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In general, print management refers to the administration, monitoring and maintenance of printer hardware, printer software and document services. Print management services offered to businesses can include hardware, software and document control or some combination of them. Companies that offer these services usually provide onsite, online, remote and on-demand options for their clients. A print management service can be beneficial to a company by lowering printer-related costs, increasing productivity, minimizing errors and streamlining projects.
Onsite options that printer management companies offer typically include trained technicians who can provide dedicated support to a group of clients in a region. The clients usually place a call to a service center to request support on hardware or software problems. The technician generally tries to troubleshoot the problem with the client over the telephone first. If the problem is not easily solved, the technician normally visits the site. Onsite service is usually available for hardware and software problems, but not for document management. While some advantages of onsite service might be the attention to detail and customer support tailored to the client, disadvantages are typically higher cost for service and longer wait times for having a problem solved.
Many companies also offer online print management services to their clients. Online services for printer software and document management are typically combined with onsite technical support for hardware issues. In the case of software issues, a client with online support usually logs into a preexisting account and initiates a request that is then answered via live chat or e-mail.
For document management, clients might normally log into their account, order the documents they want printed, upload the necessary materials to produce the document and then pay for the product. The product is usually then delivered to the company within a few business days. Online print management services are usually an attractive option for large companies that might have heavy workflow periods and can use the additional assistance in completing crucial projects. Oftentimes, it may be cheaper to outsource the printing work instead of paying for additional resources and personnel to complete the work in-house.
Remote services for print management usually involve printer hardware and software support for networked printers in large companies. The service company normally installs monitoring software on the company’s computer network. The software usually checks for any hardware errors or malfunctions while monitoring printer toner levels and client usage. Remote print management services vary depending upon the software used and the level of control taken by the service company. If the level of control over a company’s printer resources is too high, clients might become frustrated and dissatisfied with the service.
Companies that have on-demand print management services typically have special software installed on their networked printers. By using the software, they may request printer software support and document management services. On-demand support is often more expensive because it is essentially a dedicated remote service. Usually large companies with greater printing needs use on-demand services. Companies with many crucial projects that need to be completed on short deadlines can especially benefit from an on-demand solution.
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