Whether you've never heard of managed print services before or have been studying it for weeks, the chances are high that you still have some questions. Managed print can take many forms and will change shape depending on the industry it's supporting--which, while good news for you, can make your research a little difficult.
For this reason, we've put together the ultimate guide to managed print services so you can go forward with confidence. Let's get started!
Managed Print Services Basics
Because managed print services can mean so many things to so many people, it's often helpful to start with the basics. Here's what you need to know:
Managed print services is, in basic terms, an outsourcing solution. Just like any other outsourced service, you give certain responsibilities and tasks to a third party so you can focus more closely on your own work.
Printer fleet management is often included in managed print services. It's the process of examining and optimizing your printer fleet, including makes, models, settings, physical positioning, and more.
Print audits are the first step in any managed print solution. They provide a snapshot of your print environment as it is right now, allowing you to understand your strengths and weaknesses while creating a benchmark you can use to see how far you've gone with managed print services.
Managed print providers are the outside source you choose to be your print partner. They act as your guide, champion, and supporter, taking some tasks off your shoulders and helping you navigate others.
Not all managed print services look exactly the same. You can often choose different levels of service, including:
Service only: If you're just looking for support with everyday challenges, you may be interested in engaging a managed print provider on a service-only basis.
Supplies only: Just hoping to get control of your supply orders, deliveries, and usage habits? A supplies-only agreement may be a good fit.
Both: Naturally, you'll enjoy the most significant benefits when you combine service and supplies to create a full-coverage managed print services approach.
One of the most important things to note about managed print services is that it isn't a stagnant solution. As you define it for yourself and make it fit your company's needs, you may find that what worked for you yesterday won't work tomorrow--which is why managed print, like your business, is always growing and changing.
Pros and Cons of Managed Print Services
Now that you know what you're dealing with, let's take an even closer look at managed print services by breaking them down into pros and cons.
There's a long list of benefits associated with managed print services. Here are just a few:
Saving time, money, and energy
Managed print services is all about making life easier--and it starts at the printers. By optimizing your fleet, eliminating extra steps, and strengthening your print environment, this solution can cut out wasteful habits that eat into your budget--not to mention save you the money and manpower you'd waste with extra work.
Network printers are often a hacker's first target. Luckily, managed print services help identify and target vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity approach, utilizing tools like encryption to keep your data safe on every print device.
Becoming environmentally friendly
Printers have a bad reputation when it comes to environmental friendliness. Managed print services help overcome that reputation by pointing out ways your printers can be greener--for example, using recycled supplies, learning when to use a digital communication solution instead of printing, and cutting wasteful habits.
There's only one significant con associated with managed print services--and that's the fact that not all providers are created equal. If you don't put thought, research, and careful consideration into your choice of print partner, you may not see the benefits you were hoping for, leading to frustration and a whole lot of wasted time and money.
Managed Print Services in Companies Like Yours
No managed print services guide would be complete if it didn't offer a chance to see this solution in action. The best part is that, since managed print services adapt to any industry, it can take different forms depending on what organization it's in. Let's take a closer look:
In the education system, managed print services have a big role to play. Schools can use managed print to effectively handle the massive amounts of paper used for assignments, student notes, internal communications, and more.
Healthcare brings unique needs to the table, like strict security regulations--and managed print delivers. By boosting security and introducing solutions that manage data more effectively between devices, managed print helps save lives.
Real estate agencies
Real estate agents have to organize a lot of stakeholders to close a deal. Luckily, managed print services are right there to help create a simple, structured approach to communication, allowing buyers and sellers alike to rely on great service from their real estate agency.
When serving customers is a company's main mission, it's often important to be able to pivot at the drop of a hat. Managed print services makes this flexibility seamless, helping companies choose solutions that can grow and change with their fluctuating needs.
There's a lot to know about managed print services, from its most basic definitions to its in-depth application in companies like yours. However, the most important part of managed print is how you'll use it--which means it's time to take that first step.
Ready to see what managed print services can do for you? Contact us today for all the help you need!