Managed Print Services (MPS) is the next step in the evolution of Cost Per Copy type solutions as a means of selling print devices.
Full explanation of the mechanics of these arrangements can be found at Cost per copy.
With the basic understanding of MPS now in place, let's examine how it is sold.
Managed print represents the evolution of the traditional photocopier industry. Not so long ago, it focussed on “box” sales – providing the best equipment and selling its advantages over the opposition.
Not so today. Instead, good copier companies train their sales force to understand the work flows of their customer, to understand how to improve systems related to print and, ultimately, to save them money.
MPS is seen as a key requirement to achieve these lofty ambitions.
To save money, you have to understand how it is currently spent – who by – and why, particularly in relation to print.
Numerous print devices of varying age and quality, all producing different outcomes in terms of speed quality and cost, must be understood and the only way to do that is by undertaking a ‘print audit'. The selected copier company will examine all equipment, its age, usage, capability and appropriateness, and how much it is costing.
The print audit provides the basis for recommendations which are then made back to the customer regarding all things to do with print.
Based on this audit, things become clear and the copier company will be able to present a clear picture of the future – a future based on a Managed Print Services Plan that enables total control of the print fleet and all aspects of it, with the chief focus being on output and cost. This is then measured every month and reports are provided to the end-user, along with recommendations for further cost savings.
Put simply, such an exercise does not work in the long term, unless an MPS plan is put in place to manage all aspects of the relationship and to provide such visibility, as to allow informed decisions to be made.
These days, MPS solutions go even further to include other less traditional areas for the copier companies. They may now include a Document Storage and Solution software package, or an IT solution. These things become apparent as a result of the Print Audit and a better understanding of the work flow of the organisation. Rather than Managed Print Plans, they are called Managed Services Plan as they encapsulate a broader range of products. They may also be known as Facilities Management Plans.