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Managed Print Services

• Defining “Managed Print Services” (MPS)
There are many different interpretations of the phrase.  Don’t assume that it means the same to everybody who uses the term.
At one extreme, MPS is Outsourcing.  An organisations’ print/ copy/scan needs are undertaken by a third party- labour included.  Like having a Print shop, but located on your own premises.
Business practices have in some respects turned full circle, since the advent of the “personal” computer and of departmental floor standing and cabinet standing printers and photocopiers were designed to facilitate self help and the need to use third parties to produce documents.
MPS can also be used in a less comprehensive context.  The more usual meaning relates to the management and awareness of print costs to an organisation.  The most obvious facilitators include:

1. Paying for machine consumables on a “cost per page” basis, rather than buying individual consumables on an as/when basis.
2. MPS is also promoted as a means to acquire the printing asset.  In like vein to Contract hire for cars, MPS has been promoted as a simple and easy to manage financial tool in which the machine throughput is combined with its acquisition costs and expressed as a single cost per page (with accompanying contracted volumes)
3. MPS is often used to describe the automation of office supplies and administration.  In particular the ability of machines to notify the supplier when a consumable has expired, or a machine has a problem or service request.
4. MPS is the generic term used to define, with a hard edge, the concept of “Service”.  A good SLA (Service level agreement) will clearly define key criteria including response times, fix rates, problem escalation system, and penalty payments if appropriate