Organizations may suspect that their cost to print and distribute documents is too high, but the actual financial impact of printing is frequently underestimated by a wide margin. Companies can reduce up to 30% of printing costs with an effective managed print services (MPS) program.

While MPS can be fantastic news for any business looking to reduce costs and become more efficient, it can be a disaster if not implemented correctly. Many vendors today propagate the benefits of MPS but do not actually deliver them. Instead, we continue to find organizations in expensive lease agreements, with little to no management from the vendor. So how do you ensure your success?

MORE: The 3 Pain Points to Address in Document Automation & Optimization within MPDS Engagements

1. Clearly define and document your objectives.

What desired outcomes do you wish to accomplish, and how will you measure the program's success? Share this with vendors seeking your business.

2. Understand the real costs and challenges present in your current environment. 

This visibility is critical to determine if the vendor is truly going to maximize your investment with them.

3. Ensure your internal team has the knowledge and expertise needed to outsource the project and negotiate with vendors.

Even large, sophisticated IT organizations need help identifying roadblocks and hidden vendor agendas. For firms with no internal expertise, often a third-party consultant is procured to guide the RFP and program process. Relying solely on the vendor to provide honest and accurate information can be a recipe for disaster.

4. Do not blindly trust vendors.

There are certainly good and honest vendors (be it manufacturers or independent dealers and resellers), who truly have your best interests at heart. However, many dealers and resellers are simply propagating an old business model as managed print services to maximize their revenue, even when it is not in the customer's best interest. Getting caught in an expensive cost-per-page contract can cripple a small business.

MPS can be a tremendous benefit to companies in terms of reducing costs, freeing up IT to work on more strategic tasks and even providing environmental benefits by reducing your organization's carbon footprint. Done poorly, it can trap you in a long-term engagement where your costs increase and your customer satisfaction declines. The key is to do the up-front work to ensure your MPS program is a success. Proper planning and communication can make the difference.


Scott Rowe serves as a marketing specialist at Photizo Group, a leading global business transformation firm. To learn more about Photizo Group, visit

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