Are Managed Print Services Better?

By Computer Food on Mon 4 Sep 2017

I attempt to clarify the true questions that need to be asked if you are deciding whether to acquire a printer via Managed Print Services or whether to buy.

What is Managed Print Services?

Managed Print Services (MPS) has many definitions but in simple terms it allows you to take possession of new printers on a cost per page basis - typically over a 3 - 5 year basis - rather than buying one or more printers and then buying consumables over time. Many claim outsourcing your printer business can offer large savings but is it better than buying? Below I attempt to show the advantages of each option. There are a few trends happening in New Zealand that should be taken into account when deciding.

1. There is a move away from big central printers catering to a large number of people - this is inefficient as staff need to get up to get their print job and sometime a queue forms waiting for the documents to print. It's time consuming and not very secure as others can see what is printed.

2. High end inkjets such as the HP PageWide Pro 577dw or Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4640 are taking over from mid-range Laser's as they are faster and cheaper to run.

Advantages of Managed Print Services

1. The big one here is cost - potentially managed print services are much cheaper over the term of the lease, especially for larger organisations (> 25 users per location). An important part of the process is a review of all existing equipment and deciding what your current printing requirements are.

2. Knowing your print costs - these are easy to calculate as usually the only cost is a monthly fee based on the minimum pages you agree to print.

3. Less time spent purchasing Consumables.

4. No inflationary concerns.

Other features listed as advantages of Print Management are not really advantages as they are available with the buy option. Namely up-front assessments to analyse your current printing infrastructure, reduced power consumption and environmental advantages.

Disadvantages of Managed Print Services

1. Long Term commitment - this can be a huge problem for smaller businesses - let's say you agreed to use a Multifunction Mono printer 2 years ago based on minimum 1500 pages per month. This was ideal for your company's printing needs at the time. But now you need Scan-to-email or you need colour now. Perhaps you need to print via wifi from a iPad or Tablet. What will you do? You could buy another printer and give the older model to another employee but they don't need 1500 pages per month. You can re-negotiate with your supplier but this is going to cost. This is less of an issue for a large company provided all printers were not replaced at the same time. Another example - you now email statements and your printing requirements are now only 1000 pages per month. You will still be paying for 1500 pages per month regardless.

2. Cost - I know this is an advantage but care needs to be taken - some Vendors offer MPS solutions that are actually more expensive than same Vendor's buy option. The real equation should not be what can be saved against your current printer fleet but what can be saved against a printer fleet owned by you which matches your current and future printing requirements. It is often easy to quote a 30% saving on your current fleet as changing to a more economical printer can save significant costs.

3. As MPS Leased Printer contracts include pre-arranged charges for printing, potential savings from future deals, bundles, and price reductions or using Compatible or Remanufactured options are not available.

Conclusion

I cannot say which option will work best for your company, but make sure you weigh up all options before deciding. Do the sums, including considering the buy option - use the Cost per Page numbers for each printer in Consumables.co.nz to help you compare. A new site released in late 2016 is CostPerPage.nz which can list costs for all new printers we sell - plus an extensive database on older printers too. We recommend you give it a try before you sign for any MPS printers. 


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