The Print Management Blog

The Many Flavors of a Copier Contract

Posted by Neville Wiles on Aug 3, 2018 1:23:01 PM

Printers, copiers, label printers, plotters… really anything that prints is normally more difficult than anyone originally thinks. Often, there are many different kinds of devices in your office from different manufacturers that all take different toner. Even though the drivers say “universal” they only mean their “universe”.  Break downs should be easy, I mean there’s only paper moving through it, right? So why is it broken with a clear paper path?

Believe it or not, copiers these days are as advanced as any computer, but they also have moving parts and heat guns and shoot liquid inside of them – you would think that liquid and heat is good for a computer but somehow these powerhouses of imagining application pull it off. It is okay to not know exactly how to fix a printer or the more advanced copier. That is why there is managed print service or ‘MPS’.

many types of copier contracts | Lasers Resource | Copier PrinterManaged print services are exactly like any other managed (insert service here) services – managed network works on your routers and switches while managed print works on things that print (and actually a whole lot more). Just like with candy, coffee and ice cream there are different ‘flavors’ to a managed print service agreement, or many ways that they can be structured and executed. The following will be an overview of the different types of managed print service agreements that Lasers Resource offers – there may be more types available, but we haven’t heard of any and I know we offer more than most. Let’s begin with the common one.

 

Managed Print Services (MPS)

Managed print service agreements are the most common printer and copier contract you will find. It is an agreement based on a set number of printed and copied pages based on a cost per page. For example reasons, let’s use some easy numbers.

Your contract is written for 10,000 black-and-white pages at $0.01 a page and 1,000 color pages at $0.10 cents a page.

Black-and-white pages: 10,000 x $0.01 = $100.00

Color pages: 1,000 x $0.10 = $100.00

You contract would be $200 a month and allow you to print those 11,000 pages each month. That sounds limiting, but you can always print over that amount if you need to. Every MPS agreement will have terms for overages (pages printed over the covered amount). Normally these are at a slightly higher cost-per-page than the covered pages. At Lasers Resource we do not charge you any more for overages than what you pay for your covered pages, there are no penalties. We are also one of the rare companies that will apply a credit to your account if you print less than the covered amount as well.

Wondering what you get with this agreement? MPS covered the three major categories while dealing with printers and copiers: supplies, parts and labor. You must either purchase, rent or lease your own printers, copiers and other imaging devices under this agreement.

Supplies includes toner, ink, drums, toner collection units and any other parts that makes the device work. Parts are more technical things inside the machine that make it operate: fusers, formator boards and rollers. Labor is the technician we send out to work on your device when it breaks down.

The contract you sign for the MPS agreement will contain all the details including response time, what a response is considered to be, and how toner is delivered or stored for your company. Make sure to go over all the details of this and see that they’re to your liking. We have a post on this which you can read here.

 

 

Printing as a Service (SaaS)

Printing as a Service is very similar to MPS, but with PaaS the printing hardware is part of the agreement. a slightly higher cost-per-page builds in the device to the agreement. Remember that black-and-white rate of $0.01 in the MPS example, well that may become $0.011, I mean slightly when I say slightly.

Why would someone want to have an agreement like PaaS when there is MPS around? Good question, reader! It really depends on the company you work at. Sometimes it makes more sense to own your own copiers while other times you have a savvy accounting department that sees the benefits that PaaS brings. If you don’t own the machines and your printing partner does, that means the devices are not on your books but rather on the partners books. That means no overhead, no allocation and no depreciation. With changes coming to accounting practices, which you can read about here and here and here, this can be a big help.

There are actually three financial benefits to PaaS which you can review in the slide deck.

 

Software as a Service (SaaS)

There are many kinds of printing software that can work in tandem with your imaging devices to increase productivity and make your employees jobs easier. These include fax solutions, pull print integrations, specialized services for industries like secure printing options for financial checks and prescriptions. These can all be applied to your MPS or PaaS agreement to enhance your printing and document workflow experience, but this is only half of printing SaaS.

A true printing Software as a Service would take all aspects of managing your devices and put it in a single application which can be monitored anywhere.  With SaaS we can eliminate all your print servers, giving you’re the benefits of direct IP printing while still providing the control of a print server. this would  give you reporting tools and would integrate pull printing with ease and allow you to accommodate mobile printing built in. Find out more about this offering on our driver management page.

 

Block Time Agreement

A block time agreement is more of an on-demand version of a printer and/or copier contract. With block time, you purchase credits whenever you want and use them for what you need. These credits can be used towards:

  • Parts for service
  • Labor for service
  • Toner, ink and other printing supplies
  • New printer, copiers or other hardware

There are many reasons to do this type of agreement. Many companies have large IT teams or help desk staff and are very technically sound, sometimes though they need a little help with a broken device. With block time your IT team can apply credits for only more severe service requests, keeping a 3rd level support service in their back pocket for a rainy day. With block time, there also is no contract, just credits in your account. This can be a nice thing for businesses that are not looking for a full agreement but want the benefit of working with a printing partner. There is also no monthly cost, just a single invoice whenever you purchase more credits.

 

Toner Only Agreement

Toner only is our final type of managed agreement. This is the most stripped-down version, removing all the service aspects from MPS and only focusing on toner, like the name implies. Toner only is great for businesses that can handle the maintenance of their own printers and copiers, but don’t want the struggle of managing the supplies. Toner and ink can actually be a difficult thing to oversee, there are many different types of devices in different locations. Where should you store all that toner and how will you know if someone took one and when you should buy a replacement cartridge?

We monitor your supplies levels and can either send a replacement just-in-time for it to be needed or work with you to determine a fulfillment strategy that makes sense for you. No more hidden costs in printing supplies and the random surprise of someone finding a toner cartridge for a device you got rid of ten years ago.

With the many different flavors of services, there is bound to be one right for you. If you would like any more information on these call us at 616-554-5555 or shoot us an email at support@lasersresource.com

Topics: Managed Print Services (MPS), Printing Cost, Help Desk, Leasing