Welcome to the Digital Transformation – Managed Print Services series. In Part 4 of the series, we explored the optimization that one should consider when using Managed Print Services. For Part 5 of the series (final); we shall look at the suggested criteria when selecting your next Managed Print Services Vendor.
How does one select a Managed Print Services Vendor? Let us look at the suggested criteria that should be part of your evaluation criteria to qualify one that best fits your organization’s needs.
1. Brand Reputation
It is important to consider the brand selected should be a reputable one and not an unknown or lesser-known brand. As we can check and find out from existing users of the brand to gauge brand quality, usability, challenges, and issues.
2. Industry Expertise
In a specific industry where printing needs are specific (e.g., multiply printing of invoices, secured printing, etc.); it is important to check if there is any specific use case that is adopted in your industry.
3. Range of Multi-Function Printers
When evaluating the range of products, one should consider if the vendor has a specific Consumer model and/or Enterprise model that meets your printing requirements. The number of users, type of printing (color and/or black only), stand alone and/ or networked, volume of printing and others must “match” with the model’s capabilities per se.
Key features of the Fleet Management Application should be included are as follows:
Itemized reporting (black only, colour printing, number of pages printed, time and date of printing, individual user printing details, cost center of individual users, applications access for printing).
Automatic Power on (Before commencement official office operating hours) and automatic power off / shut down (after official office operating hours, and during public holidays and weekends) to save electricity consumption and prevent unauthorized access during non-operating hours.
Security and Access Control. Specific access control and security policies can and should be enabled to prevent the printing of “sensitive” information that work seamlessly with other industry security tools (like Data Lost Protection).
Automatic Fault Diagnostic and Reporting. Whenever a specific Multi-Function Printer encounter a fault, the Management application should be able to run diagnostics remotely and report to the Managed Print Services Vendor to report the incident and subsequently dispatch technical personnel / engineers to remedial the error encountered.
Security and Print Drivers update. One of the key features of the fleet management application should enable Vendor to manage any security and print drivers updates remotely and on a regular basis to ensure they are up to date.
5. Compatibility of Multi-Function Printers to your Application needs
With the ever increasing of off-the-shelf and in-house developed applications being deployed within an organization environment. Ensuring compatibility for printing is a must by the Managed Print Services vendor. As most (if not all) applications for Business usage do require the use of print services, ensuring compatibility is important.
6. Security updates
With the adoption of all things Digital, security concerns are also coming to the forefront where we need to protect the services that we use. Regular up keep with patching of security updates is a must these days to ensure that and ensure that the right users get to utilize the right services at the right time. It is the vendor’s responsibility to ensure that security updates are made available in a timely manner.
7. Customer support, coverage, response, and timely resolution
While engage or using Print services, we must ensure that adequate customer support is aligned to Business needs. We need to ensure the correct Support tier subscription is in place to support Business requirements. Do remember that not everyone will require “Platinum Tier” support, we must select what is appropriate and right for our organization.
Individual cost items (covered in Part 3) that constitute the final month printing cost must “fit” the budget from the Business perspective.
Monthly Multi-Function Printer Unit Rental Cost (Usually for a Contractual Rental period of 36 months, 60 months, or 84 months)
Print Per Page – Black Only
Print Per Page – Color
Electricity cost to operate the Multi-Function Printer Unit
Toner / Ink cartridge replacement cost (may or may not be included in the Print Per Page cost)
Paper (A4 / A3) usage cost
Termination of Rental cost (i.e., not fulfilling the Contractual Rental Agreement period)
Project implementation cost.
Fleet Management application usage cost.
Customer support and maintenance cost (within Business Operating hours or Outside Business Operating hours)