Modern office printing has come a long way since ‘cylinder seals’ were used for rolling impressions into objects in Egypt around 3500 BC. Back then creating a cylinder seal required engraving the seal in hard-stone, glass or ceramic, and then rolling the seal across the printing surface. These cylinder seals would create images through depressions on the cylinder surface (primarily used in wet clay) or raised areas on the cylinder (for printing images on cloth).
Fortunately, printing is a much simpler assignment these days.
Thanks to major technological advancements, particularly with the development of the first electrophotography photocopying technique in 1938, workplaces today rely heavily on their printers for communication, information capture, information sharing, and information archiving.
With printers being an integral part of business today, it is critical that they are well managed. This is where a Managed Print Service (MPS) can be highly effective in maximising business return.
A managed print service provides businesses with a customised print fleet management service encompassing printer hardware, consumables such as toner, and service and maintenance. This means a print fleet is managed by a single service provider to ensure it delivers the most cost-effective printers, that toner is supplied only when needed, and that print devices are regularly serviced and promptly repaired in the event of a breakdown. The result is a print management plan and agreement that provides both productivity and cost benefits.
A managed print service plan can dramatically improve the overall productivity of a business. First and foremost a managed print service plan will help to reduce the burden on IT departments and support staff. The managed print service provider will usually provide a central help desk that staff can call for any print related issues, limiting the unnecessary print related enquiries to IT personnel.
Secondly, a managed print service plan allows businesses to maintain a modern print fleet. Businesses will no longer have expensive ten-year-old printers still being used in the accounting department. The print fleet is regularly refreshed, providing new technology, additional print functions, lower operating costs, and a reduction in breakdowns.
Thirdly, a managed print service allows businesses to standardise their fleet with the same brand and models. This has many benefits in cost management but it also helps to improve business productivity. A standardised print fleet ensures staff are familiar with devices and know how to operate the devices, change toners, and undertake general troubleshooting.
Finally, with a managed print service plan there is an agreement in place with the service provider which can usually cover agreed service level agreements such as printer breakdown response times which can severely impact productivity.
For any business, budgeting and controlling print costs and expenses is critical. The biggest threat to cost management of printing is a lack of transparency. With a managed print service plan the business has complete transparency and certainty on print costs and there a several ways a managed print service plan can do this.
Firstly a move to a managed print service plan means your entire print fleet (devices, toner, and maintenance) including printing volume move under one monthly agreed fee, making budgeting and cost management simple. This can also then free up much-needed capital for a business to invest in other areas.
Secondly, a managed print service will dramatically reduce print wastage which can lead to substantial cost savings. Under a managed print service plan devices are consolidated which means the variation in toner requirements is reduced. Businesses will reduce the need to have money tied up with a wide variety of different toners scattered throughout the business. Under a managed print service plan, the service provider has real-time transparency of toner usage for every device and can deliver toners to a business only when required.
Thirdly a managed print service plan can optimise the print fleet to ensure cost-saving printer settings are applied to all devices. These default settings might include double-sided printing, mono printing, and printing in draft quality mode. Settings can be changed by the user if required, but the consolidation of default settings on every device from a central management dashboard can have dramatic cost savings for day-to-day printing.
Finally, a managed print service plan provides the transparency a business needs in managing costs. Under a managed print service plan, businesses have access to a reporting tool to track and measure key indicators across the entire print fleet and each cost centre. Indicators including print volume and colour printing versus mono printing, are easily analysed. If businesses also look to recoup their printing costs from clients in the form of on-charging these costs, the transparency from a managed print service plan makes this task simple and easy.
Overall a managed print service plan developed in partnership with an experienced and reputable service provider can have impressive returns for business by increasing productivity and decreasing costs.
Contact Colourworks Australia today to discuss how a managed print service plan can achieve this for your business.