Five ways managed print services can benefit your business

When you have existing printers you've already bought and paid for, it's tempting to think that maintaining your existing fleet will cost less than purchasing new printers or signing up with a managed print services (MPS) provider. Why replace them if it's not absolutely necessary?

The costs of an ageing fleet stack up, and in the long term, managed print services are able to save you more than just money. Here are five benefits MPS could bring to your business.

1 - Cost savings

The consequences of sticking with an old printer are sometimes hidden, and can work at various levels, from running out of toner when you want to print an essential document, to the device breaking and your IT department being too busy to fix it. These consequences cost money, and the benefit of using managed print services is that you have the maximum availability of print when you need it most.

An MPS provider will look for ways to rationalise and consolidate your printers, replacing many old, large laser printers with a smaller number of newer, better distributed, faster devices or multi-function printers with all the necessary functions built in. Costs are visible and predictable, and you never have to worry about the expense of replacing ink and toners at different times across the business.

Maintaining your old printers might seem to help you keep costs low in the short term, but in the long term you'll miss out on cost-saving opportunities, while facing expenses and uncertainties that MPS providers are there to alleviate.

2 - Efficiency

Old printers waste valuable time, which always has an impact on the bottom line. Not only does the time spent waiting for a slower printer really add up over a business year, but every paper jam and malfunction means more wasted time that could be used more productively.

An MPS provider will come in and analyse your business, printers and requirements in terms of printing, scanning and copying. This doesn't mean pushing expensive hardware into every corner of the business, but instead they will look at where teams need specific capabilities, then will find the printer/s that will match those needs.

A really good provider will go further and look at ways that the business overall can print more efficiently, and save money by reducing the everyday print costs.

3 - Minimised downtime

In many organisations, employees can end up spending excessive amounts of time dealing with printers - not just waiting for old, slow devices to print, but dealing with malfunctions, changing cartridges, adding paper or waiting for someone from IT to fix a problem.

A good MPS provider will help reduce support costs and minimise downtime. Because it's their job to maintain your printers and keep them running with a steady stream of supplies, your own IT team frees up its time to work on other projects.

4 - Up-to-date security

Newer printers have better tools for maintenance, management and most importantly, security. This has never been more important, with every old and outdated device now a potential security risk. Options like pull-printing, cloud printing and printing from mobile devices have gone from being expensive extras to standard features, while NFC and ID card-based authentication are no longer the preserve of larger businesses.

MPS providers are there to sort out things like security updates or rapid changes to firmware. With more threats out there and greater penalties for data breaches, that's good news for businesses of every size.

5 - Environmental benefits

Do your existing printers have effective, high-performance duplex printing enabled? If not, you could be missing out on features that could save you up to 40% of your paper costs, according to some studies.

MPS providers look for ways to reduce waste, helping businesses make more effective use of more advanced printers and functions. Such printers have management features that prevent or discourage wastage, can restrict the use of colour, make duplex printing the default, or switch on pull printing, so that print jobs only print when actively requested from the printer. This can see drastic reductions in the number of printed pages left abandoned in the output tray.

Meanwhile, more modern, high-quality draft and eco-printing settings could use up to 50% less ink than standard modes, while producing output that's easily good enough for both internal and external usage.

Picture: Shutterstock

Esther Kezia Thorpe

Esther is a freelance media analyst, podcaster, and one-third of Media Voices. She has previously worked as a content marketing lead for Dennis Publishing and the Media Briefing. She writes frequently on topics such as subscriptions and tech developments for industry sites such as Digital Content Next and What’s New in Publishing. She is co-founder of the Publisher Podcast Awards and Publisher Podcast Summit; the first conference and awards dedicated to celebrating and elevating publisher podcasts.