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5 tips on finding the right Managed Print Service partner

Want to understand what makes a good Managed Print Services partner?

A managed print service will help you cut the cost of printing in your business, but implementing it and rolling it out – whether you have a single location or a nationwide network – can be a challenge.

No two office environments are the same – whether because of differences in layout, technology or people - so organising installation and maintenance without disrupting busy workflows is rarely simple.

So, our advice to IT managers researching an MPS deal is this: treat it as a long-term partnership and look for providers that have the right people in place to support you along the way.

Here are our five tips for finding the right match:

1. They should know you better than you know yourself

It can be tricky to work out exactly what your print requirements are, especially if you have a fleet of multiple printers, and even more so if these are serving people across a network of different locations.

Ask yourself: “do I know how much each of my printers is being used and do I have the optimum configuration given the printing requirements I have?”. 

Only by carrying out a data-based print audit can you really be sure to get it right, and not simply to appease those who shout the loudest. 

With an audit, you’ll get a bespoke, tailored and practical package designed to suit you based on facts, not anecdotes and guesswork. 

2. They should be willing to go the extra mile to get you set up

You’ll want the installation to go as smoothly as possible, so pick an MPS provider which will manage the process for you, not just deliver your new equipment, leaving your team to do the rest. 

At Brother, we ensure our team stay in close contact prior to installation and bring in external contractors including electricians and carpenters wherever needed - managing the process from start to finish. It’s worth finding out if this service comes as standard.

3. They must be good problem solvers

When a busy team is asked to adopt a change, there will always be teething issues somewhere in the process. You need a provider that can tackle whatever is thrown at them. 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this. It takes training and support for individuals at different levels in the organisation, co-ordination of supplies logistics and delivery of rapid-response technical support – success in any of these areas requires a partner to work with existing ways of working in the business. 

Only by adapting the service to the specific requirements of your organisation will a provider be able to deliver a contract that runs smoothly day in, day out, and that means a willingness and ability to solve problems is critical. 

4. They need to be at your side consistently – not just for the honeymoon period

For many of the businesses we work with, if a printer goes down, it can affect or even halt trading, directly impacting the bottom line. You should insist on a service agreement that enables you to get back up and running as soon as possible and with the least impact on customers. 

If space is limited, you’re probably better off having an engineer deliver a new working machine, rather than trying to fix the device on site – repairing a printer in the middle of a busy office surrounded by staff and customers is not an ideal scenario. 

Don’t assume that your provider will respond in this way – make sure the details are written into your contract. 

5. What’s important to you should be important to them

Any good partnership is based on having shared values. Whether its availability, reliability, efficiency – there will be a partner out there that cares about the same things as you.
If your single biggest consideration is keeping business-critical print systems up and running, but your partner is measuring success by metrics that don’t reflect this, that’s a recipe for disaster. 

Ultimately, the success of any managed print service is going to rely on having good people at your side every step of the way. So, get to know them and how they like to work – and be sure you have the same goals in common – before you commit.

Read about the many benefits of MPS and how you can improve business efficiency and productivity.

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