In the last blog we brought to you, we delved deep into the world of print assessments. We explained what you should and shouldn’t expect from the process and talked you through how the ultimate print assessment should look. And that’s all handy information (even if we do say so ourselves…).
But what if you’re not currently in a position to look for a new supplier?
If you’re in a contract at the moment and will be for some time, there’s still plenty you can do to ensure that you’re getting good value for money from your current print supplier or services company.
At the beginning of your managed print contract, your supplier will have made all sort of promises and assurances to you about the kinds of savings and improvements that can and will be delivered. Now you’re well into your contract, how are they performing on those promises? Not entirely sure? You need to use your quarterly reviews to find out.
So let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can use your quarterly assessment to increase your chances of getting an excellent service and seeing the kinds of savings you should be.
Ask The Right Questions During Your Reviews
Meetings every three months with your managed print supplier shouldn’t just be fleeting visits you fit in when you’ve got both got a spare ten minutes. Print costs can be sizeable for a lot of businesses and reviews that are just box-ticking exercises for everyone involved are a mistake.
You need to ensure that you’re getting good value and the most out of your print contract. You need to be asking yourself the following questions:
- Do we have regular reviews?
- Am I familiar with the contract terms and what we should be expecting?
- Were there initial targets agreed? If so, what were they?
- Are the targets being met?
- How about the SLAs and KPIs? Do you fully understand those?
- How proactive are your suppliers?
- Do they measure cost vs performance against the original assessment?
- How exactly is your supplier getting the data they use for reviews?
- Does that data ring true and reflect your print environment?
- What’s the plan for the next quarter if/when a problem is identified?
- Is there any innovation or proactivity from your supplier?
Make Sure You’ve Got Access to Relevant and In-Depth Data
It’s vital that you’re not discussing performance during these quarterly reviews in vague, non-specific terms. You’ll only be able to drill down into the data if that data is there. At Nustream we use Xerox’s MPS Business Intelligence tool, a hugely useful cloud-based solution that allows us to be able to analyse the state of our client’s print environment and exactly how it’s changing over time.
Using KPIs and metrics we can assess precisely how well we’re performing against our agreed targets. We can also accurately chart any changes to the setup, how active each print asset is and analyse the number of tickets being created for break fixes, toner replacements, etc.
We can then create in-depth management information packs that show performance in a straightforward and easy-to-understand way. Making sure our customers get full transparency. We then come up with a plan on how to improve, always being in mind our motto, ‘Printing for less. Print less.’
Things to Look Out For During Quarterly Print Reviews
When your managed print services company drops in every twelve weeks, they should have everything covered. But it’s worth making sure that they do. Ensure they’re checking for things like new devices. If they are and they’re thinking about if that device is as well placed as it could be, great. If there’s no thought from them about how your new and existing assets are being utilised, then you need to raise it with them for them to address.
Are they looking to save you money? Let’s say you sit down and identify a rise in colour printing. Your supplier should be looking into what’s causing the surge and find you a solution. It could be a setting change on a machine or a tweak to your overall print strategy. Problems need to be addressed, not just identified. Especially with something like a rise in colour printing (colour pages costing you up to ten times more than black and white…).
Plans. Your print review should, obviously, review the past quarter. But it shouldn’t end there. There needs to be suggestions, goals and aims for the next quarter. You should be moving forward and be evolving. And, vitally, adapting your plan based on quality data.
So there you have it. One of the best tools you have at your disposal for ensuring you’re making savings and getting an excellent service from your managed print service provider are your reviews.
For a whole load of value, don’t do things by halves – make the most of your quarterly reviews!