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The pros and cons of MPS

October 12, 2017

Managed print services offer businesses a variety of benefits but they also come with their share of pitfalls.

A new article by Bit explores the advantages and disadvantages of using managed print services, revealing the different options available and casting a spotlight on the different traps that could be encountered, as well as the benefits of using MPS.

Stephen Withers writes, “In its very simplest form, you pick a printer just as if you were buying it, but all the hardware and consumables costs are rolled into a per-page charge, typically with just-in-time delivery.”

Alternatively, the MPS provider takes a look at a company’s specific business needs and then “determines the optimum printer fleet, taking into account productivity and cost, and actively manages and maintains the fleet, and rearranges and refreshes the hardware as requirements change and wear and tear takes its toll.”

Various print vendors also offer consumers managed print services, either directly, such as Konica Minolta, Toshiba, Ricoh and HP, or through channel partners like Rodin, Kiss Print Services and Fuji Xerox’s Xerox Partner Print Services.

You can also opt for an independent provider, such as Viatek and PrinterCorp.

According to Withers, “Some providers take a broader view and look at the workflows around paper documents, and may even look for current paper-based workflows that are ripe for digitisation.”

A number of pricing models are available when it comes to MPS, with the simplest being per page; however, this can come with “a minimum monthly commitment” as the provider “wants to be certain that it can amortise the fixed costs as planned, but it serves as a disincentive to significantly reducing the amount of printing you do.” In the case of per-page pricing there are certain providers, among them Kyocera, that incorporate service and maintenance into the price.

However other MPS providers, including SmartPrint, offer a different option: per-user billing, the main advantage of which, according to Withers, is predictability. A possible disadvantage is that “knowing the marginal cost of each page is zero could lead people to print more” and this can have negative implications on both your company budget and the environment.

“There are ways of offering managed print services that are great for the customer,” explained the value product marketing manager at Fuji Xerox, Glenn Gibson.

MPS help “encourage businesses to grow”, and as certain providers do not ask for a minimum volume commitment, Withers writes “not having to worry about ordering and stocking consumables may be sufficient benefit to make it worth switching to managed print services.”

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