In many small businesses, departmental roles and responsibilities are blurry – human resources fades to marketing, marketing to sales, and IT to “anything remotely technical” that has any kind of connection to a computer or plugs into a wall.
Pretty broad, right?
If you have in-house IT, I'm going to go out on a short limb and guess that they're stretched thin. They have to divide their focus across a number of technical priorities from desktops and data to website administration to maintaining printers and copiers.
With so many balls in the air, it's easy to lose focus on planning for the future or updating the latest security patch.
And IT departments HATE having to deal with printers. The words “the printer is down” is like fingernails on a chalkboard for IT help desks.
While it might appear to make sense to keep your copier and printer fleet as a DIY function of IT, there is another way (a very efficient, cost-effective way at that) - outsource it to a managed print service provider.
Sure, some IT folks might like playing hero every now and then when the printer breaks, but it gets old quick:
- Troubleshooting copier and printer problems wastes a lot of time
- IT is trained in IT, not copier repair or maintenance
- A person who is unskilled at repairing a copier can actually do MORE damage than good
- Employees whose responsibilities get stretched and abused eventually burn out
With managed print, you hand over control (and optimization) of your print environment to people who are experts in office equipment, connectivity, and workflow.
How Can a Third Party Troubleshoot My Copier Issues?
If you really think about it, the most common print-related problems you experience in your office were probably caused by user or service errors. Things like:
- Wrinkled paper from improper loading of a paper tray
- Lines or dots on a page from drum or developer malfunctions
- Low toner
- Improper user settings upon walk up
Let’s be honest, how does any of this have to do with IT? It doesn’t!
Training, Training, Training
Office equipment use and abuse is a mindset. People cannot resist but cry for help when something goes wrong. More often than not, copier malfunctions are caused by improper use of the device. That’s why user training is so important when you first get a new machine and on-going through the life of your contract. User needs change as do the things your employees are working on throughout the year.
Bottom line, managed print providers are hardware gurus – we train our trainers and service technicians A LOT, and we actually live and breathe to help our customers use and actually ENJOY using the equipment they invest in.
When you think of remote monitoring, many people do think of IT, because it is also a very useful tool for network administration. Since most printer devices live on a network, the devices themselves can be monitored too. Things like toner levels, print volumes, print errors, service codes, and preventative maintenance alerts can all be watched remotely by office equipment experts who have the ability to immediately put resolution plans into action. No use waiting for your fleet to go down when you can maximize up time with preventive maintenance provided by your MPS partner.
Toner getting low? A print management service can automatically send out the supplies you need without you ever having to place a supply order. Print jobs backing up in the print queue? A third party help desk can work directly with your users to find the culprit.
Let’s Not Forget to Optimize
Another perk that comes from the constant monitoring of a print environment is the rich reporting that can result from it and ultimately uncover waste. Since print is what they do, managed print service providers specialize in identifying inefficiencies in your entire printer fleet and propose actual solutions to boost office productivity and cut costs. Yes - you can actually save money by paying someone else to take care of all of your printer problems.
IT Will Thank You
The ability to dump these kinds of problems in someone else’s lap (someone who actually loves this stuff) is a good thing. Your IT department will thank you. Let IT be IT so they can focus on more important things.
Ready to learn how we do it? Schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our managed print experts today.