Decoding the Process: A Comprehensive Guide to Selecting the Right MPS Provider

Navigating the world of Managed Print Services (MPS) can be a daunting task. Like a ship in uncharted waters, you’re faced with a sea of options, each promising to be the ideal solution for your business needs. But how do you choose the right MPS provider?

In this article, I’ll share my insights on what to look for when selecting an MPS provider. You’ll learn about the key factors to consider, from the provider’s capabilities to the level of customer support they offer. So, let’s set sail on this journey to find your perfect MPS partner.

Understanding Managed Print Services (MPS)

In the realm of enterprise solutions, Managed Print Services (MPS) emerges as a key player. Broadly speaking, MPS encapsulates offerings that improve, streamline, and manage the document output processes of an organization.

What Is an MPS?

An MPS, or Managed Print Service, represents a comprehensive suite of services provided by external vendors that manage all aspects of a company’s print environment. This includes, but isn’t limited to, the maintenance of hardware equipment (like printers or copiers), tracking and restocking supplies (like paper or ink), and various underlying software solutions. With an MPS, businesses gain not only operational efficiency but also the ability to focus on core competencies rather than the ancillary task of document management.

The Benefits of Using an MPS Provider

Choosing a reputable MPS provider packs several perks for a business. For starters, businesses find cost-saving benefits in MPS providers. They optimize the use of resources such as paper and power, resulting in significant cost reductions over time. Plus, from a sustainability perspective, they help companies lessen their impact on the environment through waste reduction and energy-saving practices.

Efficiency is another key advantage of MPS providers. These professionals constantly monitor the print environment, allowing for fast resolution of issues and reducing downtime. With their expertise, they can install and manage software solutions that amplify workflow efficiencies, for instance, by automating repetitive tasks.

Lastly, but certainly not least, security improves when enlisting an MPS provider. These providers enforce stringent security measures that protect sensitive business-related data, a concern paramount in today’s digital economy.

In the course of this article, I’ll further delve into key aspects to consider when choosing an MPS provider to ensure you harness these benefits optimally.

Key Factors to Consider When Selecting an MPS Provider

As the quest for the perfect Managed Print Services (MPS) provider continues, certain factors stand paramount for scrutiny. Among these weigh the provider’s experience and reputation, the range of services offered, their prowess in technology and innovation, and the flexibility and scalability of services.

Experience and Reputation

Select an MPS provider with a proven track record and excellent reputation. Their team’s knowledge and experience demonstrate the vendor’s ability to manage complex print environments. Read reviews, seek out client testimonials, and view case studies to gain an insight into the provider’s caliber. Remember, a reputable provider signifies reliability, ensuring all your managed print needs are not just met, but exceeded.

Range of Services Offered

The ideal MPS provider goes beyond the realm of mere print management, offering a range of other services. They assist in print infrastructure setup, provide regular maintenance, facilitate secure printing, and even manage your print supply inventory. Check if the provider can integrate your print environment with digital workflow solutions, contributing to enhanced productivity.

Technology and Innovation

The world of print management thrives on changing technology and continuous innovation. Your chosen MPS provider must harness the power of these advancements, transforming them into actionable efficiencies for your organization. Their services should incorporate the latest software, hardware, and best industry practices to increase operational efficiency.

Flexibility and Scalability

As your business grows and evolves, so should your print management solutions. Your MPS provider must exhibit flexibility and scalability to accommodate your changing needs. Look for providers who offer customizable packages and do not bind you into rigid contracts. It’s the adaptability that distinguishes an average provider from a stellar one, helping your business traverse the print management landscape with ease.

Evaluating MPS Provider Customer Service

The customer service of a Managed Print Services (MPS) provider serves as a vital piece in the selection process. It determines how prompt, effective and comprehensive their assistance will be during the partnership. Considering the predominance of interactive processes and the heightened requirement for prompt solutions, assessing the quality of a provider’s customer service becomes paramount.

Support and Maintenance Contracts

Support contracts from MPS providers offers simplicity in managing print-related issues. They typically include regular servicing, on-site repairs, and provision of essential parts. A good MPS Provider provides proactive maintenance, ensuring that all devices run efficiently 24/7. It’s essential to verify the details in the support and maintenance agreement, paying attention to response times, the availability of on-site support, and the provision of routine preventive maintenance.

User Training and Onboarding

Effective onboarding and training programs facilitate a quick transition to the MPS regime, minimizing operational lags and amplifying productivity. This process involves educating employees about new devices and software, paving the way for an effortless transition. For instance, a quality onboarding program may include hands-on training sessions, demos, or a combination of both which reinforce usage policies and best practices.

Availability of Support

The frequency of support offered by the MPS provider, can spell the difference between minor operational hiccups and severe downtimes. A provider that offers round-the-clock support ensures minimal disruption to your business operations. Evaluate if support is accessible across multiple platforms—like email, phone, live chat—and if there’s a dedicated account manager. For a more solid insight, seek testimonials or case studies that provide a real-world gauge of their reliability and responsiveness.

Cost Considerations in MPS Provider Selection

Steering your focus towards cost considerations when choosing an MPS provider becomes instrumental in the decision-making process. Pricing structures, hidden costs, fees, and the total cost of ownership play major roles in the final assessment.

Understanding the Pricing Structure

A clear grasp of the. pricing structure facilitates a smooth business relationship with an MPS provider. Different providers employ diverse pricing models. For instance, while some charge a flat monthly fee, encompassing all the services, others might adopt a pay-per-use model, where costs vary based on actual usage. It’s crucial for businesses to familiarize themselves with the pricing structure, enabling sensible decisions that align with their financial constraints and business goals.

Hidden Costs and Fees

Beyond the obvious service costs, hidden costs and fees often lurk in the shadows, posing unanticipated financial burdens. These may arise from additional equipment rentals, supply costs overruns, penalties for exceeding the agreed-upon print volume, or specific service fees. Awareness of these potential extra charges equips businesses to efficiently manage their budgets while benefiting from MPS.

Looking at the Total Cost of Ownership

The total cost of ownership (TCO) in relation to MPS includes all the expenses associated with acquiring, operating, maintaining, and supporting the print environment over a given period. Essentially, TCO is more than just the upfront costs or price per printed page. It encompasses costs related to hardware, supplies, maintenance, energy usage, and more. A thorough analysis of TCO can offer a more accurate estimate of the costs involved in partnering with a particular MPS provider.

How to Assess MPS Provider Security Protocols

After understanding the crucial financial aspects of selecting an MPS provider, let’s put our attention towards examining the security protocols that these potential providers offer, mainly focusing on data protection measures and compliance with industry standards.

Data Protection Measures

Data security, one example being sensitive corporate information, serves as a vital aspect when considering an MPS provider. Ideally, the provider’s security protocols ought to prevent unauthorized access, encapsulating multiple layers of security.

Key measures include:

  • Implementing strong encryption techniques, such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption, safeguards data from potential threats.
  • Maintaining regular software updates and patches ensure the system stays ahead of potential vulnerabilities.
  • Integrating network firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS) act as additional barriers against threats.

Compliance with Industry Standards and Regulations

In addition to robust data protection, MPS providers must strictly adhere to established industry standards and regulations.

I advocate for looking closely at the following areas:

  • Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affirms the provider’s commitment to data privacy, especially crucial when dealing with European Union customers’ data.
  • Aligning with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) demonstrates commitment to privacy if dealing with healthcare data.
  • Conforming with ISO 27001 indicates the provider’s competence in establishing, implementing, and maintaining an efficient Information Security Management System (ISMS).

Being well-informed about the security protocol standards and data protection strategies employed by your potential MPS provider can make the selection process precise and safer. This, in addition to the previously discussed cost considerations and support services, aids in selecting the right provider to manage your print services.

The Importance of Sustainability in MPS

It’s becoming increasingly important to evaluate an MPS provider’s commitment to sustainability. With growing concerns about climate change and the depletion of natural resources, organizations are demanding more eco-friendly practices from their vendors. For an MPS provider, this includes both implementing eco-friendly practices internally and offering energy-efficient equipment options to their clients.

Eco-Friendly Practices

A credible MPS provider shows a solid commitment to eco-friendly practices. This includes strategies to reduce, reuse, and recycle, minimizing their carbon footprint. One way they can achieve this is by implementing measures to recirculate used printer cartridges and prevent them from ending up in landfills. Another method is by offering recycling programs for clients to dispose of their old equipment responsibly, keeping electronic waste out of landfills.

In addition, MPS providers can enforce print policies that minimize unnecessary printing, thereby reducing paper waste. For instance, implementing duplex printing, printing in black and white instead of color, and using print preview features to reduce printing errors serve the dual purpose of saving resources and costs.

Energy-Efficient Equipment Options

Besides eco-friendly practices, an MPS provider’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in the types of equipment they offer. Offering energy-efficient equipment options is a cornerstone of sustainability in MPS.

In terms of printers, look for options that are ENERGY STAR certified. These devices are designed to use less energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by inefficient energy use. Furthermore, MPS providers often offer newer models which tend to be more energy-efficient than older counterparts.

Also, efficient equipment doesn’t only refer to energy efficiency. Printers with high print yields are a great example of this, as they require fewer cartridge replacements, resulting in less waste.

Thus, by opting for an MPS provider committed to sustainability, organizations can make a significant positive impact on the environment while still achieving their print management goals. Given all of these considerations, the importance of sustainability in Managed Print Services cannot be overstated.

Making the Final Decision

Deciding on an MPS provider involves deliberation, factual comparison, and importantly, trust. The final decision won’t be a random selection. Rather, it’ll evolve from a synthesis of testimonials, pilot programs, and an indefinable element, often referred to as “gut feeling.”

Gathering Testimonials and Case Studies

An essential part of my decision-making process entails gathering testimonials and case studies. Numerous concrete examples exist of how a potential MPS provider has improved business processes. These examples aren’t just words of praise; they’re instances of success achieved in real-world situations. As an effective researcher, I won’t stop at one positive testimonial. I’ll examine multiple case studies, digging deep into the details, and look for patterns of success.

Pilot Programs and Test Runs

Acting like the prospective MPS partner is already my choice, I see if they offer the chance to run a pilot program. This way, I can see firsthand how they operate, their degree of compatibility with my business, and whether the claimed benefits materialize. By observing their services in action, I gather factual data – not just theories or promises. Running a test phase gives the provider an opportunity to demonstrate what they can bring to the table.

Trusting Your Gut

In decision-making, people often undervalue instinct, but it can be a powerful tool. After evaluating testimonials and conducting pilot programs, I may still feel uncertain. It’s here that I indulge in the luxury of trusting my gut. While this aspect remains intangible in nature, its weight in the decision-making process is significant, particularly when the logical analysis fails to surface one clear winner. If something feels off, it probably is. Conversely, a good vibe can be a deciding factor. So I give myself permission to trust my instincts.


Choosing the right MPS provider isn’t a task to be taken lightly. It’s a critical decision that can greatly impact your business’s efficiency, cost savings, and security. The process requires careful consideration of the provider’s experience, reputation, services, technology, and sustainability practices. Don’t overlook the power of testimonials, case studies, and pilot programs in revealing the true capabilities of a potential provider. Trust and intuition also play pivotal roles in this selection process. Remember, tangible evidence should support your gut feeling. So, take your time, weigh your options, and make an informed decision. Your business deserves an MPS provider that not only meets but exceeds your expectations.