Are the Days of Cost Per Page (CPP) Agreements for MPS… Numbered?

It’s a distant memory but I can just about remember the first time I heard of an all-inclusive cost per page agreement, it must have been around 1985 and a rep from one of the major leasing companies was in our sales office pitching this new type of contract. From a sales perspective it sounded great, allowing us to wrap hardware and service up in a single payment per page contract, and to a certain extent it must have worked because here we are in 2016 still selling print devices using cost per page.

Question is why? All of our other managed service contracts are based on per seat billing or flat rate monthly contracts, surely an organization like ours that is routed in managed services can drag managed print service kicking and screaming into the 21st century and close the case on cost per page.

So what are the pros and cons of CPP and fixed billing, well here are a few to get us started:

  1. Cost per page is really clumsy to administer, data collection tools are much improved over the last few years but it’s still a battle with minimum billing, quarterly true-ups or credits. Both vendor and client feel the strain of accurately administering CPP.
  2. For clients who purchase our whole suite of services it makes no sense. Why bill managed service offerings as a flat fee and Managed print as CPP, now we can “layer” print billing onto an existing managed service agreement – it makes it simple for the customer and our billing department.
  3. Fixed fee or per seat billing provides a monthly benchmark for future improvements and rationalization, at PrinterLogix we can actually build in cost saving targets into agreements, it becomes a win/win when targets are hit.
  4. Per seat or fixed rate is very easy to administer from both the supplier and client sides, if an additional service is required it’s simply layered on the existing agreement.
  5. Costs around print become very transparent, companies can budget accurately as they know exactly what printer costs will be over a period of time.