Clover Imaging Blog

Created: April 23 2019 By: Keith McKerley Back to All Posts

Managed Print Services Assessment Tools

CIG-April 16-Blog

Incorporating managed print services into your client's business operations should not be a question of if it’s necessary, but rather of when they should do it. A properly designed and executed MPS program will provide their organization with more benefits than they can imagine, including reducing their printing costs by up to 30% and giving more time back to their business. This means that they will be able to streamline their operations and have much of their staff take on more business-related activities to enhance productivity.

However, before designing and implementing an MPS program, conducting a complete assessment of their document and printer fleet is essential. After all, to determine where you are going you must first understand where you are. Different MPS providers use a variety of assessment tools such as Print Audit 6, Axess Remote Monitoring Software, and Xerox’s Asset DB among many more. Each provider has their own custom software to give them a competitive advantage over their competitors. 

If you are a dealer and your clients are in printing pain, it's time you gave them a solution to proactively manage, maintain and supply their printing environments. At the Clover Services Group, we offer you  MPS tools to deploy to your clients. Axess offers you a fully integrated suite of services, software and support aimed at helping you implement a successful MPS program for your client and hence save them huge printing costs and inefficiencies.

Different MPS assessment tools are designed to gather data from your client's print devices to help them understand the full scope of their print environment. They speed up information collection by capturing print data from networked printers behind the scenes. As such, they are non-intrusive and perfect for monitoring and reporting printer usage data with little involvement by the IT department.

Managed Print Services Assessment Process

MPS assessment tools and software are excellent for capturing data on networked devices, but most likely not all your client's print devices are online. So, how is MPS assessment undertaken conclusively for both online and offline print devices?

The process starts with a Walk-Through

A physical walk-through is vital in helping MPS providers gain an understanding of your customers' fleet environments which cannot be attained using software assessment tools. A walk-through will provide a detailed visual perspective of where their devices are and whether they are conveniently located to ensure all employees have reasonable access to the gadgets required to accomplish their tasks effectively. The mapping tool will allow you to map the devices on the customers floor plan to help create a visual of their current environment and of course a future environment as well.

A walk-through is a critical step that shouldn’t be avoided. A simple observation such as boxes of toner piled in closets can be an indication of problems with supplies purchasing and management. It also gives you an insight into the exact type of devices in use around the organization. With this information, you can then assess and determine whether the gadgets need to be incorporated into the MPS program.

Assessment using software tools

After a physical walk-through, the next step is to use software assessment tools to collect digital data on all networked print devices. The tools will be installed into the client's system and run behind the scenes, capturing and reporting metrics to give them a better understanding of their entire print infrastructure. They will be able to realize their print volume, usage, and costs over time. Some of the information and insights they are likely to get include:

  • User reports – This will outline the user to device ratio
  • Volume and usage analysis – This will give them their print volume and subsequent usage
  • Print comparative analysis – This will compare the costs of running different devices
  • Environmental analysis – What impact does their printing have on the environment? 
  • Optimized environment – What would an optimized print environment for their business look like?

With a comprehensive and secure analysis of their print usage and costs, it becomes easy for you to make the customer realize their total cost of ownership. It also becomes simple for you to show them how a more efficient print environment would look like and how it would benefit their company.

A comprehensive MPS assessment process should entail:

  1.  Identification of over and underutilized printers throughout the organization
  2. Identification of users with the most significant print activity and their consequent user needs as well as habits
  3. Gaining a deep understanding of the physical print environment and assessing whether departments or users rely on any specific devices
  4. An insight on how to optimize the infrastructure layout
  5. Analysis of device usage, inefficient device location, nature of printing jobs variances, and overall workflow
  6. Checking the current procurement practices and analyzing how they can be aligned with future acquisition processes
  7. Assessing the evidence of costly expenditure and money waste resulting from excess material orders and preventable downtime

When you are choosing an MPS vendor as a dealer, make sure they have a useful MPS assessment tool and strategies that can support as many of your client's devices as possible. The tools should also be able to provide other services such as equipment diagnostics, automated meter collection, and security assurance among others.

With an MPS program, it will be possible for your client to make business decisions based on usage facts and data. They will be able to regulate the amount of printing in their company and streamline print infrastructure purchases hence control print costs. They will also enjoy efficient printing processes, material utilization and have the capability to make a positive impact on the environment. 

Click here to learn more on how the Axess Professional Services team can help implement your next MPS opportunity.