Pros & Cons of Managed Print Services - Is MPS Right for You?

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Are you considering Managed Print? Maybe someone suggested you upgrade your print operation. Maybe a recent incident or two has brought to the front that your print operation could use standardization, or newer equipment or both.  

Something we hear often is that the IT department of an enterprise organization just doesn’t want to dedicate staff time to printer maintenance -- especially when the IT team consists of sysadmins, network engineers, computer engineers and software specialists. This is especially true of companies with branches or retail locations, where an IT resource would have to spend time in traffic or on the open road just to get to the device.  

Print Operations: An Overlooked Sector 

The overarching reality is that print operations are often an overlooked sector. By outsourcing the upkeep, organization, monitoring, replenishment and firmware updates of printing devices to a specialized partner you can eliminate many headaches.  

A managed-print services provider with the expertise, focus, and dedicated resources to manage the printers, copiers, scanners, and other document-output devices can bring order to a print operation and allow the enterprise IT department to focus on the ever-present backlog of technology projects. 

In this article, we’ll answer the question, “Why should I invest in MPS?” or, “What would be the benefits of a managed print solution?” We’ll also candidly discuss the negatives, to set realistic expectations. Both the pros and cons of implementing MPS are covered in this article, which hopefully will empower you to make sound decisions. (And of course, feel free to reach out with your questions – we’ll be happy to answer your questions.) 

Pros of MPS Implementation

Pros: How You Benefit from Implementing MPS 

Cost Savings 

One of the primary benefits of MPS is the potential for cost savings. By optimizing the printing infrastructure, organizations can reduce the amount spent on printing supplies, maintenance, and energy consumption. According to a study by IDC, you can save up to 30% on printing costs by implementing MPS. This includes reducing waste (for consumables and print devices), negotiating better prices for supplies, and minimizing the need for frequent repairs. 

Enhanced Security 

Whenever we run an MPS project, advanced security features are part of the implementation. Features such as user authentication, data encryption, and secure print release. These features help protect sensitive information and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.  

For example, secure print release ensures that documents are only printed when the authorized user is present at the printer, reducing the risk of confidential information being left unattended. 

Improved Productivity 

By outsourcing print management, IT staff and other employees can focus on core tasks rather than dealing with printer issues. A good MPS provider manages everything from toner replacements to complex repairs, ensuring that printers are always operational. This leads to less downtime and a more productive work environment. 

Beyond this, modern MPS solutions often include analytics that can help organizations streamline their print workflows and identify areas for further efficiency improvements. 

Environmental Benefits 

MPS can help organizations reduce their environmental footprint. By optimizing printer usage and reducing waste, MPS contributes to sustainability goals. Many MPS providers offer recycling programs for toner cartridges and other supplies, and they implement strategies to reduce paper usage through double-sided printing and other methods. 

Scalability and Flexibility 

MPS solutions are scalable and can be tailored to fit the specific needs of an organization. 

Whether a company is expanding or downsizing, a managed print service provider can adjust the scope to match the current demand. This flexibility ensures your organization does not pay for more than you need – and the right MPS partner can easily adapt to changing business requirements. A strong MPS provider will have tools to make data-driven efficiency improvements toward a new or existing fleet, regardless of the printer brand you wish to use. 


Cons of Implementing MPS: Pitfalls to Watch Out For

While Managed Print Services (MPS) offer many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks that organizations should consider before implementation. 

Upfront Costs 

Many MPS providers approach implementation with a “rip & replace” view – and that can get costly. For example, implementing MPS through a manufacturer will often include replacing most devices – either to bring in the newer, fancier models or to replace existing brands with the manufacturer’s offerings. Although these costs are often offset by long-term savings, the upfront financial commitment can be a barrier for some organizations. 

At FlexTG, we aim to mitigate this initial investment as much as possible. Working with a truly brand-neutral managed services provider has the great advantage of not being beholden to “the logo on the box,” instead bringing a nonpartisan interest in the best fit for your print environment. And the added benefit is that, being brand-neutral, we’re happy to manage your fleet with your existing equipment if that’s your preferred approach.  

Change Management 

Introducing MPS into an organization can involve changing established workflows and processes. Employees may need to adapt to new procedures for printing, which can lead to resistance or a learning curve. Effective change management strategies are essential to ensure a smooth transition and to minimize disruptions to daily operations. 

Dependence on External Providers 

Relying on an external provider for print management can introduce risks related to service quality and responsiveness. If the MPS provider is not reliable or fails to meet service level agreements (SLAs), it can lead to operational disruptions. It’s important to thoroughly vet potential providers and ensure they have a strong track record of reliability and customer satisfaction. 

By entering into a managed print relationship, you’re entrusting an important aspect of your business to a third party. Get to know the providers you’re considering – not just the skillsets and resources, but also their values, their guiding principles. Make sure that the provider’s expectations meet yours when it comes to accountability, responsibility and trust. 

Potential Security Risks 

While MPS can enhance security through advanced features, it can also introduce new vulnerabilities at the hands of an inexperienced provider. For instance, outsourced management of print services requires sharing access to sensitive information and systems with the MPS provider. It’s crucial to ensure that the provider has robust security measures in place and complies with relevant data protection regulations. 

There are two considerations here – is the MPS provider ethical enough to treat your confidential data with the utmost discretion? And is the MPS provider skilled and knowledgeable enough to close any potential vulnerabilities? 

Serving over 29,000 organizations, and nearly every print device brand, gives Flex Technology Group unrivaled experience in the industry. With enterprise and SMB clients in every industry, this experience allows us to effectively improve our systems and processes on a routine basis 

Compatibility Issues 

Not all printers and print environments are compatible with MPS solutions. Organizations with a diverse array of printer models and brands may encounter compatibility issues that can complicate the implementation of MPS. Ensuring that all existing hardware can integrate seamlessly with the MPS software is essential to avoid additional costs or disruptions. 


How to Choose an MPS Provider

Implementing Managed Print Services (MPS) can bring significant benefits to organizations, particularly in terms of cost savings, efficiency improvements, and enhanced security. However, it also requires careful consideration of potential drawbacks, such as upfront costs, change management challenges, and the risks associated with relying on external providers. 

Weighing the Pros and Cons 

When deciding whether to implement MPS, organizations should conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis. This involves evaluating the current state of your print environment, understanding your specific needs, and considering both the short-term and long-term implications of adopting MPS.  

Here are some key points to consider: 

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Calculate the potential savings from reduced printing costs, improved efficiency, and lower maintenance expenses against the initial investment required for MPS implementation. Service offerings, customer reviews, and compliance with security standards.
  • Security Measures: Ensure the MPS provider has robust security protocols in place to protect sensitive data and comply with relevant regulations.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: Assess whether the MPS solution can scale with your organization’s growth and adapt to changing needs. 

Armed with this information, your organization can make an informed decision about whether MPS is the right choice for your print management needs. While implementation may seem a heavy lift, with the right partner, the long-term benefits of cost savings, enhanced efficiency, and improved security make MPS a valuable investment. 

We trust this gives you a comprehensive picture of the pros and cons of Managed Print Services. If you’d like to learn more about our approach to MPS, feel free to ask! 

Is it Time to Talk About a  Managed Print Services?

Request an assessment today to determine if your printer fleet is in need of upgrading. It’s a no-obligation conversation to determine the right solution for your company’s needs.

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