What Are Managed Print Services?

Maggie Worth
Maggie Worth
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

Managed print services refer to the outsourcing of document printing or to the outsourcing of document printing machines. This can be arranged in a number of ways, including off-site printing, a centralized on-site print area, several decentralized on-site areas, or a combination of the last two. Benefits of managed print services include reducing employee labor and reduced costs.

When most people think of managed print services, the machines that come to mind first are copiers and printers because these are the tools most often used to produce printed documents. Depending on the size of the organization, it might need one printer or many, and may need those units to print in either color or black and white. The same holds true of copiers. In some instances, dual purpose machines, or even multipurpose machines that incorporate options such as scanning or faxing, might be the best choice for a company.

Purchasing these machines can be extremely expensive. Some businesses find it more cost-effective to lease the print machines they require. Several companies offer this type of service at varying rates.

Whether the business owns or leases the machines, copiers and printers will still require regular service to keep them running and may also need emergency service for specific failures or incidents. Many of the same companies that offer lease arrangements also offer these types of services, based on an annual or multi-annual contract. Such contracts may include the supply of a set number of toner cartridges per period and will likely include a set number of incident calls as well as regularly scheduled service appointments.

Utilization of such services serves several purposes. Service costs under a contract are usually significantly reduced from the rates charged for a single call outside of a contract. Most managed print services contracts specify a window within which service response must be made. This helps reduce equipment down time. Having a service company on call also prevents employees unfamiliar with the equipment from having to try to get it back up and running.

In larger companies, managed print services might mean an on- or off-site central printing area. This can include several copiers or printers operated by a dedicated staff. Such centers might also offer additional services such as large-format printing, bindery and trimming. Most often, this type of center is intended for larger jobs and is run in conjunction with a number of printers or copiers available throughout the building for small jobs.

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@cloudel - I would say that my office is medium-sized, but we benefit from managed print services as well. We have a huge scanner that would have cost a ridiculous amount to purchase, but we lease it for an affordable rate, plus we get the added bonus of service calls.

Our copier gives us issues more than our other equipment. However, the company that we lease it from is located just down the street, and often they show up on the scene within minutes. We rarely experience any significant efficiency loss because of this. I would recommend it for any office other than a huge corporation with tons of money to spare.


My office has an on-site printing setup like this. Our fax machine works this way, also. In fact, it breaks down about once a month. I can’t imagine the costs it would have racked up in repairs without the service contract!

We frequently experience printer issues, so this deal is the best for us. Our office is small, and we operate on a tight budget. You might not think it, but for a company like ours, the savings we get from using managed print services really is substantial.

Just last month, we had both our color printer and the black and white one go out during a busy time. The quick service we received got us back on track within two hours, and no one even had to work late to make up for lost time.


Not outsourcing.

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