Everybody needs a printer, but nobody wants to manage one.

Even in an increasingly digitized world, printers retain a central place in most organizations’ operating models. And often, print environments sprawl over time, encompassing a variety of devices that all consume different supplies and require users to learn each machine’s idiosyncratic processes. In many organizations, it falls on IT staffers to troubleshoot printers and copiers and keep them stocked with ink and toner. This is, generally speaking, a poor use of these valuable employees’ time. But if IT staffers don’t manage printers, line-of-business employees are left to do it, resulting in accountants and salespeople frantically hunting down keys to supply closets as they scramble to print out reports before important meetings.

Thankfully, there’s now a better way to manage print environments. Through managed print services (MPS) engagements, organizations can outsource device maintenance, environment optimization, security and the ordering of supplies. MPS comes in several “flavors.” For instance, CDW’s Printer Supplies Program offers discounts, free shipping and optional automated ordering for printer supplies. However, CDW also offers more comprehensive MPS engagements with vendor partners, which include print environment optimization and ongoing device maintenance.

While employees are likely happy when print management is taken off their plate, there are other benefits to MPS as well, including cost savings, enhanced efficiencies and better security.

Numerous Ways to Save on Printing

It should be fairly obvious how the discounts and free shipping of an offering such as CDW’s Printer Supplies Program can lead to cost savings. However, the program also enables automated ordering when supplies run low, meaning that organizations can avoid situations where they’ve overstocked on ink or toner, only to switch to a new printer or copier and be left with a closetful of costly, unusable supplies.

In a more comprehensive MPS engagement, experts can work with business and IT leaders to reduce the number of printers and copiers in an organization, or set limits on employee printing — leading to further cost savings.

The Simple Path to Greater Efficiency

Complex print environments rob IT staffers and knowledge workers of valuable time. Through MPS, organizations can simplify their environments and give this productive time back to their employees.

For example, MPS can help to minimize costly downtime for printers and copiers, ensuring that users are able to do their jobs. Also, employees are likely to become more familiar with print tools when their company standardizes its machines. Finally, an MPS engagement can lead to the automation of print-related business processes (for instance, billing) that previously required employees to spend time manually scanning and copying.

The Golden Goal: Secure Printing Solutions

While the security of user endpoints and applications is a top concern in virtually every organization, business and IT leaders sometimes overlook printers, copiers and scanners as potential points of vulnerability. An MPS partner can help companies improve their security posture by monitoring device health, implementing security and control measures, and pushing out updates and patches. A partner can also help to devise and implement policies (such as pull printing or badge printing) that require users to furnish credentials before collecting print jobs — preventing payroll or other sensitive information from sitting for hours in a printer tray.

When CDW experts and vendor partners conduct an initial assessment of an organization’s print environment, it’s common to find that the company has 30 percent to 40 percent more print devices than the IT department even knows about, resulting in unnecessary costs, inefficiencies and vulnerabilities. MPS allows organizations to eliminate these problems and achieve quick wins — all without increasing the burden on internal staff.

To learn more about CDW’s managed print services offerings, visit CDW.com/MPS.

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