Managed print services: The service quality battleground
The latest Quocirca Managed Print Services Landscape 2017 report, which surveyed midmarket and large enterprise organisations in the UK, France, Germany and the US, has revealed that service quality is the top reason that organisations implement a managed print service (MPS). Overall, 42% of respondents cited service quality as a reason for MPS adoption, ahead of cost reduction, cited by 33%.
As the MPS market matures, service delivery is emerging as a key differentiator for the leading providers. A strong service delivery platform, backed by comprehensive reporting, analytics, proactive monitoring and governance is now an imperative in today’s transformational MPS engagements.
MPS represents a growth opportunity
MPS spending plans are positive. Overall, 65% of businesses expect their MPS budgets to rise in the coming year, with this rising to 74% amongst large enterprises (over 1,000 employees), compared to 54% of midmarket organisations (500 -999 employees). The professional services sector leads by industry, with 81% expecting an increase in MPS spend compared to 50% of public sector respondents.
Amongst all the organisations surveyed, almost half indicated that paper is very important to their daily business. This presents a significant opportunity for MPS providers to reduce the costs associated with wasteful printing or inefficient paper based processes, improve document security and drive efficiency for their customers around paper and digital workflow integration.
Businesses are certainly ready for support in their digital transformation initiatives. Almost three quarters (72%) of organisations view MPS as a key enabler for digital transformation today, with 89% expecting it to be important within the next two years. Consequently, MPS providers that can adopt a role as a trusted partner for digital transformation are most likely to succeed as the market continues to transition from a hardware to business-process centric model.
Indeed, MPS providers are uniquely positioned to advise on the intersection of the print and digital workflows. Many leading providers now offer comprehensive workflow assessment services which provide the foundation for a long-term strategy that encompasses smart multifunction printer (MFP) deployment, digital workflow solutions and ongoing consultancy and support.
Transforming service delivery
As many MPS engagements move beyond their first and second phases, customers have increased expectations toward their MPS providers for flexible and scalable services without compromising on cost effectiveness. MPS providers need to be able to support their customer’s journey and keep pace with new emerging technologies. This requires a sharp focus on IT asset life-cycle management, along with dedicated resources that are resilient, flexible and aligned to business objectives.
Effective change management is also vital in helping drive high process maturity and consistency in service delivery. Today many MPS providers implement standardised practises in problem and change management based on process, people and tools.
Analytics play a vital role in service delivery and are increasingly fundamental to the success of an MPS engagement. Analytics are core to all phases of MPS, from the initial assessment, to optimisation and continuous monitoring. Smart, predictive analytics enable MPS vendors to provide proactive, pre-emptive support and maintenance by gaining insights into the performance of equipment, support operations and field technicians. Analytics are critical to strategic business reviews in delivering proactive assessments, identifying key improvement areas and providing recommendations.
The midmarket is looking for more effective MPS relationships
Larger organisations demonstrate higher satisfaction rates than midmarket organisations, with the latter also less likely to have fully achieved their MPS goals. Overall, 54% of large organisations indicate that they are very satisfied with their MPS provider, compared to 33% of midmarket organisations. Notable gaps are evident for service quality, proactive support, collaboration and innovation. However, 38% of midmarket organisations report that they are working with their current provider to resolve issues.
This highlights the need for MPS providers to work more effectively with their midmarket customers and ensure that MPS is an enabler for business growth. Midmarket organisations are a driving force in most economies and are ultimately looking to partner with suppliers who can address their pain points around cost and security whilst improving productivity and efficiency. This sector is also willing to embrace next generation technologies to drive business innovation. Midmarket organisations require more effective support and guidance from their suppliers on using MPS as a platform to address key business challenges.
From trusted advisor to trusted partner
As the MPS market matures, many businesses are voicing a desire for more direct, proactive and innovative business partnerships with their providers. The most successful vendors will be those that deliver services and solutions that help customers improve their broader business performance. By creating more collaborative relationships with customers, MPS providers have the potential to drive far greater value from their services.
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