Managed print services refer to the outsourcing of document printing or to the outsourcing of document printing machines. This can be arranged in a number of ways, including off-site printing, a centralized on-site print area, several decentralized on-site areas, or a combination of the last two. Benefits of managed print services include reducing employee labor and reduced costs.
When most people think of managed print services, the machines that come to mind first are copiers and printers because these are the tools most often used to produce printed documents. Depending on the size of the organization, it might need one printer or many, and may need those units to print in either color or black and white. The same holds true of copiers. In some instances, dual purpose machines, or even multipurpose machines that incorporate options such as scanning or faxing, might be the best choice for a company.
Purchasing these machines can be extremely expensive. Some businesses find it more cost-effective to lease the print machines they require. Several companies offer this type of service at varying rates.
Whether the business owns or leases the machines, copiers and printers will still require regular service to keep them running and may also need emergency service for specific failures or incidents. Many of the same companies that offer lease arrangements also offer these types of services, based on an annual or multi-annual contract. Such contracts may include the supply of a set number of toner cartridges per period and will likely include a set number of incident calls as well as regularly scheduled service appointments.
Utilization of such services serves several purposes. Service costs under a contract are usually significantly reduced from the rates charged for a single call outside of a contract. Most managed print services contracts specify a window within which service response must be made. This helps reduce equipment down time. Having a service company on call also prevents employees unfamiliar with the equipment from having to try to get it back up and running.
In larger companies, managed print services might mean an on- or off-site central printing area. This can include several copiers or printers operated by a dedicated staff. Such centers might also offer additional services such as large-format printing, bindery and trimming. Most often, this type of center is intended for larger jobs and is run in conjunction with a number of printers or copiers available throughout the building for small jobs.