What's the difference – Managed Print Services v Print Management Services

Managed Print Services vs Print Management Services?

When two seemingly similar sounding service offerings actually mean completely different business models?

Although they sound the same and are often used in the same context, they are in fact very different from each other!

Here’s how?

Print Management Services

Let me start by describing what print management is! Back in June 2011, I wrote about print management services and the benefits it can bestow on an enterprise or company, a more detailed understanding of it is here!

Optimising print management enables a business or enterprise to “control” costs through an external service provider for all their document and print needs.

This can be anything from a business card, USB stick, offset printing, wide format, apparel and promotional gifts to printed leaflets and magazines.

The benefits of working with a print management partner enables you to make gains financially as your print spend is centralised with one main supplier.

Their ability to locate and provide the print resources you lack in house such as buying power, print expertise, skill and cost budgeting are beneficial to the customer.

Most businesses have no idea what they are spending on print in fact many businesses view print as a necessary evil rather than an essential tool in their business kit and certainly one that can benefit from being outsourced to an external party!

Print management is about managing the purchasing. It really is a mixed print bag of stock control, logistics, distribution, storage, procurement of printed matter designed to deliver cost savings, time savings and controlled spending whilst providing a managed print solution.

Managed Print Services

managed print services

Managed Print Services or Print Management Service

Often abbreviated to MPS also known as enterprise printing services and managed document services.

MPS refers to the active deployment of a centralised management of a fleet or group of hard copy output devices such as photocopiers, digital devices, laser printers and scanners.

In effect it enables the company, school, university to take control of their printed output from any or all of these devices.

Thus controlling what gets printed on what device.

MPS affords the ability to manage and control the cost of the output by providing secure, restrictive, re-directional access to printing devices by setting up company wide rules for output consistently, automatically resulting in responsible printing and minimising waste paper and ink toner.

It is a simple solution designed to keep track of all output from connected printers and copiers by accounting for and recovering costs therefore ensuring convenience but without sacrificing security.

What are the benefits of both?

For example a University would make substantial savings having a managed print service and a print management service provider.

With many staff and students accessing potentially thousands of devices on a network tight control of what gets printed and where is warranted.

Equally a print management service takes away the headache of how to go about printing the Student HandBook or Prospectus as the print management company will have the knowledge and access to the best trade supplier thus ensuring the university gets the job done at the best price.

Both services are in effect managed centrally with MPS enabling an organisation to control their print budget and PMS (print management services) although externalised also managed centrally albeit printing is off sited but with control over monetary spend provided by the PM company who as part of the service provision will seek to manage your print costs.

Which service is better for me?

No hard and fast rule really. A school, university or a law practice could benefit from a combination of both services. A business who has a spend of £50k p.a. on print might well benefit from a PM service as they lack the time and skill to source printed items and may well be running a number of desktop printers and maybe 1-2 copiers.

Compare this say to a university or a big city based law firm where personnel print either from a desk top or remotely and there is no real control over what gets printed and where it gets printed i.e. a document printed in colour when black and white will suffice. An MPS will give them better control over costs.

Where print is ordered on a “when we need it basis” and is managed by different personnel then its highly likely a PM service will save the firm time and money!

managed print servicesBoth services can work in tandem or independently of each other! Both services have the potential to drive a business’ print costs down substantially making the management of print less fraught and time consuming!

By requesting a print audit we will be able to establish what service will benefit your organisation.

So call us now for a free impartial discussion and we will show you how to save money on your print!


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