Ch. 1: The Basics of Managed Print Solutions

Working with a reliable managed print partner can help an organization save money on print, streamline its office workflow, improve security, and deliver a better user experience to its employees. But what does a managed print partnership actually look like? Who benefits the most from a managed print strategy? What does success look like?

Most businesses don’t know their current print spend and don’t know where to look for that information. If your business is like most, you probably have a setup that looks something like this:

  • A large, multifunction copier that’s under lease and a maintenance contract
  • Several desktop printers scattered throughout the office or department 
  • No real strategy or intention behind which devices you have, where they’re located, or their capabilities
  • Limited (if any) document and device security protocols 

If this situation sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Most businesses that don’t work with an MPS provider have a printing environment that looks something like this. These types of setups typically cause frustrations for your end-users, cost way more than they should, and are a data breach waiting to happen.

Additionally, keep in mind that no two businesses or industries are identical. Your printing environment should be designed specifically to maximize the productivity of you and your team. For example, if you work in a law firm then your environment shouldn’t look the same as a healthcare office or insurance company.

Quick ROIs that Help You Reach Your Goals

When you work with a strong MPS partner, you’ll start seeing ROI almost immediately. The quickest, and probably most impactful, is your cost savings.

A good MPS provider will start by “right-sizing” your fleet, which means streamlining your environment so you’re not paying for more than you need. Why use ten printers when you can use four without compromising efficiency? You’ll cut back on costs for maintenance, paper, and toner and ink cartridges.

Another hugely important ROI that you’ll love is time. How much of your IT department’s time is wasted handling printer-related tickets? A reliable MPS partner will handle any and all of your printer issues so your team can focus on strategic initiatives that drive the success of your business.

Long Term Benefits

The benefits of a clearly-defined MPS strategy go far beyond the “quick wins” and will actually have a long-lasting impact on your business. Here are just a few:

    • Cost Savings - Think about how much paper your business prints over the course of the year. If your MPS partner reduced your spend by even 10% (it’s usually much higher), those savings can have a huge impact on your balance book. Now think about those savings year over year…you get the picture.
    • Security - Most people don’t realize how vulnerable copiers and printers are, but many of the large data breaches you’ve read about on the news were actually because of insufficient printer security. With a strong MPS approach, you’ll have access to hardware, software, and best practices that support your security strategy.
  • Efficiency - If you’re not already partnered with an MPS provider, you’re probably working with one vendor for leasing your devices, another for maintenance, and yet another for ordering toner and supplies. Managing those relationships and handling multiple invoices takes time--but with a reliable MPS provider you’ll have everything you need in one place.
  • Happier Employees - There are few things more frustrating than dealing with broken, jammed, or malfunctioning printers. How many times has your IT support team gotten an email from an annoyed employee because they weren’t able to print an important document before the “big” meeting? With a managed print partner, you can feel confident in knowing that your devices will be working the way you need them to.
3 (1)

Ch. 2: The Benefits of a Strong Managed Print Services Strategy

 

 

For most IT leaders, printers and copiers are relatively low on the priority list. Someone in a CTO or VP of Technology role is typically too busy managing their large staff, focusing on goal-driven projects, and keeping an eye on their budget to think about their printing devices.

However, printers play a crucial role in any organization’s day-to-day operations, and most IT leaders are unsure how much they’re spending on printing and how much easier their lives could be with a strong managed print services (MPS) strategy.

The benefits of partnering with an MPS provider like imageOne are endless, but here are some with  real-world, tangible ROI results that any IT leader can hang their hats on:

1. Gain visibility of actual costs in your printer environment

Do you know EXACTLY how much you’re spending on printing? If you’re unsure, you’re not alone! Maybe you have a general sense, but most organizations are managing multiple vendors for repair, hardware, paper, toner, etc. which gets very expensive and time-consuming to keep up with.

Our expert team will find out exactly what you’re spending and, most importantly, how you can reduce your printing costs, right-size your fleet, and provide world-class service along the way. We even helped one company consolidate its printer fleet from 300 to 60 machines while improving their efficiency!

2. Reduce your IT tickets

Despite being one of the most significant sources of IT support tickets, printers remain a low priority for most IT departments. By partnering with imageOne, you can rest assured knowing that your team will get far fewer printer-related tickets, freeing up their time to focus on more strategic initiatives that drive business growth.


3. Monitor your supplies automatically

Do you have a closet full of cartridges and other printing supplies? Quite often, we see organizations like yours with thousands of dollars in inventory sitting around, and if often goes to waste because machines get replaced. We’ll help you free up your cash flow and storage space by shipping your supplies only when you need them.

Companies in all industries can benefit from a strong managed print services strategy. We work with healthcare companies, law firms, manufacturers, oil and energy companies, insurance carriers, and more! Even in an increasingly digitized world, we can help you reduce your printing costs, eliminate wasteful printing, and feel confident knowing that your print environment is in good hands with imageOne.

7 Ways to Reduce Print

Ch. 3: Evaluating Your Printing Process

Components of a well-oiled, optimized printing process include one simple invoice to track your print spend, one to two device brands, automatic toner replenishment, and outstanding service you can count on. Simple, easy to maintain, and efficient.

However, most printing environments don’t look like this, especially when companies don’t have a strong managed print partner. Printer issues are the last thing people want to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Working with a reputable managed print partner to evaluate your printing process can ensure that your IT department isn’t spending too much of their time responding to printer-related tickets and that end-users have high-performing devices they can rely on. Additionally, your finance and billing department will have only one invoice from one partner instead of trying to keep up with different invoices for printers, toner, and service.

If your printing environment doesn’t have a simple, streamlined process, here’s how you can get started.

Evaluating Your Needs

There are many factors to consider when identifying a print solution to fit your needs. When assessing the print environment of organizations, consider the current state of the print environment. Do you need color? Do you need a multifunction printer or can you consolidate? Do you need collating? Do you need stapling? What devices provide the best functionality for productivity and cost-efficiency?

A comprehensive assessment helps you start to see the big picture and what your needs are.

Here’s a quick checklist you can use to evaluate your needs:

  •  Do you see things that are getting old and cost a lot to repair?
  • Are you having problems with your hardware? Are things starting to break down?
  • Have you noticed frustration with your team about downtime because devices need servicing, too many calls for service, or completely losing a printer because of a breakdown?
  • Do you have multiple types of hardware within your building?
  • Do you have a stockpile of toner sitting in a closet for a printer you don’t have or use anymore?
  • Do you have the right devices in the right places for cost efficiency and productivity?
  • Are you outsourcing a portion of your printing when instead you could actually save money by purchasing or leasing a piece of hardware in-house?


Optimizing Your Print Environment with an MPS Partner

When working with an MPS partner, an expert team will take a deep-dive analysis into your current printing environment and determines where to get started. Typically, the MPS team will start by looking at your print volume for each device and collect data to gain true visibility on your print costs. Then a customized plan is created to help you save money and improve efficiencies.

Often, this involves looking at the printing behaviors of your team and utilizing that data to optimize your print strategy. Are they printing tens of thousands of paper on one device and only a couple of hundred on another? Your plan would include options to balance that out.

For example, maybe your marketing team prints a much higher volume than your customer service department. Or, maybe your office has two printers: one in a high-traffic area conveniently located near your employees and the other tucked away in the corner that rarely gets used. Managed print partners consider details like these and determine which printers should be where so that you’re not burning out one machine and wasting money by disregarding another.

It’s a good idea to evaluate your printing process regularly, and the cadence of that typically changes depending on company size. If you’re working out of a small office, you may do this every six months. However, large corporations should evaluate their needs at least quarterly because things change more rapidly. A strong managed print partner will handle that for you so you can focus your time and attention toward more important things.

Ch. 4: The Right Managed Print Approach for Your Business

Having a strong managed print strategy in place is an invaluable way to streamline your business, favorably impact your budget, and ultimately reduce the frustration that printers can cause. However, managed print is one of the most under-utilized resources available to companies, often because IT leaders don’t fully understand the value that it brings.

The key thing to keep in mind is that every business’ managed print needs are different. What works for a small insurance agency won’t work for a 1,000+ employee law firm, and vice-versa.

To determine the right managed print approach for your business, the best place to get started is to perform an assessment of your current printing environment. While this can be done in-house, it’s a complex and time-consuming process so it’s best to work with an experienced managed print provider like imageOne.

The most common pain points you’ll identify in the assessment process are:

  • You’re spending more than you need to
  • You’re spending more time managing your printers than you should
  • You’re balancing more printer-related vendors than necessary
  • Your devices aren’t as secure as they should be

 

How Print Needs Change in Large vs. Small Organizations

Digging a little deeper into the example we used above, let’s look at how the managed print needs are different for a small insurance agency compared to a large law firm. A corporate environment with 1,000+ employees likely will have more than 100 printers throughout the building. The two most common pitfalls we see are that organizations like this have no clue how much they’re actually spending on print and they don’t have the right devices in the right location to support their team.

A small insurance office with 5-6 people will obviously have far fewer devices. Operations of this size are less driven by data and require flexibility with quick response times to evolving needs. It’s important to understand that a key element is not how large the business is, but the volume of print.

No matter the size of your company, having a strong managed print strategy in place will save you time, money, and resources. Partnering with imageOne will help you achieve these results and give you the peace of mind that your printing needs are in the hands of dedicated experts you can trust.

6 Mistakes Business Make

Ch. 5: How to Optimize Your Print Management

With a true managed print strategy, you can take a holistic approach to ensure your printer environment meets your needs and supports your business goals while keeping your costs inline.

Optimizing your print management strategy results in a multitude of benefits including:

  • Reduction of print costs
  • Increase in productivity
  • Enhanced security
  • Ability to focus on business growth instead of device maintenance

The optimization process isn’t just about quick wins; an effective strategy is typically implemented in phases. That’s why choosing a strong managed print partner is so important––it’s all about the partnership.

The Optimization Process: Getting Started

Every company’s managed print needs are different, which means optimization plans vary. Managed print is not a “one size fits all” model.

The first step is to complete a full assessment of your current printing environment: where are your printers? Who’s using the devices? What is the print volume? A complete analysis or audit will help provide true visibility on your print spend and determine the right optimization plan for you.

Your customized program should include placing the right devices in the right places to meet your business goals and the needs of your employees. Additionally, it should include a plan to streamline your supply orders so you only pay for what you need and don’t have an overstock of toner.

Managed print contracts typically run 3-5 years, so the optimization journey is an ongoing process that involves continual upgrades and regular status meetings. These check-ups––typically once every quarter––are critical to determining what’s working, what changes need to be made, and evaluate data to identify opportunities for improvement.

Ultimately, it pays to partner with a managed print provider to optimize your printing environment, reduce costs, and improve productivity. Otherwise, you may soon be looking at longer device downtime, frustrated employees who aren’t getting what they need, and invoices that are draining your budget.

Ch. 6: Making Your Life Easier with the Right Print Management Software

Most IT professionals don't have a good understanding of what they’re spending on print or how much they’re printing. But if you had all of that information readily available, you’d be able to make better-informed decisions that can control costs and improve the user experience. That’s why using  the right print management software can be such a powerful tool.

Data at Your Fingertips

Effective print management software will give you rich, detailed data that will help you analyze your current print situation. You can even get insight at the user level to see what individual employees are doing.

Having data and user behavior like this will allow you to find efficiencies, drive down costs, and reduce the time and effort you spend managing printers so you can focus on more important things.

Device and Document Security

In the past when we talked about print management strategies and software that was available, it was all around finding efficiencies, improving overall knowledge, driving down costs, and improving the end user experience. We still focus on all of those today, but now we take it a step further with a laser focus on security.

What would happen if your crucial data was hacked and that information was leaked? How would that affect you? How would it affect your customers?

Are you aware that the majority of hacks are no longer just through PCs or servers? Hackers are now using the path of least resistance - printers and copiers. Printers and copiers are, in fact, a computer and are hooked up either wirelessly or directly to the network. Hackers have found vulnerabilities through open ports and other avenues, like phishing emails to breach your secure data through your printers.

Choosing the Right Print Management Software

It’s important to make sure that any print management software you choose is cost-effective, makes day-to-day operations run smoother, and keeps your data secure. A few of the best software solutions on the market include:

  • PaperCut - get insight into how you can better control printing costs
  • LaserFiche - build workflows that streamline document automation
  • PrinterCloud - automatically connect your devices to any printer on your network

To learn more about print management, check out these 3 Types of Print Management Software Every Business Needs.

Managed print services

Ch. 7: How to Find the Right Managed Print Partner for Your Business

All managed print service providers are not created equal. Many will over promise and under deliver when it comes to seeing real, tangible results. Others have quotas to meet and their primary goal is to sell equipment to you before even learning what your true needs are.

If you’re actively looking for an MPS partner to support your business, you deserve experts who will work to understand your needs and ensure that you’re using the right devices in the right place. But how do you go about finding those partners who can help you save money and make your workplace as easy and stress-free as possible?

Here’s what you should be looking for:

Expertise You Can Rely On

When you have a managed print partner, you can work with someone who knows the business inside and out. Because they are super-focused on print, they will have the creativity and ability to place only on printing and not get distracted by other business-related tasks.

Reduce Your Cluttered Devices

Does your company have printing devices in every corner of the building, with no real strategy in place? A strong managed print strategy can help you effectively organize and manage this whole network of equipment, as well as help you reorganize to make sure your printers are in optimized locations.

Overcome Inefficiencies

Inefficiencies in printing actually cost your company money--we see it all the time! A strong managed print partner will perform an end-to-end analysis of your current print spend to give you insight into where you can iron out those inefficiencies that are straining your budget.

The Right Fit

Make sure the provider has the right processes and manpower to support a company of your size. Oftentimes, managed print providers are equipped to deal with either large or small organizations, but not both. imageOne, however, is large enough to support national companies yet small enough to be nimble and creative with solutions for small and mid-size businesses.

The Right Technology

Make sure the MPS provider knows how to support and service your equipment. Some providers specialize in certain brands or machines, and if they aren’t knowledgeable about your devices, they may try to sell you new ones just for that reason.

The Partner You Deserve

In the end, it’s all about the people. Before you hire an MPS provider, make sure you talk to them in detail about your needs, concerns, and any questions you have. How do they answer? Are these the kind of people you want to contract with? If it doesn’t seem like a good culture fit, consider a different provider. Your managed print solution should relieve any stress or headaches that your printers give you and be a trusted, valuable asset you can rely on. Essentially, they should function as a trusted extension of your team.

7 Ways to Reduce Print