It is estimated that more than 20 million printers are sold annually in the United States, so there are four employees for every printer, scanner, fax machine, or multifunction printer. Office printing is one of the biggest cost centers for SMBs. The average office worker generates 10,000 sheets of paper annually, and 17 percent of the paper generated is never used.
As part of MPS training, your job is to demonstrate to employees and management the real value of managed print services, how to use them effectively, and how MPS can promote green business practices as well as saving the company money.
Start with an MPS Assessment
Before beginning MPS training you need to have a thorough understanding of the customers printing needs. There are many aspects of managed print services that can be universally applied, but to be truly effective (and to demonstrate your value as a technology partner) be sure to perform an audit of the company’s printing needs first.
The needs assessment process has two objectives: 1) to give you a thorough understanding of the printing and document handling needs of the company, and 2) to educate the customer about the specific benefits of MPS to their operation.
When developing an MPS training program, start by identifying key performance indicators for the customer to make the training relevant. This way you have a framework that you can use to measure MPS value. Define business goals. MPS is not a one-size-fits-all practice. Determine where the points of pain lie, such as using redundant printers, unnecessary copies, lack of control over sensitive documents, reduction of office spending, etc. This will tell you where to place the emphasis in MPS training.
As part of your assessment, profile the current print environment and identify areas of improvement. Customization is important in MPS, and just as you customize a client’s MPS solution, you will need to customize MPS training as well.
Define the MPS Workflow
Once you understand the customer’s printing needs you can help develop an MPS workflow. The workflow should take advantage of the MPS technology in a way that promotes collaboration and minimizes process. Remember, if you create a process that is more complex that the procedure employees know and understand they won’t use it.
Develop a clearly defined, step-by-step workflow for document production and handling. Establish a protocol to create a shared document, catalog it, and distribute it. Be sure to take into account specific requirements for different documents, such as adding Meta tags or security protocols to digital paperwork. And be sure to document the steps in the process.
Your MPS training program should demonstrate not just the how but the why. For example, if you have a strategy to share scanned images using Microsoft SharePoint or some other system, explain why the technology is useful in simplifying data sharing, saving time, and saving paper.
What IT Needs to Know about MPS
There needs to be a separate MPS training program for the IT department. Here you should plan to work more as a collaborator than as a trainer.
When dealing with the IT department your objective is to make MPS as painless as possible. IT staff spends 10 percent of their time managing print services. MPS training should be sensitive to the amount of time IT wastes in printer management and demonstrate how MPS can actually save time and effort.
As part of IT MPS training, be sure to include strategies for storing digital data, cloud storage strategies, archiving methodologies, and other support for administrative workflow. Also be sure to address remote monitoring and management of printer services.
Promote the Benefits of MPS
MPS training also should highlight the various benefits of managed print services, including environmental as well as fiscal benefits. People take pride in being environmentally responsible. By demonstrating that MPS promotes greener business practices MPS will gain greater acceptance and employees will be more willing to follow procedures that support the environment.
And be sure to include your own support services as part of MPS training. Define restocking strategies for toner, ink, and other printer and scanner supplies. Be sure to include discussion of reordering protocols, troubleshooting, and scheduled maintenance.
MPS training can be an important part of the post print service sale. It provides an opportunity to solidify the customer relationship by demonstrating the ROI from managed print services at the same time it demystifies the MPS process. And MPS training can open up conversations to new support needs that the customer may not have previously considered.