April 24, 2024
Managed Print Services

The Evolution and Benefits of Managed Print Services: Optimizing Document Output for Modern Businesses

Managed print services (MPS) refer to outsourcing document output management to third-party service providers. With MPS, providers assume responsibility for managing, maintaining, and optimizing an organization’s multi-function printers, copiers, fax machines, and scanning devices. Over the past decade, MPS has grown into a billion-dollar industry as more businesses recognize the value it provides. This article discusses the benefits of MPS and why more companies are choosing to outsource their printing needs to experts.

At its core, managed print services involve a third-party assessing an organization’s current printing infrastructure and document workflow. The MPS provider then creates a customized solution to optimize productivity, streamline processes, and reduce costs. Some key aspects of MPS include:

– Device Management: MPS providers install, maintain, and repair multi-function printers and other devices. They stock supplies and ensure equipment is always operational.

– Usage Analysis: Usage data is collected to understand printing volume by department, paper size usage, and more. This helps identify optimization opportunities.

– Cost Management: MPS agreements set rates per print or copy to better control costs. Providers manage supplies budgets and resell or recycle old gear.

– Security: MPS providers can implement authentication and accounting tools to regulate device access and track usage. This enhances document security.

– Reporting: Detailed reports show printing activity and trends over time. This visibility helps curb wasteful habits and unnecessary printing.

– Advising: MPS providers act as printing consultants, recommending cheaper solutions when old habits are identified. They guide strategic equipment purchases.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Printing

There are clear advantages for businesses that outsource their printing functions to managed services providers:

Cost Savings

Lifecycle cost analysis almost always shows that MPS lowers overall printing costs versus managing devices in-house. Savings come from optimized procurement, supplies management, lower repair prices, and avoidance of expensive upgrades. One study found 90% of MPS customers reduced printing costs by 20-50%.

Reduced Risk & Ownership

Managed Print Services absolves companies of device ownership issues like maintenance, support calls, or equipment upgrades. Providers assume all the risks of keeping devices running reliably with a guaranteed service level. This removes headaches for IT departments and frees up capital for core business needs.

Increased Efficiency

By streamlining the document workflow and behavior analytics, MPS can cut print volumes by 10-50%. Less paper consumption means less storage space needed and employees wasting less time walking to pick up prints. Remote monitoring also reduces downtime from issues.

Process Improvement

MPS providers scrutinize client operations and recommend paperless solutions or digital substitutes for common print jobs. This creates new efficiencies, speeds up business activities, and cuts document management overhead through enhanced scanning/archiving tools.

Emphasis on Sustainability

MPS strongly pushes double-sided printing, recycled paper usage, and device power management to reduce environmental impact. Studies estimate the industry has prevented millions of trees from being chopped down by reducing paper consumption significantly for customers.

How Do Managed Print Services Work?

Once contracted, most MPS providers follow a series of steps to establish optimized document workflows:

Device Assessment

The starting point involves a thorough assessment of all current print hardware, usage trends, paper sizes utilized, and locations. This establishes a baseline.

Optimization Strategy

Providers analyze usage logs to identify areas for consolidation or digitization. They model scenarios to right-size the device fleet based on actual needs rather than perceived capacity requirements.

Implementation

Existing hardware may be removed, replaced or supplemented based on the strategy. New multi-functional devices, accounting tools, mobile printing apps and document management solutions get configured.

Change Management

Users receive training while communications educate on new processes and responsibilities. This change management prepare employees for workflow adjustments.

Ongoing Management

MPS agreements last 1-5 years on average. Providers continue monitoring equipment, refine strategies with usage data, and adjust the solution as the business and needs evolve over time. Contracts include SLA guarantees.

The Growth of Managed Print Services

Independent industry estimates value the worldwide MPS market at over $50 billion currently. According to research firm InfoTrends, over half of enterprise document outputs in the US and Europe are now managed by MPS providers. Key reasons for the rising popularity include:

– Recognition of Savings Potential: As more case studies demonstrated 20-50%+ cost cuts, skeptics were convinced of the tangible ROI.

– Maturation of Offerings: Early concerns about losing control have faded as standardized services, reporting and customization have strengthened.

– Environmental Pressure: Sustainable working and reduced paper/carbon footprints have become table stakes for responsible companies.

– Device Complexity Grew: As multifunction printers emerged, the skills needed to support fleets internally outgrew many IT groups.

– Need for Strategic Sourcing: Procurement professionals preferred vendors managing printing as a managed service versus an ad hoc line item.

– Rising IT Priorities: With digital transformation dominating IT roadmaps, printing support fell lower on the priority list for in-house teams.

Managed print services have revolutionized document output management for businesses worldwide. By leveraging experts and analytics-driven optimization, MPS delivers clear and well-documented savings while easing administrative burdens. As both organizations and technologies grow more sophisticated, managed print is emerging as the best long-term strategy for many companies needing to control, streamline and secure their printing environments.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it