For many offices, ordering print supplies is an expensive and difficult problem. Even when print providers make the ordering process easy, there is no guarantee the office will always be well-stocked. There are multiple reasons for this.
The problem is not that ordering supplies is difficult, but that ordering the right amounts of supplies at the right time often is. IT specialists are not always the best-equipped individuals to order print supplies at the exact right moment.
This is because IT specialists often have their hands full already. Fixing and maintaining an office full of IT equipment is a full-time job – and that doesn’t include developing new, value-generating strategies that use technology to further the company’s agenda.
As a result, IT staffers often fall behind on ordering print supplies. Even when they make the order on time, determining the exact right amount of supplies to order is a challenge. Without comprehensive print tracking and reporting, there is very little data to rely on when deciding how much of each supply to order.
Managed print services offer a solution to this problem and many others throughout the small to mid-sized business space. With a managed print service contract, offices can simplify print supply ordering while reducing the amount of the low-impact work their IT specialists need to perform.
How Print Supply Ordering Works Without Managed Print
Many businesses attempt to maintain control over their consumable office supplies using Just-in-Time (JIT) inventory management. Some use the older Just-in-Case (JIC) approach – simply order as many supplies as possible and rely on them for as long as possible. Both these approaches introduce problems into the print supply system.
The JIC approach may make sense at first glance. Paper and print cartridges don’t expire quickly, so offices could conceivably use print consumables ordered years ago and produce perfectly acceptable documents.
But those supplies cost money and take up space. Considering the fact that rent is often the biggest single operating expense that businesses pay monthly, dedicating space to hold print consumables is less productive than expanding the productive workspace employees occupy. Once purchased, those consumables are no longer liquid assets. They represent funds not spent on more strategic investments.
The JIT framework works in the opposite direction. JIT-oriented office managers first have to learn how to order printing supplies in such a way that inventory levels remain low, but there is always a sufficient number of print cartridges and paper to complete office tasks at hand.
This learning experience typically takes place through trial-and-error, which means there is a high chance the office encounters print-related downtime. That downtime leads to expenses that can create larger problems, like unsatisfied customers or greater corporate scrutiny.
This approach relies on prediction, but does not generate the data necessary to verify the accuracy of predictions. As a result, it becomes a hit-or-miss inventory solution. Some offices are able to make it work, while many fall behind.
How MPS Simplifies Print Supply Ordering
Managed print solutions address the problem of ordering print supplies using data-based predictive monitoring, print tracking, and economies of scale. Instead of entrusting in-house IT staff with low-impact tasks like ordering print supplies, offices can outsource supply replenishment and hardware maintenance to managed print vendors.
Managed print service vendors deploy state-of-the-art print monitoring software to track print fleet usage. This allows print fleet specialists to accurately predict when the best time to order new supplies is, and to develop new solutions for reducing overall consumable usage over time. This provides numerous practical benefits to both small offices and enterprises.
- Reduces the workload that in-house IT technicians have to complete while improving overall print efficiency.
- Gives offices access to lower-priced print supplies and faster, more reliable print hardware maintenance.
- Monitors and analyze print data in order to identify opportunities for improved efficiency.
- Improves environmental sustainability by implementing accessible solutions for consumable recycling.
- Secures print fleets against cyberattack and negligent use of sensitive data.
Managed print services also pave the way for further efficiency-boosting opportunities, such as enforcing rules-based duplex printing to cut paper consumption in half. Office print hardware can also automatically print certain documents in monochrome instead of color, reducing the amount of color ink used except when necessary.
Make Print Processes More Efficient
Managed print service vendors are more than print hardware dealers. Instead of only providing print hardware, reputable service vendors take on the role of trusted advisors whose expertise with imaging technology creates value in the office environment. Entrust print infrastructure to a managed print service provider to simplify print supply ordering and optimize print processes.Simplify print supply ordering and hardware maintenance by investing in managed print services with a reputable dealer. Talk to Kelley Imaging and we will help you get started!