Copiers, Fax machines, printers

Managed Print Services


Managed Print Services or Total Cost Management.
There is an explosion of service companies providing this way of tracking all of the costs associated with your copiers and printers. It is called “Total Cost Management.” Most if not all copiers, MFP’s and printers can be monitored on your network with revolutionary print management software. You are able to track your total pages or copies. You can monitor toner low warnings, error codes, paper jams, and everything associated with your machine. This software can help you calculate how much you are paying for the total ownership of all of your equipment. This is very helpful when purchasing new equipment. The software will help you figure all the costs of your equipment, toner, parts, supplies and service.If you are shopping for a Managed Print Solution,  this article deals with the ins and the outs of MPS, read on…

Laser printer maintenance contracts are similar to copier service contracts. Most laser printer service contracts are billed by cost per print.  MPS takes it another step and will be responsible for an entire fleet of printers, fax machines and copiers. Each time you print a page the internal meter clicks.   This is how you are billed.  At the end of the billing cycle, be it monthly, quarterly or whatever, they tally the amount of clicks and multiply it by the “Cost Per Print”, ( CPP).  This is not always the way you are billed, but it is a general rule.  Each MPS provider is different and have their own  carefully protected formula. It could be by factoring in the amount of users or by the units in place.  Whatever it is, the CPP is the deciding factor because they aren’t providing you this service for free.

MPS normally has a software package that tracks page counts, order toner automatically, flags a printer for service if an error pops up and invoicing and many other things.  A big advantage  to MPS  is tracking of individual hardware.  Say a piece of equipment is under utilized or over utilized you can rearrange locations to suit your needs and become more effective by deploying the correct equipment in a specific location.  Tracking specific costs for supplies is another huge benefit.

Basically,  after the end of each month or quarter an invoice is generated by multiplying the cost per page by the total prints made. The cost per page is determined by monthly volume, age of machine and environment. Environment plays a big part because if it is in a dirty environment it will need possibly twice as much service than a machine in a clean environment.   The good part is that your costs are fixed, so you will know how much per year you will spend instead of hoping it won’t break down too much or have a serious or really expensive part break. There are many ways of paying for a service contract. It depends on the way you and your company would like to be billed. Most service companies offer monthly, quarterly and annual billing.

Understanding what is covered and what is not covered is very important to find out before you purchase a service contract. Does the contract include supplies? Some supply items are toner and maintenance kits. Find out what hours the service company is available and days of the week that they operate. Which holidays do they take off? What is their response time? Most service contracts do not cover abuse or neglect. So be cautious with those paper clips and staples as they can cause an expensive repair and it probably won’t be covered. Get all of this in writing then there will not be any surprises.