So, your business is finally ready to partner with an expert managed print service provider, or MPS. Great decision! You've just made the first step in optimizing your office print environment, saving money, and boosting efficiencies.
Next comes the tricky part—finding the right print management service for you and your organization's needs.
We're not going to lie. This can be a challenging process, especially when every provider claims to be the best. And just like all companies differ, so do all MPS providers. There's simply no one-size-fits-all solution.
That's why it's critical for your team to do your research and due diligence even before publishing a Request for Proposal (RFP), and definitely before signing any MPS contract. Spend time analyzing your current workplace print environment and deciding where your priorities lie.
These are just a few common reasons why businesses decide to work with a managed print service, though there are many more:
- Cut down on printing costs?
- Boost your printer and network security?
- Enhance your workflow?
- Integrate document automation tools?
Or, if you're not 100% sure which direction to take, any great print management team will provide interested companies with a free assessment. The results will help you determine which direction—or combination of directions—to take when it comes to printer-related issues.
It also allows you to familiarize yourself with the MPS service. You'll want to use this time to get to know the managed print service better and ensure that they have everything you need to start an extraordinary partnership.
Here are the top 4 traits you should be looking for when looking for the right MPS provider:
1. Strategy and Priority Alignment
Do their strategies and experiences align with yours?
For example, if your primary desire is to enhance your secure print and network strategy, make sure they can back up their resume with real-world results. If they can only prove past client success with cutting print spend, they might not be the right fit for you.
It's also important to ask about the longevity of their client relationships. This is the best way to confirm that your MPS partner will not just meet your expectations at first, but also keep up with them for years to come for your specific needs.
After all, as time goes on, companies and their strategies change. How have they adapted to changes like new technologies, business expansion, or shifting leadership? High client turnover could be a sign they aren't sufficient at staying aligned for the long haul.
2. Real Experience in Issue Resolution
Nothing is worse than committing to a partner only to have them constantly flake. Before choosing a print management company, make sure they won't leave you in the dust when your printers break down.
Too often, providers will do everything they can to impress you for the first three months only to get increasingly distant as time goes on. That's why we highly recommend asking them for references.
Obtaining past and current client references is a crucial step in finding out how reputable your potential MPS is. Most MPS providers are more than ready to provide you with a laundry list of gleaming reviews from their clients.
Ideally, you should try to find references from organizations that have actually experienced an issue with the MPS team in the past. Speaking with references like this is the perfect opportunity to find out whether the issue was fixed properly and if they still utilize them as a partner.
Even for the best companies, mistakes happen. It’s important to find a partner that makes it right when things inevitably go wrong. A reputable, top-notch MPS provider will be more than happy to find a reference of all variations.
3. Strong Inventory Management Background
One of the best things about partnering with an MPS service is never having to worry about print-related inventory ever again! Your IT Help Desk already has enough to worry about, right? Inventory storage hassles like toner cartridge replenishment should not be one of them.
Choose an MPS service that is clearly dedicated to managing your inventory without your team ever having to worry. You want an MPS provider that will be well ahead of the game by tracking how much ink and paper you have on a consistent basis.
This means dedication to keeping an up-to-date inventory list. They also need to be proactive about replenishing supplies with the right products. If a potential MPS provider has supplies from the Silicon Valley Stone Age—which nowadays is anything more than a few years old—it might be a tell-tale sign that they don’t take their inventory management seriously.
4. Fast, Friendly and Reliable Customer Service
Despite living in an incredibly connected era, it's still frustratingly common for companies to keep communication with their clients to a bare minimum.
You should never feel like you're jumping through hoops just to talk with your managed print provider. Instead, expect to receive nothing less than absolutely stellar customer service with top-notch client communication.
From regular in-person meetings to unexpected repair requests to email correspondence, it doesn't matter if you've been partners for 20 years or 20 minutes. You should always feel like their first priority.
Ready to take the next step towards finding your perfect print management match? Let's chat! Schedule a short, no-strings-attached Discovery Call today with the amazing imageOne team. We can't wait to work with you!