What is MPS?

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When you manage office printers and other output devices effectively, you will become more efficient and lower costs. That’s the basic idea behind Managed Print Services (or MPS), which helps businesses run operations more efficiently. By working with an MPS provider, companies can digitize information smoothly, improve their workflow, and in general make the most of their production environment, which can include printers, scanners, copiers, and other devices.

An important point to make here is that MPS should not be defined as a complete outsourcing of all printer management. A provider will work closely with a company to make sure there is exposure to how the devices are managed, maintained, and secured. An MPS provider becomes a trusted ally and not a third-party that operates in the background. This is especially true when it comes to printer analytics, an activity that helps a company understand how devices are used and what the associated costs. An MPS also helps a company understand if printers and copiers are used efficiently or can be optimized.

To understand how Managed Print Service can benefit any company including how it works and improves operations, here are a few important factors to know about.

1. Information is digitized

At the heart of MPS is the process of digitizing information. This creates a digital workflow, which is the hallmark of any MPS strategy. The way employees work with documents will change and improve; they will find it easier to access information once it is digitized, and they will use print services as needed once they know documents are so easy to find. 

Once information is fully digitized, it can become part of Managed Print Services. And, every employee and department benefits because of this easier, more efficient access. 

2. Workflows improve

Since MPS is mostly a digital effort that leads to more efficient use of printers and copiers, companies can expect improvements in the document workflow. This is more than throttling of how often employees print or reducing errors in printing. It’s a change in how employees access the information in the first place. 

Think of a PDF file that is stored “somewhere” on a network and how much time is wasted looking for one document. MPS is a way to improve how digital files are ingested, stored, retried, and produced to make employees more efficient. 

3. Security improves

Another benefit to MPS is that the entire document workflow becomes more secure. With a more traditional print management system - say one that is perhaps maintained by an internal staff manually - is that that all documents become instantly available. 

User authentication plays an important role here as well because an employee can gain access to all documents, which are often managed and stored by a third party in a way that makes them easier to find. Due to how MPS is managed by a third-party provider, the onus is on that provider to make sure security protocols are in place and employees are free to focus on projects of their own. 

4. Print services become more automated

MPS typically involves automatic replenishment of paper supplies and ink cartridges, and also typically involves device maintenance. Similar to ho a cloud storage provider can help automate data storage for a company, an MPS can automate how documents are stored and accessed. 

Companies find that an MPS makes every department more efficient. And, this automation also frees them up to work on other more important tasks instead of having to deal with the maintenance, technology updates, and replenishment duties themselves. 

5. Technology innovations occur

Any understanding of MPS and the benefits to a company should include the topic of digital transformation and the impact new technology has on a business. As with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, an MPS is designed to augment and improve workflows for employees. 

Companies don’t need to completely redesign a business process for new technologies but trust that the MPS provider is integrating new tech as it becomes available and improving an automating as needed. There’s no need to pause services o redesign workflows for employees only because there is a new tech advancement, and there’s no interruption in print services due to making upgrades. 

6. Guest services improve

Similar to how a guest account on a Wi-Fi network helps stakeholders and business partners stay productive when they visit a company or when they work with employees, an MPS is also geared for productivity with third-parties. 

But an MPS is not just designed for employees. It helps visitors access print services as well, trusting that they are well-maintained and will help anyone who needs to print to do so without any problems or without complications. This can even involve the user authentication of guess accounts and any security management issues.

7. Costs are lower

When anything is well-managed and well-maintained, it tends to cost less. MPS is no different. Having a service provider who handles print services in a company, including the auto-replenishment, device maintenance, and workflow improvements will also help a company uncover spending misallocations and redundancies. That’s one clear advantage because the provider is charged with making sure all print services run smoothly. 

And, an MPS is often arranged in a “pay as you go” model which means a company can add the services they need and adjust those print services to match the needs of the business.  

8. Analytics help the business

With MPS, you can expect a concerted effort with the provider to provide printer analytics. This can involve the costs for each device, the usage by department, suggestions on how to improve workflows, any security issues and how they were resolved, and summaries for executives that explain how all of the printers, copiers, and other devices were used. 

Analytics can be rolled up to a daily report or summarized by week, month and year. The advantage of this is that a company can make decisions about how devices are managed. And, they can use analytics to improve the workflow for employees who are using print services.

John Brandon


John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.