Five Things to Avoid When Considering Managed Print Services

Managed print services (MPS) is one of the best investments you can make for your business. MPS improves efficiency, streamlines work processes, and boosts cost-effective strategies. While virtually all companies can benefit from managed print services, these benefits depend on doing proper research and planning for seamless integration, as well as the MPS partner you choose. Are you prepared to get the most out of your system? Here are the five things you should never do:

1. Never Forgo a Needs Analysis

It’s easy to believe you can’t go wrong with managed print services when they bring so many benefits to the table: it frees up IT resources and IT admins get time back in their schedule; management consolidates devices and vendors, fix costs, automate supplies and service, and optimize the overall print environment. These sound like great benefits, but are these the ones your business should prioritize?

Every business is different, so the MPS solution should adapt to your company’s unique characteristics. Managers must conduct a thorough analysis to determine the business’s needs and the priority levels of each. What are the problems that generate these needs? How will solving these problems contribute to the achievement of business goals? Are managed services the best solution for the challenges identified?

To begin, companies can analyze employee print data to get feedback on the usage and existing processes. They should then work with their MPS provider to examine the data and find solutions that make the most sense. This should be done upfront to reduce the risks of paying for services you don’t need and failing to resolve the problems managed services should address.

2. Don’t Neglect Future Business Growth

It’s understandable that managers tend to focus on their immediate needs over future ones. However, focusing on short-term viability can paint companies into a corner. Companies that do not plan for growth inevitably limit their success.

Managers should look closely at the features offered by the MPS providers they have in mind. What are the pricing models and accompanying features of each tier? How much would it cost the company to scale printing services? How easy is it to make these changes? How will it affect the company’s ability to be agile and flexible, and to anticipate future growth?

Managers also need to look at business growth in a holistic light. Growth doesn’t always correlate with the increased use of printing services. The company could choose to outsource the services that generate a lot of paperwork. Similarly, more of its consumers and employees could opt to receive electronic data only. Include these potential changes in your growth plan.

3. Never Make Decisions Based Solely on Price

Budget plays a crucial role in business decisions, but managers must remain mindful of how strongly price affects the final choice. Growth requires investments, while the return on these investments depends on the quality of the assets acquired.

Consequently, making decisions based on price alone can lead to choosing an inadequate MPS plan. Down the line, it could cost your company more in time and money to catch up.

Proactive managers avoid this problem when they revisit the assessment of business needs and the business growth strategy. This approach compels managers to view the budget as a ceiling. They can then carefully review all MPS solutions that will help the company achieve its vision rather than looking for the cheapest fit.

4. Don’t Build Systems Around Outdated Infrastructure

In October 2020 NetMarketShare found that roughly 23% of computers ran outdated versions of Microsoft, such as Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1.

The numbers reflect both individual and organizational use, but the data is still alarming. Why do  companies fail to update their software? Some organizations take a bureaucratic approach to modernizing their infrastructure. As long as the old technology still works, some managers find it difficult to justify the cost of upgrades.

However, relying on old technology introduces severe limitations. Managers often try to avoid addressing this by only using managed services that are compatible with their existing software and hardware. This negatively impacts efficiency, long-term costs, and security. In fact, one study found that outdated tech costs companies $1.8 billion in annual productivity.

The risk of security breaches increases exponentially as well. Older hardware typically runs older versions of software. Experts find roughly 560,000 malware programs every day. Consequently, a company with tech just a year out of date could expose itself to more than 204 million threats.

The MPS conversation can seem daunting when you’re also working with older equipment, but it’s essential to consider both elements for long-term success. Trying to add more MPS options to an aging fleet is going to require more effort and expense later. Working with an experienced MPS provider can help you save money by figuring out how to work with the devices you already have, or how to strategically upgrade where needed.

5. Never Overlook the Importance of Involving the IT Team

When a company uses MPS, it frees up the IT department to focus on other tasks. However, MPS and potential system changes that accommodate it affect the IT team and its workflow. 

Managers can ensure a cohesive IT infrastructure if they involve the team from the start. Your IT team needs to understand how the MPS system works, and where their responsibilities start and end. The arrangement with providers can vary widely, so your team must understand how this affects the IT ecosystem and its role in the organization.

These are some common questions you might need to address:

  • What are the data security measures the new provider will put in place?
  • How will this new service affect workflow?
  • How should the IT team direct queries?

The Bottom Line

MPS introduces a wealth of benefits to any organization. However, managers must take the necessary steps to make sure that they choose solutions that address business needs, contribute to business goals, fuel growth, and protect data. At ABM Federal, we have built secure, managed print services solutions that provide our clients with these and other essential benefits. Contact us to learn more.

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ABM Federal, an HP Platinum Partner, provides HP Security Solutions to government agencies. With over 40 years of experience, an excellent past performance record, and Best In Class (BIC) contracts, ABM Federal offers a variety of innovative products and services to simplify and enhance your federal office IT.

Contact us at (800) 522-9226 to learn more.

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