Managed print services (MPS) are increasingly popular with companies that want to save money in the long term.
Resellers offering MPS can deliver savings to their customers, through streamlining their print fleet while improving resource management.and sustainability. MPS can also improve employee productivity by freeing up staff to concentrate on their core roles.
According to our research, the MPS market is growing 30 per cent a year. By 2013 the market will be worth $59.7bn (£39.6bn) and account for half of the total distributed imaging business market. This growth is primarily happening in western Europe.
Many organisations may have a sneaking suspicion that they are paying out far more than they need to run a fleet of printers, copiers and fax machines. This area may be peripheral to a customer’s business goals or, at worst, an afterthought.
We believe the average cost of a hardcopy fleet for a firm with 750 employees is $700,000 per year. The fleet will use more than 33,000kWh of electricity and generate more than 80 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. This fleet will require more than 3,700 hours of IT support. Typically, 10 per cent of IT’s time is spent supporting printers.
Few businesses have visibility on their print spend, and fewer still have the in-house expertise to assess their MPS needs. Print costs may be spread across various departments. Individual employees may also have their own approaches to printing, not necessarily conducive to saving resources, energy, money or time. This is good news, of course, for the channel.
Each company’s business needs and strategy are different. An upfront assessment of a customer’s current output situation is therefore critical. Without reliable, data-based insights, you cannot make effective business-critical decisions.
A service provider should back up the assessment with benchmarking data that compares the customer’s printing costs with those of their industry peers.
Establish an accurate picture of the output costs and use this to formulate a strategy to optimise the customer fleet for the long and short term. Customers should be making a long-term, productive investment.
Nor is an MPS programme a one-off implementation: it’s a relationship that should be flexible enough to evolve with customer needs. The most cost savings come from developing economies of scale as MPS is extended throughout the customer organisation.
Offer ongoing education, training and support, including on-site support for larger locations.
Insights into underlying workflows can eventually lead to future business process improvements.
A decent MPS programme can strike a chord with potential customers across the world.
Steven Swift is senior consultant for the European market at the Photizo Group
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