Managing the Unmanaged
Print Fleet

A Staples, Inc. White Paper, April 2012

While office printers may seem easy enough to manage, many businesses are hard pressed to state exactly how many printers and related devices they have throughout their organization. It’s unlikely that many IT or office managers know exactly where the machines are located, how much money they spend on consumables and maintenance each month, and whether or not the machines are being used efficiently. Depending on the size of the organization, there is also the question about who holds responsibility for maintaining the machines, ordering supplies and troubleshooting issues that inevitably come with these devices. And if pressed, businesses, usually through the IT or office manager, procurement officer or help desk staff, will probably find they are balancing multiple vendors, from printer manufacturers and ink, toner and paper suppliers, to IT experts and repair technicians. This unclear snapshot of printing devices throughout the company, and how they are being used, often result in inefficiencies that waste time, money and resources.

One of the biggest trends in office operations today, influenced by the need to streamline processes and cut costs, is Managed Print Services (MPS), a partnership with an outside source that helps companies understand their print environment and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for print devices throughout the organization. By optimizing the print fleet, companies can reduce downtime, increase productivity and significantly reduce in-house printing expenditures. The best way to gain maximum value from a MPS deployment is to consider the service as part of a business process improvement strategy, and not a way to outsource the management and maintenance of printers and related machines. This means it is critical to choose a partner that can deliver products and services that match a company's unique organizational requirements.