The definition of managed print services (MPS) is, in simplest terms: Services offered by an external provider to optimise or manage a company’s document output. This seems straightforward—but whether an external provider delivers MPS through labour or technology can have a tremendous impact on your results.
Let’s use service and support as one example. Many MPS providers rely heavily on a large staff of field service techs. If your printer or multifunction product (MFP) breaks, you call them, and they fix it. With a large team of techs, someone can quickly be on site. This labour-based approach works—but it has drawbacks: burdensome delays and disruptions for you, your staff and your users. Also, in some circumstances, having a service tech on site might be unwanted or ill-advised.
In general, with a labour-based approach you must first experience a failure before corrective action is taken. The process starts after the device has an issue.
There’s a better way: With an approach based on technology, not labour, the process starts before your device has an issue.
Lexmark’s technology-based approach uses artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive support to anticipate and prevent potential issues before they occur. It also provides just-in-time supplies delivery based on actual usage, not predetermined low settings. You don’t need to enter a ticket, call the helpdesk or place an order. The system does it for you, eliminating burden on your IT team. Plus, we can remotely resolve many issues.
This approach has proved to be very successful—Lexmark actively manages our hardware, predicting failures before they occur and quickly resolving issues. This increases store availability, which is the key measure for us.
Perhaps most important, a technology-based approach reaps the rewards of data—something a labour-based approach cannot do—especially when you can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT).
“Organisations are utilising IoT to gain a competitive edge in the market through disruptive business models and differentiated customer experiences,” according to analyst firm IDC1.
Think about all the devices today that are networked as part of the IoT. The number is huge—and it’s growing: Analyst firm Quocirca estimates that a staggering 80 billion devices will be connected to the IoT by 20252.
That includes Lexmark devices. Our IoT-enabled printers and MFPs are loaded with sensors that continuously monitor hundreds of data points including alerts, internal diagnostics and the device’s inner workings. Whether you realise it or not, your printing and scanning ecosystem can be a rich source of data on how your organisation operates.
According to IDC, “Data analytics … will become a key differentiator for service providers looking to extend MPDS (managed print and document services) into areas that address greater strategic business value.”3
Using a technology-based approach rooted in IoT, artificial intelligence and interactive analytics, Lexmark can analyse the data gathered from your printing and scanning ecosystem to find usage trends and inconsistencies, process bottlenecks, cost inefficiencies, waste, security risks and more.
We partner with you to uncover valuable, actionable insights and enable your organisation’s digital transformation. Data analysis that leads to actionable insights sets us apart.
To take advantage of the technology-based approach to MPS, ask your provider these questions:
1 IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Imaging, Printing, and Document Solutions and 3D Printing 2020 Predictions, October 2019
2 Quocirca, Mastering IOT – the big data opportunity for print manufacturers, August 2019
3 IDC Worldwide and U.S. Managed Print and Document Services and Basic Print Services Forecast Update, 2019-2023, by Robert Palmer, March 2020