Choosing a Managed Print Solution
When your business or school is spending way too much time and money ordering printer cartridges and service call-outs, it may be time to consider a Managed Print Solution. Here are a few tips when choosing a Managed Print Solution.
If you are currently on the lookout for a Managed Print solution, please visit our sister company Docucare (www.docucare.ie) who specialise in Managed Print Services for SMEs. Before you do, here is some general information so you know what questions to ask them!
What is a managed Print Solution?
If your business or school currently prints a high volume of high-quality colour pages each month and the cost of toners is beginning to weigh, it may to time to consider investing in a Managed Print Solution. A Managed Print Solution is an extension of the idea of investing more in your device in order to achieve the lowest possible running costs. In a Managed print solution, you enjoy the benefits of a powerful high spec device but also the peace of mind of full service and maintenance
The main benefits of a Managed Print Solution are as follows;
- Reduced costs
- Service and maintenance
- Remote monitoring
- Monthly reporting
Choose a Reputable machine brand
While there are many brands in the photocopier space, there are 4 brands which have dominated the market for decades and can be considered the true market leader. If you choose a device from these brands you can be sure of a well built, high quality product. These are
- Konica Minolta (AKA Develop/Olivetti)
Brand new versus pre-owned machines
- Be aware if you’re receiving a brand new or previously owned machine. It may be cheaper to go with a pre-owned machine but chance of down time much greater. If supplier offers a machine that can be taken back at short notice without any penalty, it’s more than likely a pre-owned machine.
- If supplier uses an external leasing company, ask about hidden costs such as admin fees and buy-back fees on completion of lease
- Ask about annual cost-per-copy price increases built into the service agreement. This is a common hidden cost with many suppliers
- Ask about colour page coverage and how this affects the cost-per-page. This technical point can prove very costly if not addressed in advance.
Page Allowances versus Pay-per-page
- If your service provider is asking you to commit to a minimum no of pages printed each month, ask about rebates at years end if you have not exceeded your allowance
- Page allowances can be useful as you know exactly how much you’ll spend on printing each month, but not if you are being charged for pages you aren’t printing
- Ask about and do not accept punitive page rates for pages printed in excess of allowance. After all, why should you be penalised for printing more. In any other business you prices get reduced the more you use someone’s services.
- Straight up pay-per-page service agreements offer better transparency
Study the service agreement closely
- Ask your service provider what happens exactly at end of service agreement? Does it automatically roll into a new agreement? Do you own your device outright at end of lease/service contract?.
- Ask about the Service Level agreement in relation to turnaround time on service-call outs. 4 hours or less is preferable
- When getting quotes, always provide as much accurate information as possible regarding your print usage on existing printers, your IT set up, your print requirements etc.
- Study all quotes and compare by calculating the total cost of ownership of each deal.
- Make sure all companies who quote are given same brief with same parameters. Otherwise very difficult to compare quotes as every company structures their deals differently
Inkjet Technology in MPS
- Inkjet technology is now quite common in the MPS industry, but not among the main market leading brands
- Inkjet machine can offer a low cost-per-page but these machines will not offer the same crisp vibrant colours you are guaranteed with the colour laser devices on offer form the big 4 OEMs
- Very important to discuss the implications of printing high colour coverage pages on inkjet machines, both in terms of technical issues and cost implications
- Make sure your supplier only uses original brand supplies. Many supplies cut their costs by using sub standard generic supplies. They are happy to make more service call outs if necessary but this only benefits the supplier, not the customer.
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