Type, 2) Right Speed, 3) Right Location, 4) Right Cost Per-Print and 5) Right To Control.

With the above steps accomplished, you will have enough data to generate a strong ROI for Hard Costs. Hard costs savings are savings that can be easily identified. As example of hard costs are the cost of toner cartridges, drums, onsite repairs and any outsourced IT costs spent evaluating or fixing broken printers. Soft Costs are more difficult to identify but offer tremendous additional costs savings. Examples of soft costs are:

  1. Admin no longer needs to take the time to order toner or manage the supply cabinet.
  2. IT no longer needs to address every “my printer isn’t working” phone call.
  3. Lower admin costs drop because P-Card purchases are reduced tremendously.
  4. Less equipment down-time.
  5. Fewer vendors, lower administrative costs.

Finally – Implement your MPS Solution!

Make sure your MPS vendor can provide a data collection tool, such as Print Audit, that also provides automated toner replenishments, automatic meter collection, equipment diagnostics and can support as many of your existing devices as possible.

Next Steps – Optimize!

Once the above steps are completed you’ll be in a MPS program where you can make business decisions based on factual usage data:

  1. Standardization of printer models, types and brands will streamline ordering process throughout the organization in a Pricing Catalog which can be placed on-line. This also helps your vendor because they’ll negotiate with their manufacturers for on-going best equipment pricing scenarios.
  2. Optimization – MPS is a living and breathing solution where changes should be made based on usage data, business conditions and improvements in technology.

We will analyze the results with processes from MPS Toolbox, HP, Info trends, Gartner Group and existing clients with similar equipment and volumes. Once implemented successfully it’s not unusual to see a 30-40% reduction in overall costs of supporting large multi-manufacturer fleets.


Output Control

More and more organizations are leveraging Output Control software to further enhance a MPS Program. PaperCutMF, for example, is an output control solution that reduces waste and the expenses related to printing, copying, faxing and scanning.  Every print/copy/fax/scan job is tracked inside the Admin console leaving an audit trail.

PaperCutMF will provide:

  1. Audit trail - You’ll know the “who, when, what and where” of every job sent to any networked device by requiring authentication at the MFP device.
  2. Elimination of and ongoing support of multiple print drivers, PaperCutMF only has two drivers, B/W and Color.
  3. Elimination of “Left-Over” print jobs at MFP’s. These are jobs that are printed but left on the output tray and never picked up reducing waste and improving document security.
  4. Provides multiple print destinations – The print job is sent to a Print Queue where it can be printed on any MFP on the network, not just at the closest MFP.
  5. Because PaperCutMF tracks user data it’s easier to track the expenses related to output.
    1. Print Audit is device based, PaperCutMF is user based.
  6. Elimination of accidental color prints/copies. Since PaperCutMF integrates with Active Directory it gives an organization total control over the output environment.

The ongoing management of a MPS program automatically provides detailed information that can be used to:

  1. Plan equipment buys based on actual usage, not on “it’s what we had before.”
  2. Create a single service rate for B/W and a single service rate for Color.
  3. Reallocation of devices inside the organization if a department’s or person’s role changes.
  4. Capture exact usage data that can be used to create more accurate budgets.
    1. Identify large printing jobs that can be moved to a less expensive device.
    2. Creation of a “less paper workflow” saving time, materials and money.

Barriers to a Successful MPS Implementation

  1. Culture Change – change in organizations can be viewed as negative changes. Often people confuse MPS with “oh no I’m losing my printer and can’t do my job!”.
    1. Analysis will show how much printing is actually done. MPS doesn’t mean everyone loses their printer. MPS is about using the right device in the right location at the right costs to maximize productivity. See the “5 Rights” again.
  2. IT Dept. – yes the IT Dept. can potentially roadblock any MPS initiative because it’s probably under their responsibility thus, a source of job justification. The larger picture is that IT has many important projects where supporting printers actually takes time away from these mission-critical activities. MPS returns time to the IT Dept. so they can address these more important functions.
  3. If It Isn’t Broken, Why Fix it? – In today’s environment of shrinking budgets and employment concerns, a proper MPS program will improve your organization in many ways including the reallocation of personnel to other hard to fill positions. If you don’t have a reliable and robust MPS Program it is broken.

Topics: office equipment baltimore, copiers and printers, buying office equipment

Glen Dellinger

Written by Glen Dellinger

Glen has over 30 years experience in customer service, technology sales, management and marketing. Glen works out of the Phillips Hunt Valley, Maryland location.

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