How managed print services solve five key challenges for small businesses

When choosing a printer, SMEs are likely to look for a reliable printer that doesn’t cost too much to run, and doesn’t jam or break down every time they need to print something in a hurry. They may be looking for speed over quality, or they may print their own collateral and marketing materials, meaning they need crisp, vibrant colours. Whatever the printer will be used for, the management of the device should be a critical part of the selection process.

For SME owners, choosing the right printer for their business starts with knowing exactly what they will use the printer for, and should take into account characteristics such as: speed; volume; quality; functionality; mobility; and sustainability. Beyond that, it’s important for SMEs to consider a managed print services provider to help them more effectively manage their printers and/or multifunction devices more cost-effectively and efficiently, as well as support them as they grow.

Managed print services solves five key challenges for small businesses:

  1. IT support costs. Many IT help desk calls are print-related, monopolising IT resources’ time, which could be better spent on value-adding activities for the business. A managed print services contract includes tech support, so if there’s a problem with the printer, SMEs can simply contact their provider who can help them via phone or, if necessary, send out a technician.
  2. Rising costs. Lack of visibility, indiscriminate printing, and not having the right number or type of devices can all add significant cost to the business. A managed print services provider will review all of this and help SMEs set and enforce new policies that combat rising costs. This can include consolidating the printer fleet, reducing waste, and keeping information secure through various security services.
  3. Uncontrolled printer fleets. Many small businesses use a patchwork of devices that aren’t integrated and don’t offer the breadth of functionality required. Managed print services providers can help ensure SMEs have the right number and type of printers, and that these machines are regularly serviced and kept up to date so they simply work when needed.
  4. Environmental impact of printing. When employees print more than they need to, it’s a sign that print governance needs to be implemented to reduce waste and cost, which is where a managed print service provider can help.
  5. Security. Security solutions safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of information through print authentication, hard drive security features and whole-of-life device management services to mitigate risk and meet compliance requirements. For example, when a device reaches end-of-life the managed print services provider can remove the hard disk drive from the device, and return it to the SMB to remove files in accordance with their own security policies.

SMEs looking to save money, increase efficiency, and reap the benefits within their operations should consider a managed print services option as part of any device purchase. Without managed print services, businesses could find it difficult to fully leverage their investment in new devices.

Shane Blandford, Director of Marketing and Innovation, Konica Minolta

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