April 12th, 2021 by Kevin Box
Let’s face it, managing printers isn’t glamorous, and all end-users genuinely care about is if they can print. If the answer is no, the end-user must find an alternative to fix the problem. This is a microcosm of why having a printer service organization managing your printer fleet is good business. Below are the Top 6 Consequences for not having a Managed Print Services program.
Lack of Standardization:
Most organizations that use small desktop printer fleets have no fundamental standards in place for brands, models, etc., that will help streamline fleet management. Lack of standardization means more toner types must be stocked and stored, which alone can cause a significant burden on the organization. These devices often fall on the IT department to manage and service, taking IT away from its core competencies. Below is a brief list of the pitfalls of not having a standardized printer fleet and how an MPS program looks in comparison.
Having standardization across a printer fleet can make a massive difference in terms of time and investment.
Poor Print Quality:
Do you believe poor print quality can harm an organization's brand and image? According to mann-co.com, it can! This is what the website has to say:
“Discrepancies in appearance in print quality affect a brand’s reputation value. Unique colors in your logo and brand styling set your organization apart from others, and any discrepancy can make it disappear altogether. So, consistent colors keep your brand visible and reliable in your customer’s eyes.”
Anytime an organization prints a letterhead or invoice with poor print quality and sends it to a customer, it can affect how customers perceive the quality of the organization's product or services, no matter the quality of the product. Perception is reality, and poor print quality may signal that if the little things don’t matter to the organization, how can they be trusted with the big things?
Each printer on an employee's desk represents a brand output device. If the machine is not serviced correctly, or even worse, not serviced at all, the print output can erode the organization's brand value.
Poor Print Performance and 4. Longer Downtimes:
Printers managed by either end-users or internal IT personnel can often run into minor problems that become more significant issues over time. Cars need oil changes and tune-ups to run at optimal levels, so do printers with maintenance kits and preventative maintenance.
Why do you keep getting paper jams? It could be due to a worn-out pickup roller, or dust particles affecting how the paper contacts the rollers, or a host of other issues. Either way, the device mechanics will begin to degrade over time without proper maintenance. Lack of care leads to more extended downtimes, end-user frustration, and a reduction in end-user performance. Having a technician come out and conduct periodical maintenance can help reduce these issues.
Out-of-date firmware is also a problem.
As you upgrade your computer's operating system, firmware updates should also take place on printer. Having a certified technician come out and work on the printer fleet means firmware can be updated more often, leading to reduced printing issues and improved uptimes. Poor print performance can be quickly curtailed with proper service and periodical maintenance.
IT Must Manager
IT Departments are often flooded with day-to-day fires that must be addressed immediately, such as patching, firmware updates, troubleshooting PC issues, managing servers, and keeping the network safe. We could, of course, go on and name another two-dozen the IT Department must traverse daily. However, one of the more significant tasks IT personnel is often burdened with is managing and fixing printers.
Most Manufacturer Certified Technicians have upwards of 10-years' experience working on copiers and printers, and nothing else. Certified Technicians are well experienced in fixing the problem efficiently and quickly the first time compared with their IT brethren. Certified Manufacturer Technicians are also well equipped to fix the problem faster because they keep many parts stocked in their service vehicles. Awareness and preparation for these issues allow the printer technician to fix the device on the go instead of ordering the part, waiting 3 to 5 days for the part to arrive, and then making a second trip back out to fix the problem. These steps add to the time it takes to get the printer back up and running, which means more extended downtimes and shorter uptimes.
Having IT service printers is akin to having a General Practitioner Doctor work on your heart. Sure, GP’s are professionals and highly skilled at what they do. However, you want to have a Cardiologist diagnose and treat your heart-related issues. Now, I understand printers are not as critical as one's heart, however, if an organization suddenly finds a printer down, end-user work can suffer, and tasks take longer to complete. In essence, the heart of the business can be disrupted anytime a printer goes down for extended periods.
Most organizations don’t have a cohesive policy in place for managing printers. The average cadence allows printers to be purchased at the departmental level, and ongoing toner needs are met by allowing each department to purchase toner as needed through online retail sources. This can be a problem which is hard to quantify because printer and toner purchasing is often line itemed for accounting purposes under "Office Supplies." So, by lumping printers & toner in with staples, paper clips, and other common office supplies, you miss the bigger picture. Paper clips, for example, are only a tiny part of a larger budget that, from a cost standpoint, is being dominated by printer management and supplies.
Take the cost of a single toner source, for example. The retail cost for toner can run as high as $300 per cartridge, which can be far greater than all other office supplies combined if multiplied by the entire fleet over a given year. Now, combine that with the cost of maintenance kits and parts – Well, it doesn’t take long to see how supply costs can build up and make those printers an albatross around the neck of the supply budget.
Having a Managed Print Services agreement in place can help you accomplish several things to combat these issues:
- A single source of costs that are trackable and quantifiable
- Manage cost through proper rightsizing of the fleet
- Reduce toners from sitting on the shelves collecting dust
- Drastically reduce the cost associated with printing
- Help the organization meet its Sustainability Goals
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