What level of service transparency and reporting do you want from MPS?
By deciding early in the process how much visibility of the Managed Print Services (MPS) you need, it’s possible to reduce the pain during the actual contract.
Start by reviewing your current or previous service - did you receive all of the management information you needed? Did you get a say in decision making and optimisation? Do you need in-depth management information to report to the business?
If you decide that visibility and reporting is key to the contract, then the next question to consider before you engage with MPS providers is: what level of service transparency and reporting do you want?
The answer is going to depend largely on how you report on MPS back to the company and whether it’s written off as just a necessary cost, or whether it’s scrutinised over the ROI.
The benefit of receiving in-depth management information and reports from your MPS supplier is that it allows you to:
- Check if the MPS provider is on track to provide the benefits/ROI (cost reductions, environmental savings, productivity gains, uptime, etc.) agreed at the start of the project.
- Allocate costs by department/location/customer.
- Use the quantified benefits (in terms of trees saved, carbon footprint reduction, cost savings, etc.) that have been realised to publicise the good work internally within your company.
- Use insights provided to make decisions to optimise the solution or optimise internal processes that use a lot of paper.
As with any business services, the levels of service and reporting can differ and depending on the set up, not every Managed Print Service provider will be able to give you the in-depth information you need.
Without the in-depth information, you can’t necessarily see when John in Sales is printing 1000s of pages in a week (possibly abnormal for a sales person) and it turns out he’s printing his novel (true story - Here’s 8 Things you didn't know your employees were printing).
Once you’ve decided on the data you need from the MPS provider and whether you need to show ROI, and specific analytics, here are some of the questions you can ask in your RFP:
- In what form do you provide management information? Please explain why.
- Do you offer any software or web based platforms that allow me to access live management information on demand? If so, how?
- Does the platform allow for ‘what if’ data modelling to visualise the impact of possible changes to your solution?
- Does the platform allow you to drill down by department or user? If so, how?
- What data does the platform allow you to visualise?
- Does the platform allow you to identify and analyse trends in paper usage? If yes, how?
- Please confirm if your management information contains reporting on volumes.
- Please confirm if your management information contains reporting on print type (mono, dual sided, applications used to print from, etc).
- Please confirm if your management information contains reporting on print volumes by department.
- Please confirm if your management information contains reporting on print volumes by user.