With the current state of the economy, more and more small and medium sized businesses are searching for ways to cut and control costs. Many are turning to Managed Print Services (MPS). MPS companies began appearing on the business scene a little over ten years ago.
As business technology has changed, MPS has become about more than just cost saving through managing the print environment, it has grown to include a full range of IT service management. In 2014 companies are looking to MPS not to just save money, but to implement strategies that can help them to achieve real business growth.
If you are considering hiring a professional MPS company for your business, becoming informed is the first step. Research your options in the marketplace. Some MPS companies specialize in smaller businesses, while others work with mid-sized to larger companies. You need to find a provider that will work with your established corporate culture.
Here are five questions to ask when you are interviewing potential vendors that can make your decision easier:
1. How will you save me money?
Pretty simple question, but it should not be a simple answer. Probe for depth. Ask for specifics. Modern MPS needs to manage all aspects of your print environment, including technological choices as well as processes. Your vendor should be able to establish a clear total cost analysis as well as baselines from which to measure actual savings.
2. What about other vendors I’m already working with?
Make sure your candidate is interested in selling you exactly what you need, no matter the source. To achieve the best results they need to be able to work with your existing infrastructure. They need to be able to manage competitive devices so you don’t have to throw away existing devices to reinvest in new technology.
3. How will MPS grow my business?
MPS providers should consistently offer innovative ideas for cost savings as well as growing your existing business. If they are not continuously offering new ideas, they likely don’t have much to offer in this area.
4. How will you support my business as we grow?
You should be looking for a long-term relationship with your MPS provider. Like any good business relationship, your MPS team will learn more about your corporate culture the longer they work with your company. You want to find a company that will seamlessly integrate with your environment and become almost an in-house print management department as opposed to merely a vendor. The right company will be prepared to provide change management programs to help your employees adapt to the next generation of IT services and workflow protocols. They should also offer ongoing technology support consulting and learning opportunities for your staff.
5. What’s your approach to mobile?
Technology is rapidly moving to the mobile space. Embracing this new technology across your organization is critical to employee efficiency. Look for a partner that can give you a full and accurate assessment of your existing IT infrastructure and can support your mobile technology where needed.
If you get good solid answers to these five questions, it’s a good sign that you have found the Managed Print Services provider for you. As a business person, you need to control costs in every way possible in this economic climate and MPS is a great place to start! Turning over the management of your print and IT environments to professionals will give you the time to focus on growing your core business. It just makes good business sense.