July 23, 2015 by Mike Smith

Managed Print Services Aren’t About Printing At All

Managed Print Services Aren’t About Printing At All

More than paper, it’s your workflows that matter most

When people think about Managed Print Services, the first things that come to mind are printers, paper, and toner. The stuff you actually print on, but if you want to successfully manage your printer fleet you have to think about what people actually do with documents first. In order to understand printing, you have to understand workflows.

Why print at all?

In the past month or two I think I’ve printed maybe 15-20 pages. Maybe. I often digitally sign contracts, edit documents, and work with campaign mockups without needing a single sheet of paper. But, there’s a catch. I do need to print documents sometimes. Maybe because I need a couple signatures. Maybe it’s easier to scratch out an idea. Maybe there are so many edits I just need to break out one of my favorite pencils and attack it. Regardless of why, when I need to print I need it fast, easy, and…printed.

Understanding why people need to print helps choose printers, locations, and even plan for future capacity.

Mobile printing and workflows

On more than a few occasions I’ve needed to print something, but I only had my iPhone or iPad. Printing from mobile devices can be a real challenge. Have you planned for workflows that might start on a mobile device and end in a final, printed document?

Email, print, scan, archive

For many industries you have to have paper archives of documents for auditing and regulatory oversight. But what if you need something from that document you filed in the basement five years ago? How do you manage the paper to electronic barrier when you need to get something quickly?

Hello 1991, you have a fax waiting for you

Just this week our Events Marketing Specialist Sonia needed to fax something. Fax. It took a while to figure out where the fax machine was in the office. We couldn’t remember when we needed to fax something. While faxing seems so quaint and 20th century to some of us, for a lot of offices faxing is still essential. Can people fax without getting up from their desks? If someone needs to receive a fax, can that fax come right into email (where most of us live anyway)? Even if your company doesn’t fax too often, these are the questions to consider in your printer fleet planning.

Top secret, for your eyes only

A lot of what gets printed is benign and if someone picked up your document and glanced at it, it wouldn’t be a big deal. Until it is a big deal. From HR to Legal to Marketing and Sales sometimes you need to print a sensitive document and dash to the printer to make sure you’re the first one there. Many printers have passwords and passcodes so if you don’t know the code you can’t retrieve the document. Protected document are usually send in secure memory and printed when the code is entered.

Looking ahead to the future of print

As we look forward to the future of print management we don’t see a decline in needing printers, we see a change in what the printer is for and what it does. Printers should be able to have an email forwarded to it, find a signature page, bring it up to the screen to sign, then email back, and save an archived copy for your records. I don’t think this kind of seamless workflow system is far off. Why not? Scan a document and have it autoarchvied electronically on a filestore so the original can be boxed and packed away. Sounds like a great thing to me.

At Microserve we don’t look at printers and printing as just putting ink or toner on paper, but a whole workflow that enhances productivity and saves money. Contact us for a print management assessment.

About Mike Smith
Mike is an HP/IPAA / DSS Document Solutions Assessment Specialist and is a Certified Sales Specialist for HP, Lexmark, Xerox and Ricoh with over 16 years of experience in Managed Print. Mike is a Managed Print Specialist with a proven track record of working with enterprise, education, Provincial and local Government accounts in that field. His focus has been assisting organizations in managing, controlling, and reducing the cost of office printing with leading edge document management software solutions.

Mike was a pioneer in developing Managed Print Fleet/Cost per Page Programs in Western Canada and has managed HP Elite Solutions Partner designations and HP/ IPAA certification. (Image Print Assessment Authorized). He also has the unique distinction of being HP/DSS (Digital Solutions Specialist) designation.

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