Printing at the organizational level is often charitably considered a major challenge. One way to overcome these difficulties is to adopt a managed print services model. What should you expect from a printing management system, though?
The central concept of the managed model is that a third-party services provider will assess your organization's needs. Likewise, they will determine how much of the existing printing architecture is usable and how much they need to replace. If there are any issues with either the hardware or software, you can also expect the services provider to handle replacements, repairs, and maintenance.
They may also install an administrative model. Usually, this means creating a user system with privileges. People can only access assets if they have sufficient privileges. Not only does this discourage waste, but it enhances security.
Generally, a managed print services company will want your organization to use a unified architecture. Most providers have contracts with specific manufacturers or suppliers. This allows them to get discounts that they can then use to competitively price their service. It also makes it easier because their technicians will be used to working on a printing management system that employs the same tools across the board. They won't have to get up to speed on a different architecture, and that makes service and support work simpler, faster, and generally more cost-effective.
Modern organizations tend to need highly integrated printing systems. If someone from the sales department has report files on their desktop, they probably would like to access those files and send them to the nearest printer on demand. Using an integrated system, they can use their tablet or phone to connect to the printer and produce the report quickly.
This can make meetings significantly easier because people won't have to run to different rooms and wait on their printers. They can simply send the report to the closest printer, grab it, and get back to business.
Many companies also need extensive printing automation. If you need to send customized letters to 100 people from a mailing list, for example, automation can help you plug data into the letters quickly. This saves repetitive editing tasks, speeding up the entire process.
You will also want to keep tabs on your printers as assets. The typical printing management system identifies each asset, the time between failures, and the current consumables status. It can flag problems early and notify the services provider.