One of the goals of managed print services (MPS) is to take the burden of printer maintenance off your employees and the organisation.

For example, a school consists of teachers and administrative staff with limited printer repair skills. When an issue arises, they have to rely on IT support, if there is any. If you manage a school, you can skip to the heading ‘What are the benefits of a Managed Print Service for schools?’ to learn more.

Your employees work in a tightly-knitted squad, and they are vital to the company’s growth. The last thing you want is printer issues occupying their time. You can take a look at the section ‘Does an SMB need a Managed Print Service?’ to learn how Managed Print enhances productivity for SMBs.


What is a Managed Print Service?

A managed print service can be defined as a contracted service by an external vendor to manage your organisation’s print infrastructure. Generally, the vendor will assess a company’s printing requirements, manage the hardware, and optimise the printing load.

By engaging a managed print service provider, you no longer have to worry about printers breaking down or printer set-up. The provider will also ensure that printing supplies like papers and toners are always available. 

A managed print service is about more than engaging a third-party to fix print problems in your company. The provider also manages printing technology integration in your company, such as remote and cloud-based printing.


How does a Managed Print Service work?

When you engage an MPS provider, you are outsourcing printing management to reduce costs and increase productivity. Before the provider offers suggestions, they will need to evaluate your company’s current printing architecture. If you are using aging printers that break down easily, the provider will recommend replacements.

Your managed print service provider will also optimise your printing assets according to the company’s workflow. They assess how your employees leverage printers and will make recommendations to increase printing efficiency.

For example, you want to implement a cloud-based printing service but the existing setup is not optimised for it. The provider will make the necessary integration to enable secure remote printing. Training is given to your employees for accessing documents and printing them on the cloud.

Managed print services can result in long-term cost reduction. An experienced provider will monitor print consumption and find out how to reduce costs. The provider will pick up incidents like printing the same document repeatedly.

You can expect professional support from the provider on printing issues. Whether it is a paper jam or network setup issues, a support team is on standby. The provider will also have services set up to ensure that you never run out of toner and paper.

The provider enhances your company’s printing process based on reports collected from the printers. It also helps you to forecast printing expenses with high accuracy. 


How to select a Managed Print Services provider

The idea of managed print and document services is simple. However, choosing the right provider is not. Consider these factors  before you sign up with a managed print provider in Australia:

Business Requirements

Figure out what your company lacks and look for a provider that will fill this gap. Are you staring at stacks of papers that were printed erroneously? Or do you need cloud-based printing for your remote team?

A provider is familiar with printing requirements, but some have more expertise in some areas. For example, you may find a provider that specialises in cloud printing security, while another has great offers for toner supplies. 

Cloud Technology

Technologies are changing how companies operate. More companies are adopting cloud printing for their employees. Cloud printing is more than setting up a printer in the cloud. Engaging a provider is also about ensuring shared documents on the print network are secure.

Track Record

Ask for proof of the provider’s past successes. This includes workflow improvements, reduced costs, and managing printer breakdowns. Read other clients’ testimonials before signing the managed print agreement.

Remember that you are paying a fixed cost for the managed print services rendered. You do not want to risk it by engaging a provider with little to offer.

Responsive Support

You will still bump into issues even after engaging a managed print provider. However, your provider should always be available when you need support and give you a fast resolution.


Managed Print Services benefits

If you are still printing the regular way, you will want to consider engaging a managed print service provider. Doing so brings various benefits to a company. 

Reduce expenses

How much are you spending on print-related costs? Are you buying more printers than needed? 

With a managed print service, you will get an accurate assessment of your printing framework. This leads to identifying printing behaviours that contribute to needless expenses. With the information, you can proactively take action to reduce your printing budget.

Optimised Efficiency

A managed print service leverages data collected from printers and devices to improve the print process. You can identify printers that are low on toner on the screen and replace them accordingly. Instead of manually placing orders for the toners, the system can order them automatically.

You will also spare your employees from repairing the printers if they break down. The managed print provider is ready to render assistance. The right MPS provider will also keep track of printer usage and plan for preventive maintenance or replacement. 

Better Security

When employees from different departments are sharing the same printer, there is a concern for security. The provider will implement authentication features. For example, having the personnel keying in a passcode on the printer before the document is printed out. 

Environmental Sustainability

Australian companies may be subjected to environmental legislation, depending on the business type. Even if it is not, you will want your company to be environmentally-conscious. It helps you to reduce costs, paper waste and develop a positive brand image.

An MPS provider can help you achieve those environmental goals. It does so by tracking metrics like print usage with software, which helps identify wastages due to human behaviour. 


What are the benefits of a Managed Print Service for schools?

Printers are an indispensable asset to schools. Yet, they are often a cause of frustration to teachers and students. School management is also troubled by the cost that comes with supporting the print fleets in the building. 

Managed print services can positively change how schools access the printers. Printing out large numbers of student assignments, progress reports and other documents can overwhelm school teachers.

Teachers can manage tasks more efficiently with the right integration. For example, integrating the print management solution with the student information system enables teachers to ensure that they are printing the right amount of learning materials.

Having a managed print service in place also spares the teachers from fixing printer breakdowns. Teachers can be more productive in doing what they do best — teaching. You also do not need to hire full-time IT support, which can be quite costly.

Some schools may opt to print learning materials on-demand. Managed print services allow saving the learning content in PDF files. Students can choose to print the material when needed through the cloud software offered. 

There must be a degree of confidentiality on printers shared by teachers and students. It would be inconvenient for students to pick up exam sheets printed by teachers as the exam will be compromised. You can set up print authentication with an access card or a pin code for retrieval. 


Does an SMB need a Managed Print Service?

It is not easy to run an SMB. To remain competitive, you will need to keep costs low to gain a healthy profit. This is why more SMB owners choose managed print services for their company. It is a move that increases the team’s productivity and reduces wastage. The printers are optimised according to the company’s workflow. Employees will stop printing with the wrong printers, which leads to unnecessarily high costs.

Perhaps the most outstanding value that a managed print provider can offer to an SMB is cloud printing. It is not as simple as hooking up a printer to the cloud network. For an SMB, cloud printing must come with security to prevent sensitive documents from leaking to the public.

With managed print and document services, you can store digital documents securely on the cloud server. Print access can be granted to personnel with authority to the respective documents. A secure cloud print setup also enables your staff to work remotely with company documents. 

You will be on track in meeting sustainability goals when you engage a managed print services provider. Doing so prevents printing mistakes, and that means fewer papers heading to the recycling bin. Also, your provider may recommend energy-saving printers, which will bring down the electricity bill.