Choosing the right “Managed Print Services” provider
You have outlined your Managed Print Services goals and your employees are ready to get involved in this new strategy. All that remains is to implement your managed print solution. But where do you start? More and more providers offer this type of service. How do you choose the right provider?
First of all, you should keep in mind that their solution must enable you to:
- Increase productivity by freeing up time
- Generate savings by optimising costs
- Allow better visibility of your print fleet
The 6 main criteria to consider when choosing your provider:
1. Flexibility and adaptability
Can they adapt to you and not the other way Round? For example, manufacturers (OEM) may require you to get new equipment if you have a multi-brand fleet. Others may also ask you to invest in impressive equipment that does not fit with your daily needs, without considering volumes and your current fleet.
You should know that independent providers are able to offer you solutions without you having to invest in new equipment. It is quite possible to implement a Managed Print Services solution with a multi-brand fleet.
Also, check that the contract is flexible. Is it possible to add or to remove printers without having a huge impact on the contract?
A good provider will listen to you and will ensure that they are flexible in order to work with your constraints.
When a provider relies on sound methods and is effective, this comes through in their customer testimonials or in their feedback. Try to find opinions or success stories of current customers of the provider you are talking to.
Customer loyalty can also confirm their reliability.
3. Simplification of your processes
Ask your provider about setting up the process. What are the timelines? Manufacturers’ offers are not always suitable for SMEs because the process may be complicated, and its implementation may be time-consuming. Sometimes it takes up to 6 months. Therefore, there are no real savings from the start of the contract. Yet, your goal is to simplify the management of your print fleet.
For an SME, the set up process must be quick and simple:
- 1 single invoice
- no change of equipment
4. Support and follow-up
Does your potential provider assign you a dedicated contact person? This person should be involved, professional and experienced. Talk with them to see if they take the time to explain the solution properly without using jargon, and whether you feel that they will offer real support. Some providers also offer accessible and efficient technical support. Also check whether you will have regular reports.
5. An optimised cost per page
Depending on whether your provider uses sub-contractors or if they choose compatible consumables, the cost per page can be higher or lower. Independent providers that offer compatible remanufactured (refurbished) parts manage to reduce costs considerably while retaining the same print quality.
6. Awareness of sustainable development
Depending on your company’s CSR policy, you may be more or less aware of the concepts of sustainable development. Some providers take this into account by offering a consumable collection service within your contract, in addition to the management of your print fleet. Some providers like Armor Office Printing, with its OWA Print Services offer, will even give you a materials audit for your CSR report.