What do you look for when deciding which people and companies you want to align your organization with? What makes you look at a company and say to yourself, “I want to do business with those guys”?
Sometimes this process can be a little intimidating. Anybody can say the right thing during the sales cycle, but you need to know that they’re going to deliver on everything they promised so you get the results you’re looking for.
Choosing a managed print provider is no different. Contracts typically last 3-5 years so you need to be sure that your provider will fully understand your needs and work tirelessly to manage your entire printer operations from end-to-end so you can focus your time and energy on big picture items.
We put together a little checklist of questions to ask potential managed print providers. Now, you’ve got multiple options on the table, so ask away!1. Who are your current customers?
Going above and beyond for managed print customers creates a whole wealth of evangelists who would love to share their positive experiences. If you’re speaking with a potential MPS provider that’s hesitant to let you speak to existing or past businesses, there’s probably a reason!
Ask any potential MPS not only for a list of their current customers but also for contact information so you can speak with those clients one-on-one. With a credible list of customers, you'll quickly learn if the MPS company can in fact walk the walk—or they're just and talk the talk.
2. What does the SLA look like?
It's crucial to set up expectations for your MPS service level agreement (SLA) upfront. You’ll want to know whether or not your provider can expertly and efficiently service all of your locations to your expectations.
Also, clarify what should be expected regarding issues like response time to resolving services issues when they happen, getting toner, replacing parts, etc. This will help you get a clear understanding of how the partnership will work.
3. What equipment do you recommend?
This one is key! An amazing managed print provider must prove that they're truly experts on print devices. They should also be looking out for the client's best interest—not trying to sell them on a specific machine just to score a commission. Ask them to give details about why a specific device or product works for your needs.
Don’t let them off the hook by just saying brand names like Xerox or HP. Make them get specific! Many times, MPS providers will come in with an agenda of which items they want to sell to you before they even get a full understanding of what your needs are.
4. How much should I spend on print?
Most IT leaders don’t have much, if any, visibility into their company's print costs. This oversight can easily lead to thousands of dollars wasted annually. Working with a great MPS team should not only provide you with office print spend visibility. They should also help you understand what your costs should be and how to save money on print.
When you begin working with a reputable print management company, they should be looking very closely at each print-related expense, invoice, contract, and more to show you exactly what your current costs are. From there, they should highlight the areas where you're spending too much and offer solutions to reduce those expenses.
After all, is anything better than learning how you can spend less?
5. Can you replace all of my vendors?
Ideally, yes! A good MPS provider should be your one-stop-shop for all of your office's print needs. That means printer repair, customer service, toner and ink replacement, optimizing your print environment, print security—and the list goes on.
A great managed print team should be confident that they can handle it all. And in the rare cases that they can’t, they better be eager to stop at nothing until they come up with a creative solution that will get you what you need. Don't hesitate to ask when major problems have arisen and how they remedied the situation.
6. How secure are your print devices?
No matter what industry you’re in, it's critical for documents and data to be protected from breaches or cyberattacks. These device security leaks come in the form of malicious intent, a blind spot in your IT safety protocols, or any other number of oversights.
Any great managed print provider must be at the forefront of workplace device security. Ask how they can identify your vulnerabilities, which security programs and tools they often recommend, and how they can specifically eliminate any potential risks for your business.
Any company should be able to rest assured that their data is in good hands. Skimping on the security conversation is a MAJOR red flag!
Using this checklist is the best way to determine that you’re choosing the right managed print provider for you. And, if you’re looking for a place to start, why not talk with the expert team at imageOne? With over 30 years of service, we know we'd be the perfect MPS support for your organization.