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The Pitfalls of Managed Print, the Danger Signs and What to Avoid!

Managed Print has been the choice of the Enterprise user for probably 15 years now, in its former guise of Print Facilities Management (which mainly focused on print room services) probably nearer 25 years.

So even though many enterprise companies are in perhaps their 3rd generation of MPS why do we still see some very consistent problems in many managed print environments?
Here are a few pointers, a cheat sheet if you like of some pitfalls, danger signs and what to avoid.

  1. 1. PITFALL - Rip and replace and churn – beware the assessment that promotes a single manufacturer and replaces all of the existing devices, usually future state should at very least accommodate some of your existing fleet as many printers are still within a usable and cost effective lifespan.
  1. 2. DANGER SIGN - The MPS program that has no contracted commitment to volume reduction or print management, does the vendor detail exactly how your costs will decrease throughout the contract not just at day one.
  1. 3. AVOID - Be wary of any managed print vendor who has not detailed how they would manage a document capture and storage solution – MPS in 2016 is all about showing clients how not to print, document management, ECM and cloud or on premise storage all play an important part.
  1. 4. POINTER – The most successful MPS programs that we see are service led, what does that mean? Well the project is typically led by a company that is NOT focused on hardware sales.
  1. 5. POINTER – When developing an MPS strategy take into consideration the 4 R’s:
  1. A. Retain – The device is well within its useful life, is cost effective to run and is correctly deployed.
  2. B. Redeploy – The device is well within its useful life, but is over/under utilized in its current location, redeploy to correct location.
  3. C. Replace – The device is at end of life, defined by print volume, age or cost to run. The unit is correctly spec'd and positioned and is critical so replacement is necessary.
  4. D. Retire - The device is at end of life, defined by print volume, age or cost to run. The volume driven to this unit can be directed to other units in the fleet and the device is not critical so no replacement is necessary.
  1. 6. POINTER – Get involved with the current state assessment and the future state design, don’t be hands off with this, insist on working with potential vendors through the presales process.
  1. 7. POINTER – Assign a person or team with authority to work with the vendor throughout the program – be involved and proactive especially at quarterly business reviews.

The Times they are a Changin’ in the Managed Print World

Actually the times they have a changed – but that’s not the song title!

Over the last few weeks at PrinterLogix we have been rebuilding our website, branding and marketing, one interesting meeting focused on our sales team, their job descriptions and titles. We use the term Managed Print Service to describe our business and our sales team all have the title of Managed Print Specialist, the question raised was “are these descriptions still relevant”?

The meeting ran longer than expected because we really got into what we talk about when face to face with clients. It seems that most of our time with clients is now spent on document management, print release, secure print or rules based printing all software based offerings that are designed to control and reduce print use. Rarely these days do we discuss printers or hardware at all, the make and model of a printer has largely become irrelevant as most current model devices provide an economical and reliable output mechanism.

Clients now are much more focused on using MFP’s as onramps to document management, the challenge for the customer is how to build the Document Management process so that there is consistent and systematic adoption that improves operations at every level of the organization. The next challenge is how will that content or data be stored, on premise or in the cloud, and how easy is it to retrieve the document quickly and efficiently. The mid/long term aim is to reduce dependency on paper based documents by not printing unless absolutely necessary.

Another interesting thought is that we rarely visit an existing or potential new client without one of our Managed Services Specialists in tow, the integration of Managed Print into Managed Services especially around cloud storage, back up and data transfer is almost seamless.

So to conclude I’m not sure we talk very much about print these days, our sales team always enjoyed their roles as a Managed Print Specialist but have to admit that the title Managed (how not to print) Specialist could be justified... watch this space!

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