Many businesses are happy to take an ad-hoc approach to their printer estate, extending through acquisition, supply and handling and ultimately making it very difficult for them to keep track of their printing expenditure. The Managed Print Services market is, however, growing fast. It’s predicted to triple from £19.50 Bn in 2015 to £70.75 Bn by 2024.
Managed Print Solutions give businesses proper visibility and control over printing costs, providing real-time monitoring and analytics which can be leveraged to improve workflows and thus bring further savings in terms of efficiency. On average, the cost of unmanaged printing estates runs to between 1 and 3 per cent of revenue. Getting clarity on the causes of the highest levels of inefficiency can lead to huge savings.
Poorly managed printers are unreliable, expensive and susceptible to failure. Paper and ink are often not acquired from the best sources; cheap, non-standard toner impacts negatively on performance and often results in increased faults. Suboptimal settings are often consistently used due to the tendency for printers to use the last-used settings as default. Overall, a disorganised approach to printing tends to quickly waste more money than it would cost to establish a fully managed solution. The availability of much more reliable and efficient printer technology means that the best savings are available with a complete outsource, including a fleet refresh. New printing technology can be difficult to justify as an outright acquisition, but can make transparent financial sense as part of a managed solution.
An MPS can also improve productivity directly by reducing the amount of staff time wasted on printer maintenance, ensuring that staff aren't stuck resolving trivial printer-related problems like paper jams when they could be spending their time on more business critical activities. Managed solutions also give central control over an estate, allowing a business to constantly make small savings through the use of optimal print settings. These little small savings quickly add up and the impact by the end of the year can be surprising.
Often, having a mixed, multi-vender fleet can further complicate the matter of evaluating and optimising print strategy; many different devices running at different consumption levels confuses the matter of evaluating the overall costs and renders it nearly impossible to find a useful average cost of any one printer within the estate. Rationalising a printer estate and ensuring that only the most efficient and best-suited devices are used gives clarity as well as reducing day-to-day running costs.
An MPS has several substantial benefits aside from the reduction in spend. Managed solutions help to reduce the environmental impact of printer estate by decreasing paper waste and carbon footprint. MPS are also proving effective in tackling paper-to-digital workflow efficiency, providing analytics to help understand the way in which paper is used in the modern business world.
If your printing estate is in need of a refresh, if you have printing security concerns, are worried about environmental impact and, above all, if you want to get proper visibility and control over printing costs, a Managed Print Solution might just be the ideal solution.
Kevin Meredith – Service & Account Development Manager, Barron McCann