Print Management, Breaking it Down

Most organizations underestimate the total cost of print production by as much as 50%. According to a recent Gartner Group study, organizations can spend as much as 3% of their total annual revenue on document output. Very often, those organizations will find that the majority of the output is from laser printers. Those costs range from toner and parts to service labor and network management. The real challenge is that most organizations do not understand how to measure or manage these costs. Without measurable controls in place to control these costs, positively affecting the bottom line is nearly impossible.

Managed print services, often referred to as print management or MPS, is a service that provides organizations with cost containment tools and strategies for print output. Gary Halperin, former CFO for IKON Office Solutions and Print, Inc. points out that, “MPS is a method for a customer to have their entire environment surrounding the management of output devices handled by one vendor [usually] under one agreement.” Managed print services provide certain service components for the end-user. Halperin continues by saying that end-users benefit by “right sizing their fleet of print devices in the right environments including networking, parts, service and all consumables.”

The primary driver for MPS is the reduction in the overall total cost of the pages being produced. This reduction in cost comes from areas such as consumables and maintenance costs, but can also come from reduction in wasted prints and labor.
One of the most costly problems with an organization’s print production environment is that most organizations have not standardized. Organizations will have different printers for different departments. Some managers or employees will have a personal printer. The struggle for an organization’s support staff is to keep up to speed with the software and hardware requirements for each device. Moreover, organizations are required to maintain inventory of toner and supplies for multiple printer types. Some of these print devices can cost as much as $.07 per black and white print and as much as $.75 per color print.

Managed print services provide key benefits to the end-user by allowing a professional organization to manage the devices, consumables and maintenance. Usually, the end-user pays one small per print cost rather than worrying about purchasing equipment, supplies and maintenance separately.