Managed Print Services is (MPS) defined as when a business lets an external service provider oversee their printing needs. The MPS vendor takes on all printing responsibilities, from network setup and software provision to network management and long-term print optimisation.
Over the years, this arrangement has become increasingly popular due to the rising costs (in the long run) of leasing and purchasing printing hardware. But if your business is to reap the full benefits of managed print services, the relationship has to extend beyond placing a shiny new machine in your workspace; you’ll need a managed print services assessment.
An MPS assessment is arguably the most important role your print service provider (with your help of course) will play. In fact, the success of your arrangement highly depends on the success of this assessment. Here are the biggest benefits your business will enjoy from a well-executed and thorough MPS assessment and why you need one.
1. Understanding your printing needs
It might not seem like much, but do you understand your printing needs? And why is it important to? Well, it's all about efficiency. A lot goes on in the office space; some employees work to beat deadlines, others are working on multiple projects, and more often than not, some have to do both.
With so much chaos, it's really easy to lose track of what actually needs to be printed. So, employees end up printing documents that are either already printed or would have served just fine (if not better) in soft copy. Since such situations are detrimental to the overall efficiency of your office, an evaluation of your printing needs through an MPS assessment is necessary.
2. Helps you understand your print infrastructure
Having printing equipment is just one step in the process. To make sure a managed print service arrangement works, you need to understand your print infrastructure, and luckily, an MPS assessment will help you do this.
During the process, your MPS vendor will analyse your print infrastructure. They look at the plan, its efficiency, and whether your current equipment meets all your needs. You will also receive a detailed report showing your equipment type and age.
As such, you will receive expert recommendations on replacing existing equipment or adding new ones to your existing plan. With the help of your MPS vendor, you will also be able to design a plan that suits both you and your employees and helps you get the best out of your current infrastructure.
3. Gives better insight into the office workflow
Knowing how printing tasks and information flows through your business is essential to its success. While things may look okay on the surface, it is not uncommon to find areas of delay and information loss in your organisation.
A managed print service assessment analysis will inspect the workflow and information flow in your fleet equipment. Your MPS vendor will provide a full assessment of your workflow that details any areas with inefficiencies. They will also propose possible alternatives that can maximise your print efforts and improve your workflow speed.
With full knowledge of the work and information flow in your fleet, you can now implement changes that best fit the needs of you, your customers, and employees.
4. May uncover potential security concerns
Printers pose a huge security risk, especially if you’re dealing in trade or business secrets. Unfortunately, many owners overlook their fleet when it comes to information security, and sensitive documents often end up in the wrong hands.
A managed print service assessment is the only way to identify gaps in the fleet and deal with them accordingly. If you don’t already have these, your MPS vendor may suggest a printer queue, printer logins for users, and individual user accounts based on the particular needs of individuals.
By giving you management access to all these, you may track who prints what and restrict wrong individuals from accessing and printing sensitive documents in queue.
5. If there are changes to your workplace
If you run a business, you know that change is inevitable. Technology, the workforce, and the market are constantly changing, and if businesses are to succeed, they need to adapt to the evolving environment. In your case, you may have implemented new technologies, opened a new location, closed another, or changed locations.
Or, more relatably, the COVID pandemic forced a lot of businesses to change in ways they hadn’t planned to. Hiring practices were affected, technology took center stage, and more employees than ever started working remotely. And although you may not have noticed it, this meant a change in the MPS ecosystem.
So, whatever MPS assessment you had before doesn’t paint an accurate picture of your fleet. Maybe it says that your fleet infrastructure is running optimally, but you probably have more than you need, or what you have is different from what you need.
Therefore, you need a new MPS assessment to help you understand what you have vs. what you need according to your current work situation and needs.
6. Increased efficiency and lower costs
Ultimately, a managed print service assessment culminates in reduced costs and increased efficiency in the workplace. Once you have a good understanding of your office’s printing needs and infrastructure, have bought and set up a fleet that suits your business needs, you’ll be able to eliminate any unnecessary costs.
An MPS assessment also helps develop a more efficient fleet plan that results in smoother work and information flow in the office.
7. It minimises your environmental impact
If you’re all about a greener planet, an MPS assessment is a step in the right direction. This is because, after analysis, your MPS provider may suggest you switch to low energy consumption devices and help you integrate electronic forms to reduce paper usage. There will also be reduced waste due to increased efficiency, all of which reduce your business’ impact on the environment.
A managed print assessment carries a lot of cost savings, efficiency, and environmental benefits, making it one of the most important steps for a business in an MPS contract.
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