Managed Print Services

A Strategic Roadmap to an MPS Solution

One Program. Less Hassle.

You may think printers are no big deal, just sitting around, putting marks on paper. But consider all the people they touch inside your organization, from everyday usage to supply ordering and maintenance.

Printers can be a pain if they’re not managed properly.

The management of desktop printers is overlooked in many organizations, even though companies spend on average three to four percent of their annual revenue on printing.

On this page, you will learn the current trends in office printing technology and how a Managed Print Services (MPS) strategy is designed, implemented and used to further technology in an organization.  

Jump to a Topic:

 

What is Managed Print Services?

What every CFO, IT Director, Head of Purchasing and Office Manager should know about MPS

While many office copiers have a maintenance agreement for support when they break or need supplies, desktop printers can remain largely overlooked. An MPS solution puts printers on a support program that helps consolidate and streamline processes under one vendor.

To be effective, MPS programs are custom-tailored to match the unique needs of each office. At its core, every MPS program should include an initial assessment, design and rightsizing of print efficiency and infrastructure, implementation and monitoring of a new print strategy and future adjustments as needed. How to gain control of your printers with MPS is explained further down on this page. 

Similar to the outsourcing of other business processes, implementing an MPS plan allows a business to stay focused on its core competencies. When properly conceived and executed, MPS programs enable organizations to:

  • optimize their copying and printing infrastructure (reducing devices)
  • streamline supply fulfillment and maintenance procedures 
  • secure their printer environment and ensure compliance
  • consolidate multiple vendors into one point of contact across their enterprise
  • improve workflow and organizational processes (organization-wise)

MPS is scalable for any size organization and optimally targeted at the small- and medium-size business (SMB) sector. SMBs that do not investigate an MPS solution are missing a significant opportunity to enhance their network security, streamline processes for efficiency and improve their bottom line.


How MPS Has Helped Real Clients

Through strategic implementation of customized MPS programs for clients, Loffler Companies has documented a variety of MPS successes. Click on the images below to read Case Studies.

Global Finishing Solutions is the largest and most technically capable spray booth manufacturing facility in the world, with offices in Mexico, Canada and the United states, including a 400-employee office in Osseo, WI. By consolidating print and copy models by 50%, ongoing monitoring and auto-ship, they decreased their print spending by more than $100,000 over five years.

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Factory Motor Parts is a nation-wide provider of automotive parts with 125 locations across the U.S. By reducing their print fleet by 27% in a right-sizing adjustment, and consolidating five vendors into one, they were able to reduce their total cost of print fleet ownership (hardware, maintenance, supplies and support) by $75,000 per year.

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The Office Printing Landscape Has Changed

How can you reach a successful solution to printer management? First, we must understand what challenges organizations face when their printers are not well managed.

Printer Security

In 2017, 60% of organizations reported one or more print-related data breaches.1 

Many organizations are in the midst of a digital transformation, where they’re engaging technology to better serve their employees and customers. With technological advancement comes the ever-changing and ever-present threat of cybersecurity attacks, including those that can come through an unsecured printer.

Cyber security concerns from networked multifunction devices have changed the landscape of office printing. Today, printer security is the primary goal for 82% of organizations seeking an MPS solution.2  The starting point for printer security is a security assessment, and 88% of organizations have either completed or are currently partaking in one.3  Even so, only 25% of organizations are confident their printer infrastructure would be safe from a security breach.4 

We recommend two focus points for printer security: First, protecting against outside cyber-attacks and second, controlling your internal print environment.

1. Protecting Against Outside Threats

Companies are using multiple IT security measures to protect data on networks, PCs and servers, but is your printing and imaging environment as secure as the rest of your infrastructure? Although office copiers and printers are connected to your network, only 16% of IT decision-makers think these devices are at high risk for a security threat.5

Modern printer security functions that help reduce waste and meet security compliance standards require your printers to be connected to your network. Any unsecured device on your network is a potential hazard to your IT security, so it's important to secure your printers from outside breaches. 

On a large, enterprise scope, the average cost of information theft to corporations is $3.62 million per incident.6  The average cost for a data breach at an SMB is much lower, $36,000, but 60% of SMBs that suffer a data breach are likely to go out of business in the six months following the attack.7 

To help secure your business, look for a solution that simplifies and strengthens security throughout your printing and imaging environment. MPS integrates security offerings that offer constant monitoring and instant notification of printer security breaches, so you can respond to a threat as soon as it appears. These offerings include:

  • Printer security assessments
  • Authentication controls to limit access
  • Secure release solutions that eliminate abandoned print
  • Constant, automatic monitoring of printer threats

2. Controlling Your Internal Print Environment

Common security breaches occur in your own office every day. Unclaimed documents left on printers for anyone to grab are a security breach waiting to happen. An MPS solution can eliminate unclaimed documents as well as lower the number of prints made, because of the ability to print only those documents you really need. This reduces waste and unnecessary spending. Examples of internal printer security measures are:

Secure Print/Follow Me Print

Picture using a single print driver for your entire fleet of copiers and printers. Print jobs follow a user from device to device, location to location, regardless of make or model. 

This technology allows you to send a document to print from anywhere to a single print driver that is available on all your connected printers and copiers. When you're ready to release the print job, simply choose which device to authenticate from and enter your code or scan your badge to release it at the device. In addition, you can select which of your print jobs you want to print and even delete them from the printer. You can also configure your system so that jobs disappear from the queue after three days.

Secure Print/Follow Me Print offers the benefits of controlling and reducing print costs, increasing document security, improving employee productivity and helping to save the environment.

Advantages of Secure Print/Follow Me Print:

  • Print from anywhere
  • One driver for all devices
  • Flexible authentication at the device
  • Personal secure print queue
  • Secure release of documents
  • Eliminate abandoned print

Secure Scan

Secure Scan commonly goes along with Secure Print. Scanning to email is not the best practice for many organizations anymore, because once a document is in an email, it's always in that email. This can be a nightmare for regulated industries and compliance concerns.

Secure Scan allows for robust workflow options such as scanning to SharePoint, Google Docs, sub-folder navigation, meta-data entry during the scanning process and triggering workflow notifications when documents are dropped into specific folders. No more scanning to email.

In addition, Secure Scan allows you to track who has scanned a document, what they scanned, when, and where they sent it.

Advantages of Secure Scan:

  • Scan securely instead of emailing confidential information
  • Utilize active directory; scan to a folder on the network
  • Track who, what, when and where a document was scanned

 

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Understanding the True Cost of Printing

Sixty-four percent of companies don’t know where their print dollars are being spent.

Business goals, technology and budgets are always moving targets. It's possible, however, to pinpoint daily business processes where companies are inefficiently utilizing staff and spending excessively.

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One such operation overlooked in most organizations is printer management. On average, companies spend on average 3-4% of their annual revenue on imaging and printing.8  Because of ad-hoc and un-centralized spending, 64% of SMBs can’t track their usage and print costs, so they don’t know where their money is being spent.9

Unlike relatively common cost-per-page programs for copier fleets, which are easily tracked, only 36% of organizations monitor their printing costs. Companies may track their per-copy cost down to the penny, but that model typically doesn’t apply to printers.

With possible document savings of 20-30%, you may find compelling return-on-investment data that makes investigating an MPS contract a worthwhile venture. For 33% of organizations that choose MPS, reduced expenditures is listed as the leading reason for choosing the program.10 

The various costs and employee time demands associated with a printer spreads the cost across a number of departments and line items. In evaluating the true cost of printing, it’s necessary to consider support calls, maintenance operations, repairs, toner cartridge ordering, paper supplies and invoicing as just a few of the relevant factors. For example, every toner, part or service call will generate an invoice for your administrative team to pay. Studies show it costs between $4.98 and $12.44 to process every invoice.11  That is time and money spent in addition to the actual cost of the supply or service, and the time involved in the machine itself being down.

When analyzing the impact of even a single printer, it is important to consider every aspect:

  • Initial purchase
  • Supply orders
  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Cost and time of repairs
  • Timing of eventual replacement

In a surprising number of companies, a different vendor (and/or internal department) handles each of these aspects of device management. This creates not only immediate costs, which are often difficult to gauge, but also the potential for expensive redundancies, missed orders and unreasonably long down times.

The goal of MPS is to reduce printing costs by turning to a single vendor to service and support a company’s entire range of copiers and printers. This approach offers a variety of benefits, including reduced time required to administer multiple vendors.

Research indicates that companies that initiate MPS quickly discover significant benefits and savings. For most SMBs, the choice to adopt an MPS strategy will come down to a cost-benefit analysis.

With the potential to save up to 30% on printing expenditures with MPS (which generally account for more than 3% of annual revenue), maintaining the status quo creates unnecessary costs for most businesses.

A company with $3 million in annual revenues, for instance, would be typically spending between $60,000 and $90,000 per year on printing-related expenses. Research indicates that improved processes could create savings between $18,000 and $27,000 per year. Even a $1 million company stands to reap savings of $6,000 to $9,000 per year. 


The Printer Burden on IT

Twelve percent of an IT budget is typically spent on printer-related issues.

For many companies operations or purchasing used to make decisions regarding copiers. They chose copier vendors, selected models to purchase, ordered supplies and determined service and maintenance vendors. Printers, on the other hand, were typically managed by the IT department, since they were connected to the network.

These two worlds have now converged: Copiers crossed into the domain of IT departments, since they need to be connected to the network. IT also had to understand what other functions each device offered in order to group users for access to the features they need. This required that IT and operations communicate clearly (and often) about the needs and requirements of departments and individuals. Unprecedented collaboration was needed to determine which machines would reside on the network and to create an overall plan and strategy for the modern office printing infrastructure.

Printer management has evolved into an opportunity for IT and operations to streamline their approach in a way that benefits not only each department, but the entire organization. Rather than dealing with a variety of vendors—one for copiers in purchasing, one for printers in IT, another to provide toner cartridges, and yet another to provide repair services—one company can handle all these needs comprehensively. IT departments, in particular, receive the notable benefit of shedding mundane support and maintenance tasks surrounding networked printers. This allows IT executives to stay focused on higher-level, mission-critical responsibilities.

Printers account for at least 12% of IT time resources.12  MPS can reduce the demand printers place on your IT team by taking printer-related issues off their plate so they can spend more time on mission critical tasks for your organization.


Impact on the Environment

If not managed properly, a company’s printing habits create unnecessary ecological strain.

Savvy businesses understand that sustainable business practices today are far more than a pro-environment statement. Sustainability should be at the heart of any business plan simply for the goal of maintaining an organization’s livelihood.

Whether green practices are a specific priority or not, the cost savings and workflow efficiencies gained by implementing MPS present a compelling case for doing the right thing. And, of course, reduced paper and ink consumption plus improved recycling are two of the greatest contributions a well-designed MPS solution can make to the planet.

Recent estimates have said each office worker prints over 17 pages each day, on average. If an employee works 260 days per year, that's about 4,521 pages per employee per year.13  With MPS, your organization can reduce energy consumption, lower paper waste, lessen your carbon footprint and streamline recycling and disposal of hardware and cartridges.

MPS offers real-world strategies that make your company’s green goals line up with profit. MPS programs are specifically designed to cut down on waste and improve efficiency, with a direct effect on your bottom line.

Saved paper (e.g., through standard duplex printing policies) and energy reductions are relatively easy to calculate, but a good MPS provider, in their initial analysis, can also provide an indication of prospective savings through improved workflows and the associated time, money, supplies and energy that were involved in managing an inefficient system. 

MPS print tracking software offers quick and easy ways to reduce and monitor a company’s paper, supplies and print-related energy. Features like programmed sleep and wake modes for an entire printer fleet can create cost and energy savings literally overnight. These are just two samples of how an MPS can contribute significantly to a company’s green IT goals.


How to Gain Control of Your Printers with Managed Print Services 

Now that you know what MPS is, how can it work for your organization?
What does implementing MPS look like from the beginning to continued success? Begin with the end in mind. 

Optimize

In this stage, MPS specialists evaluate your current print environment and analyze it to help you better understand opportunities for consolidation of vendors and devices. This may include a walk though of your building(s) and analysis of your current floor plan and printer placement to identify inefficient processes and unnecessary expenses. From this analysis, suggestions will be made for rightsizing your print environment.

  • Design project plan (Statement of Work)
  • Assess current state via print monitoring software (design, usage and spending)
  • Identification of inefficient processes, overtaxed support staff and unnecessary expense
  • Design future state recommendation
  • Establish proposed costs and associated savings
  • Right-size environment/redirect print
  • Consolidate vendors

Planning a new MPS strategy begins by clearly establishing your business goals. While immediate cost savings or security and compliance are often first priorities, improved productivity and reduction of ongoing operating expenses can also have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. A successful MPS solution can offer all of these benefits and more, but in the planning stage, it is important to custom-tailor the approach to a company’s most pressing needs.

Once business objectives are set, the next step is to assess the current environment. An MPS specialist can assist in identifying the infrastructure and resources that are involved in a company’s document imaging and printing. This includes mapping the physical placement of each piece of equipment (relative to the people it serves) and tracing the steps and human capital required for service and support.

It is important to identify all the employees and vendors involved in the entire printing workflow from procurement and installation to daily use, periodic software updates, supply replenishment and so on. An effective assessment will include measurements (or at least estimates) of supply consumption, energy use and even a carbon footprint. Ultimately this provides the data needed to calculate the true cost of printing.

The data is then analyzed to find inefficiencies and opportunities to better utilize hardware. The resulting data assists in suggesting where replacement devices or alternative means of support and maintenance will likely yield savings.


Manage Environment

After plans for optimization are established, the solution is implemented. If necessary, new equipment is procured, installed and securely networked. Next, training will occur to ensure a smooth transition. Then, ongoing maintenance, supply ordering and tracking begins.

  • Implementation
  • Training
  • Device management ongoing management (measure results)
  • Ongoing supply tracking (e.g., real-time toner levels) and predictive supply ordering
  • Day-to-day maintenance, support and repairs statistics & reporting
  • 24-hour online customer service portal
  • Cost-per-page summaries and tracking
  • Regular supply utilization reports
  • Ongoing equipment efficiency analyses
  • Identify any necessary changes
  • Recommendations for adjustments as needed to continuously improve

The next step is implementing the solution. Implementation consists of optimizing the retained equipment, integrating any new software or hardware elements for maximum efficiency and training employees on any new workflow protocols.

Redundant vendors can be eliminated, along with the time and expense of managing multiple service and support contracts. When maintenance request procedures become automated, supply orders are fulfilled predictively and timely support responses maximize up-time.

Once MPS is in place, you can deliberately manage and track your printing environment. MPS offers visibility for the client to understand their organization’s printing habits and supply needs by tracking usage.

When properly implemented by an MPS specialist, the new system transfers both day-to-day and high-level strategic issues away from IT and into the hands of the MPS partner. Once a company’s printing and imaging process has been streamlined in this way, that company gains a more efficient, sustainable approach to the capturing, management, security, retrieval and sharing of its documents.

Your MPS specialist will continue ongoing equipment efficiency analyses to identify any changes needed and recommend adjustments for your environment to continuously improve.

The next part of the process is to review the measured results created by MPS. Taking a strategic approach to the ongoing management of an overall imaging and printing environment means continuously assessing and evaluating it to ensure the plan is in place and performing as expected.

Careful monitoring of the system, including the fleet, supplies and support gives greater insight into usage trends, capacity and spending.

In the best MPS programs, a series of custom reports that are easily accessible by an administrator from any networked desktop allows real-time monitoring and review of fleet data to ensure maximum operational efficiency of individual devices and the system as a whole.

Regular status reports on network printer performance, usage and costs reveal ways to make recommendations for ongoing improvements to efficiency and sustainability. Further improvements in critical, paper-based processes include analyzing current approaches and evaluating options like scan-to-email, scan-to-folder and scan-to-fax capabilities found in multifunctional devices. Relying on digital-to-digital data transfer reduces the need for hard copies, further saving on costs and document preparation time.

Uptime and utilization is continually monitored and measured to look for workflow and hardware utilization enhancements. MPS is an ongoing process, so client results are constantly measured and reviewed to reveal efficiencies gained and to make further recommendations for process improvements as necessary.


Improve Workflow

Document management evolves with your business. Once print management and the tracking of results is in place, it is time to explore further improvements to workflows with the aim of creating sustainable results.

This is how MPS is no longer just about achieving significant cost reduction targets; MPS is an enabler for digital transformation. It is about moving to an optimized future state that drives business process efficiency. Overall, 88% of organizations say that MPS is important to digital transformation.14 

A key starting point to improving workflows is digitization and utilizing smart MFP technology. Organizations using MPS are 55% more likely to have implemented organization-wide policies for managing both paper and digital information compared to those not using MPS (29%).15 

Valuable end-user time can be saved through improvements made to controlled printing of confidential data, the ability to print from mobile devices, and limiting problems, errors and mistakes. An MPS savings of 47% will be seen from implementing workflow improvements.16

MPS can lead to improved workflow via:

  • Document capture and indexing
  • Document storage and archival
  • Document distribution softwares
  • Forms automation
  • Fax server
  • Mobile printing
  • Controlled printing of confidential data

MPS Works for You

Managed print operates on the principle of “do what you do best”

MPS brings organizations a variety of benefits, while allowing the enterprise and those within it to stay focused on core competencies and mission-critical tasks. Improved processes and efficiencies for printer management helps secure printers, improve the bottom line, focus IT resources where they will have the most impact, and reduce wastefulness.

The fleet of printers and copiers is streamlined so that each device is utilized for optimal access to its capacity and capabilities. Detailed monitoring provides regular reports that document the use of paper, supplies, and energy so that savings can be accurately measured and adjusted. Measurable improvements in energy consumption and recycling compliance help make the work environment greener and more sustainable.

Partnering with an MPS expert makes sense and yields measurable, tangible benefits in many arenas. Choosing the right MPS partner provides the expertise that comes with specializing in what they do best. It also creates a system that offers reliable service and support and a big-picture strategic sense of how to achieve your business goals by turning your technological infrastructure into the asset it was meant to be.


Next Stop: A Custom MPS Assessment

No-cost, risk-free analysis quickly estimates impact

Printers can be more secure, cost you less and improve efficiencies in your office with a strategic partner like Loffler to help create a customized print management strategy. A Loffler print management expert can visit your site for a no-obligation assessment of your print and copier environment. In return, you get a complimentary report on how a customized MPS plan can start saving you time and money.

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