It may seem counterintuitive, but in an era of paper reduction and the increasing deployment of artificial intelligence, the managed print services (MPS) market is growing. Market Watch projects that managed print will see a 4.1 percent CAGR, reaching $34.8 billion by 2026.
Market analysis reveals that several factors are driving managed print growth. A significant contributor is adoption by small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
SMBs typically have fewer in-house resources available to maintain printers and document management systems — and when issues arise, employees have to turn their attention from sales, customer service, production or other essential tasks to troubleshoot. With managed print, SMB teams can focus on their core competencies, not a printing malfunction.
These businesses are beginning to advance digital transformation with goals including streamlined operations, lower costs, and more environmentally friendly processes – managed print checks all the boxes.
Additionally, businesses in all size categories are looking for ways to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to optimize their operations. For example, making managed print a part of an AI-powered management system facilitates predictive maintenance and security features that scan for attacks and stop hackers before intercepting sensitive information.
Managed print systems can also be the key to digitizing paper records so they can be securely stored and quickly searched.
The Total MPS Solution
Managed print, in its most basic form, is simply the management of all of a business’ printing devices. But that barely skims the surface of the functionality — and value — competitive managed print providers deliver their customers.
Providing managed print services should begin with an assessment that identifies all printing hardware, the volumes each handles, software applications in use, and the costs associated with the organization’s current printing processes. For prospects that don’t have an accurate picture of total expenses related to printing, an online calculator, such as this one from ARC, can help enlighten your customers about how much printing is costing their businesses. Furthermore, those costs can provide a real-life comparison for discussing the cost savings associated with managed print, which can be as much as 30 percent.
The insights gathered from the assessment will also inform a strategic plan to improve efficiency. Recommendations may include:
- Eliminating obsolete printers that eat up time and maintenance dollars
- Choosing the optimal printer and location for each use
- Standardizing hardware through a single vendor to save on maintenance, repair, parts, and supplies
- Automating supplies delivery to eliminate ordering and downtime
A total MPS solution also includes training for the end user’s team, printer use reporting, remote management of printer hardware and software and firmware updates.
Are You Selling?
For managed services providers (MSPs) or value-added resellers (VARs), managed print services can be a logical next step in business growth. If you sell printers, but not printer supplies or related services, managed print can create the opportunity to sell deeper into existing accounts.
Managed print services vendors also offer a variety of complementary products that can expand accounts, such as automated workflow, remote services and print security solutions from Epson and content management services, document analytics and custom multifunction printer (MFP) applications from Xerox.
Selling managed print services may also be a foot in the door with prospects in new vertical markets. Specializing in solutions that meet the printing needs of a particular industry, such as government, education or legal, will enable you to differentiate your business from competitors.
With more businesses actively seeking ways to improve efficiency and save costs — and more open to discussing managed print — it’s time to update your offerings. First, work with your printer vendors and distributors to find solutions that are right for your clients, and then get the word out that you have the answer businesses in your market need.