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As businesses continue to rely on printing to carry out their daily operations, it becomes increasingly important for them to manage their printing needs efficiently in order to save money and time. 

This is where managed print services come in handy, as they can save businesses up to 30% on printing costs. In fact, according to the latest data, the managed print services market is now valued at approximately 50.78 billion and is forecast to reach 78.4 billion by 2029, with a CAGR of 9.4%.

Understanding Managed Print Services Contracts: A Comprehensive Guide

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what managed print services contracts are, how to choose the right service provider, their benefits, and tips for effective contract management.

Types of MPS Contracts

Managed print services are typically designed to reduce costs and increase efficiency by streamlining the printing process and improving print quality. There are several types of MPS contracts available, each with its own unique features and benefits.

Contract TypeDescriptionKey FeaturesIdeal Use Cases
Cost-per-CopyA contract where the company pays a fixed rate per copy made.Predictable costs, potential for cost savings, easy to manage.Organizations with a high volume of copying and printing.
Device-basedA contract where the company pays a fixed rate for each device in their print fleet.Predictable costs, easy to manage, potential for cost savings.Organizations with a large and diverse fleet of printers and copiers.
HybridA contract that combines elements of the cost-per-print, cost-per-copy, and device-based models.Customizable, flexible, potential for cost savings.Organizations with unique or fluctuating printing needs.
Fleet ManagementA contract where the MPS provider manages the company’s entire print fleet, including hardware, software, and supplies.Comprehensive, streamlined, potential for significant cost savings.Organizations with complex print environments or limited IT resources.
Pay-as-you-goA contract where the company only pays for the prints or copies they make, with no fixed rate.Flexible, only pay for what is used, no minimum commitment.Organizations with variable printing needs or seasonal business fluctuations.

Components of a Managed Print Services Contract

Components of a Managed Print Services Contract
ComponentDetailsKey FeaturesPotential Benefits
AssessmentA detailed analysis of the company’s print environment to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement.Identifies cost-saving opportunities, tailored recommendations, data-driven insights.Cost savings, improved efficiency, streamlined workflows.
Equipment ProcurementThe acquisition of new or replacement printing equipment, such as printers, copiers, and scanners.Expert equipment selection, competitive pricing, streamlined ordering process.Improved productivity, reduced downtime, increased cost efficiency.
InstallationThe setup and configuration of new or replacement printing equipment to ensure optimal performance.Professional installation, minimal disruption to workflow, reduced downtime.Reduced downtime, improved productivity, increased efficiency.
MaintenanceThe ongoing repair and maintenance of the company’s printing equipment to ensure reliability and longevity.Proactive maintenance, timely repairs, reduced downtime.Improved equipment performance, reduced downtime, increased cost efficiency.
Supplies ManagementThe management and provision of printer supplies, such as ink and toner, to ensure uninterrupted printing.Automatic supply replenishment, optimized inventory levels, reduced waste.Reduced waste, improved cost efficiency, uninterrupted printing.
Document ManagementThe optimization of document workflows and processes to improve efficiency and reduce printing costs.Streamlined document workflows, reduced printing, improved security.Reduced printing costs, improved efficiency, increased security.
Reporting and AnalyticsThe collection and analysis of data to provide insights and drive continuous improvement.Actionable insights, customizable reporting, data-driven decision-making.Improved cost efficiency, better decision-making, continuous improvement.

Key Terms and Provisions to Look Out For

  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
  • Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Clauses
  • Termination Clauses
  • Renewal and Extension Clauses
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Liability and Indemnification Clauses

Key Considerations When Negotiating an MPS Contract

Negotiating a Managed Print Services (MPS) contract can be a complex process, but taking the time to carefully consider key factors can help ensure a successful outcome. In this list, we will outline some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when negotiating an MPS contract.

Key Considerations When Negotiating an MPS Contract
  1. Scope of Services – Determine which services will be included in the contract, such as equipment procurement, maintenance, supply management, and document management.
  2. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) – Establish clear SLAs for response times, issue resolution, and other performance metrics to ensure quality service and accountability.
  3. Pricing Structure – Understand the pricing structure of the contract, such as cost-per-print, cost-per-copy, or device-based pricing, to ensure transparency and avoid unexpected costs.
  4. Volume Commitments – Consider any minimum volume commitments required in the contract and ensure they align with your business needs.
  5. Contract Term – Evaluate the contract term, including any renewal options and termination clauses, to ensure flexibility and alignment with your business goals.
  6. Security and Compliance – Ensure the MPS provider has appropriate security measures in place to protect confidential information and comply with industry regulations.
  7. Vendor Selection – Evaluate multiple MPS providers to find the best fit for your organization in terms of experience, expertise, and pricing.
  8. Contract Management – Establish a plan for ongoing contract management and review to ensure the contract remains aligned with your business needs.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Signing an MPS Contract

Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Signing an MPS ContractRecommendations
Failing to define clear printing requirementsClearly define your printing requirements to ensure that they are met in the contract
Overlooking service level agreementsNegotiate and include SLAs in the contract to ensure that the provider delivers the expected level of service
Ignoring key terms and provisionsInclude key terms and provisions that protect your business’s interests, such as confidentiality and termination clauses
Not reviewing the contract before signingReview and revise the contract before signing to ensure that it meets your business’s needs
Choosing a provider based on price aloneChoose a provider that offers competitive pricing without compromising on quality
Failing to monitor the provider’s performanceRegularly monitor the provider’s performance to ensure that they are meeting the SLAs and your expectations
Not renewing or extending the contractConsider renewing or extending the contract if the provider has met or exceeded your business’s expectations

Choosing the Right Managed Print Services Provider

Choosing the right managed print services provider is crucial for the success of the contract. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Expertise and Experience: Look for a provider with a proven track record of managing print services contracts.
  • Customizable Solutions: Choose a provider that offers customizable solutions to meet your unique printing needs.
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Look for a provider that offers SLAs that meet your business’s requirements.
  • Cost-Effective Pricing: Choose a provider that offers competitive pricing without compromising on quality.
  • Security and Compliance: Look for a provider that prioritizes security and compliance in their printing processes.

Measuring Performance and Renewing Managed Print Services Contracts

Measuring performance and renewing managed print services contracts is crucial for ensuring that your business is getting the best value from the contract. Here are some tips for measuring performance and renewing contracts:

  • Set Metrics and Targets: Establish metrics and targets to measure the provider’s performance against your business’s objectives.
  • Regular Reviews: Conduct regular reviews of the provider’s performance to identify areas for improvement and ensure that the SLAs are being met.
  • Renewal and Extension: Consider renewing or extending the contract if the provider has met or exceeded your business’s expectations.

Risks and Challenges Associated with Managed Print Services

Managed print services contracts come with their own set of risks and challenges. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Security Risks: Managed print services contracts can expose businesses to security risks, such as data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive information.
  • Lack of Transparency: Some providers may lack transparency, making it difficult for businesses to monitor their performance and ensure that they are meeting the SLAs.
  • Hidden Costs: Some providers may include hidden costs in their contracts, leading to unexpected expenses for businesses.
  • Contract Management: Effective contract management requires ongoing communication and collaboration, which can be challenging for businesses with limited resources.
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