Don't lose sight of the objective; Stick to the plan and let it evolve naturally
Managed Print Services (MPS) are adopted for a reason, and the majority of these reasons are common from one business to another.
To gain maximum benefit you need to set a strategy for your business and stick to the plan, set out clear objectives and proactively measure performance against these objectives continually. Your service provider should be fully committed to delivering a fully managed service; this includes reporting on their performance and the performance of the solution itself.
In the past ten years, there have been several remote monitoring software packages designed for the MPS market; some are simply used for toner replenishment and meter readings. This is helpful, however, do they really deliver the level of information required? Surely we need to look beyond the printed page?
If a Data Collection Agent (DCA) is deployed on your network to monitor print devices, look at areas where you can add real value and maximise ROI, for example:
- -Device mapping (physical location)
- -% of utilisation against manufacturer guidelines
- -Duty cycle for replacement strategy
- -Fault reporting and call logging
- -Automated reports (crystal reporting)
- -Multiple levels of alerting
- -Full integration with existing IT Helpdesk (SQL)
Even cost allocation can add value, especially if a print management solution (FollowMe) isn’t deployed. All of the above features will benefit the business and ensure a proactive approach to continuous improvement. The beauty of this approach is that naturally your business will change and evolve, and new technologies will become available. Another element of continuous improvement is keeping abreast of new technologies and adjusting your roadmap accordingly. Again, this should be the responsibility of your account manager/ service provider, look to them for guidance and strive to make a difference.
Other areas of continuous improvement include:
- - Understanding document workflow
- - Business process management
- - Document security
- - Integration with existing applications i.e. accounting packages, CRM solutions etc.
An effective MPS should encourage best practices by simply using common sense to drive down costs and deliver a solution designed to address a business requirement. The ways documents are used within most businesses are changing, shifting from MPS to MDS (Managed Document Solutions), from distributing the paper to sharing securely and collaboratively, electronic intellectual property via multiple devices across multiple platforms. Data is quickly becoming a big issue… We will continue to share our knowledge on MPS over the next few blog articles, so please keep an eye out for our future posts.
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