Businessman scanning document in printer

Managed Print Services vs. handling it yourself

Virtually every physical office has a printer. In fact, many offices have several, often connected by networking. Managing printers and their associated supplies can be a headache for even the most organized office supervisor.

Printer technology is often bought piecemeal, which can mean tracking and maintaining several types of toner cartridges. No one remembers to say that they’ve taken the last ream of paper. And as printers become more sophisticated and connected, they also become a risk point for a cyberattack. Managed print services can help make your office run more smoothly and calmly. Let’s look at how. 

What are managed print services? 

There are several elements to managed print services. 

First, companies conduct an inventory of the hardware already in place. They can help you standardize your equipment, getting you printers that all use the same type of toner cartridge so that you don’t need to track so many types. 

Next, they can install software that tracks how quickly you use toner, paper, and other related printing supplies. They can automatically reorder items for you so that you never run out and never have too much on hand.

But beyond that, they can look at your printer’s protections from intrusion. They can then work with your IT team, whether they are a managed service or an in-house team, to protect your business from vulnerabilities that may exist. 

What are the benefits? 

You get several benefits by working with a managed print services business. You no longer have to worry about who took the last toner cartridge for a mission-critical printer.  You don’t need to call anyone when the printer requires maintenance.

But a managed print services company also makes sure that your printer is kept up to date with any security updates or software patches. After all, the IoT and mobile devices are becoming common access points for potential threats. Anything connected to your network can be a risk, and that includes your smart printer that lets you run a print job from several rooms away. 

Why should you avoid doing it yourself? 

Many companies are accustomed to managing their own printing needs.

This would be fine, but many offices are poorly equipped to handle the issues that come along with running one or more printers. Few offices have a dedicated office manager – this often becomes part of   someone else’s job description, like your IT staff or Service Desk, and it is rarely considered the most important piece of that position. Someone is trying to keep track of toner, paper, and other supplies but may frequently find that they’re out of various items. Having a dedicated person to track trends, usage, and reordering frequency would be ideal – but few companies can afford to have that be an entire position. 

Managed print services take all of that out of the equation. Like other managed services companies, the print company charges a flat fee or a cost per page for their services. They monitor your levels, learn over time, and help you identify trends to smooth out rough spots for your company’s ordering process.

And, after all, the receptionist in your office is rarely trained to look for software patches for the printer. IT may have much bigger issues to handle on a day-to-day basis. Having someone with industry-specific knowledge looking out for necessary patches is a big part of protecting a company from cyberthreats. 

If you’re looking for a business that can help you assess your need for managed print services, reach out to Microserve. We’ll look at what you already have in place and help you decide the best way to move forward.