A managed print service (MPS) outsources your business’s print function to an experienced third party, providing a range of productivity, cost and operational efficiencies. By successfully reducing an organisation’s paper and energy requirements, firms can minimise wastage and improve their green credentials too.
Designing a print policy
An MPS provider like First Choice Ltd will allow you to design an optimal print policy for your firm, which covers a range of factors including minimising paper wastage, allocating printing rights, limiting colour printing and implementing duplex printing.
For firms with specific environmental goals, your print policy can specify that your printing is limited to presentation documents only, like meeting hand-outs or brochure material, with other jobs requiring sign-off from an authorised member of staff; this will save paper and the energy from unnecessary print jobs.
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A print policy can also be used to improve security, by only printing confidential material once an individual employee has been entered their code onto the printer’s keypad; members of staff will also often forget to retrieve documents they have sent for printing, so this helps to reduce paper usage further.
By monitoring print output using remote tracking, MPS providers can analyse output by department, sub-team or individual staff member, allowing spikes in printing to be discovered and cost allocation to improve. By understanding exactly where waste and overspend is occurring, firms can implement efficiency improvements quickly and easily, saving energy and paper wastage.
MPS providers can work with firms to understand individual business needs and develop tailored performance targets which are relevant to their printing requirements. For example, direct marketing firms requiring large volumes of printed material will need different KPIs to small finance teams with lower volume needs.
Reducing toner usage
Printer toner can grow to become a large business expense, particularly if left to its own devices. Without a managed print service, firms are more likely to incur a range of ‘soft’ costs associated with administering and maintaining their print network; these costs are often undetected, but add up in the long term and reduce efficiency hugely.
For example, without the required knowledge, it might take a member of staff half an hour to find out which tonier is needed for a particular printer; they then have to take time ordering and picking it up, while in the meantime the printer remains offline.
MPS providers can monitor toner usage and dispatch cartridges before they run out, allowing continuous printer service, free from downtime or lulls in productivity.
Optimising your printer fleet
By assessing the print requirements of various individual workgroups, and deploying the right printer for each team, a MPS can increase productivity and efficiency, removing wastage and lowering your energy bills.
An MPS provider will conduct a print audit for you, analysing your current fleet and the volume of printing performed by each workgroup; for example, a billing department which sends out large volumes of invoices to customers will require a faster and more powerful solution to a small digital design team.
By utilising the latest printing software, MPS providers can analyse inventories, assessing which printers are over or under used, and optimise asset utilisation by shifting high volume jobs to the lowest cost alternatives. In this way, older, less effective machines can also be relocated to where they have the lowest overall impact.
Electronic Document Management
An MPS provider can provide you with an Electronic Document Management (EDM) system, which allows you to store documents digitally, removing the requirement of paper documentation, filing cabinets and folders.
By using optical character recognition software, users can scan and save documents which can then be edited, sorted and searched through on screen. By utilising cloud technology, you can access an entire database of documents at the click of a button, both in and out of the office.
EDM reduces the printing and paper requirements of businesses hugely, while saving energy costs associated with heating and lighting larger rooms full of filing cabinets and cupboards.
Streamlined control and ownership
Firms will often have several vendors providing the various services associated with their printing function, purchasing their printer hardware from one provider, paper and toner from another, and using an IT support firm to solve print faults.
By passing responsibility of all aspects of your printing function to one provider, you can centralise accountability and streamline transaction costs. An MPS provider can also take responsibility for all aspects of your print policy, leaving department heads to get on with their specific job roles.
The money that you save in these areas can then be invested into improving the energy efficiency of your building, which will provide further long term environmental benefits.
Overall a managed print service can offer huge benefits to your business, from both an environmental and cost perspective; if you don’t already have one in place then now could be the time to start.