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So your company has made the decision to partner with a Managed Print Service (MPS) provider? Great decision! By taking this leap, you'll soon save your business time, money, and tons of print-related headaches.

However, this decision is just the first step forward in the MPS process. Now, it's time to choose which managed print company you'll want to work with.

To make sure that you make the right choice, it is crucial to do all of your homework and ask the right questions before signing a contract. After all, when it comes to implementing new print solutions for your company, you should be looking at more than just dollar signs.

While service cost is important, it's also critical to focus on the future relationship you'll be building with a prospective print partner. That's the best way to ensure that your overall strategies, values, and visions are in-line with each other. Then, you'll confidently know that this partnership will be strong for years to come.

Think working with a managed print service is the perfect fit for your business to reduce print costs and improve business efficiency? Then, when narrowing down which company to work with, be sure to ask these five questions to a potential MPS partner before you sign a contract:

1. How are you an authority on the services you provide?

An internet search is often step one in the process of looking for an MPS provider. Though this is a great way for you to gather information, it can also be a great way for subpar businesses to fake the quality of their services.

We encourage you to put on your detective's hat and scour their webpages, online reviews, social media presence, and more to determine the legitimacy of their claims.

Their website should display a wealth of industry knowledge, testimonials, and a strong core mission. Can they show you how they engage with their customers? What are their company values? Are they are committed to providing the best services possible?

Then, when you talk to a company rep in-person, ask them to backup what's said online and have them expand on it. It’s simple for anyone—especially online—to say that they are industry leaders. Check the internet first, then talk to someone at the company to make sure that they can actually prove it. 

2. How do you take a proactive approach to managed print?

Any MPS provider can get you new devices and supplies for your print environment. But you deserve a partner that's dedicated to going above and beyond. They're called a partner for a reason, right?

Ask how your prospective provider has demonstrated that they've been proactive partners for current and past clients. Then, ask how they plan on exceeding expectations for you as well.

For instance, how do they foresee future device or security issues? What strategies do they have in regards to freeing up time for your IT department? A forward-thinking MPS provider knows exactly what major issues are likely to be faced on a daily basis. They should be eager help you solve problems you maybe didn't even know that you had!

3. Can you speak to one of their clients?

Better yet, ask the managed print rep for direct contact to one of their clients so you can ask them about their service. Any reputable MPS service will happily oblige as they believe in their organization.

Though speaking with a current client works, connecting with a past client is even better! This will provide you with the utmost assurance that all feedback will be honest and impartial. 

With this confirmation, you'll feel confident that the MPS team will be by your side from the beginning—and not just for the honeymoon period of your partnership.

4. How will you stand behind your promises?

It’s easy for companies to make empty promises that they never plan to keep. Make sure this doesn't happen with your prospective MPS partner by asking them the tough questions and expecting thorough answers.

The best MPS providers will go out of their way to explain how they will keep every promise made in their proposals. You should also look for and insist on a clause that gives you flexibility within your contract. Also, if you are signing a Service Level Agreement (SLA), make sure the services you purchase meet all expectations.

Lastly, be cognizant of any problems that may arise during your partnership. For example, if your MPS provider is four hours late on a service call, is there something in the contract that entitles you to compensation?

Even if you feel incredibly optimistic about this new relationship, there's nothing wrong with being prepared and making sure you're covered within the contract.

5. Do I have a voice in your partnership?

When working with an MPS provider, you should always choose a partner that treats you like a human being—never just a number. So, ask this possibly new managed print partner how they've shown this to clients in the past, and specifically how they'll do the same for you.

As partners, how can you feel like you can express any concerns with your service? What have they done to remedy any past mistakes, issues, or problems? The way they react to this question will show how they value the human aspect of managed print services.

Essentially, a progressive MPS provider must be creative, flexible, and willing to go the extra mile for every customer and their unique needs. By asking these big questions, you'll be well on your way to finding a positive, people-first partner that strives to make managing your office print environment easier than ever!

Next Steps:

At imageOne, we're ready to take any of your questions while searching for the right managed print provider! Schedule a complimentary Discovery Call with one of our MPS experts. We can't wait to start working with you!

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Print Reduction IT Strategy imageOne Managed Print Services

Brad Foster

About Brad Foster

With 25+ years of experience helping customers, Brad Foster is an expert at ensuring organizations are purchasing the right equipment for their business needs and goals. He is also HP Endpoint Security Certified. His favorite part about working at imageOne is the award-winning company culture and the extraordinary team behind it. When he’s not working, Brad enjoys hiking, cooking, and reading.

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