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Should You Buy Office Printers Outright or Use Managed Print Services?

Women standing at printer reading a contract pensively

When it comes to procuring printers or photocopiers for your business, there are a couple of options.

You can:
•    Buy them outright and self-manage them, arranging support as needed
•    Buy them outright and set up a service agreement to support your printer and access toners
•    Leasing printer hardware, and accessing support and consumables for a monthly fee on a managed print agreement

But what option should you pick? Is owning them outright the simplest solution? Is a managed print service an unnecessary expense? Have you considered the long-term operational benefits and cost-effectiveness of the right managed print service?

The common refrain we hear is that owning outright is cheaper and provides more control over assets. But let's put this into perspective. Sure, if you're setting up a home office with a single printer, buying outright and purchasing toner when you need it is probably the most cost-effective option.

But what about when it comes to larger operations? If you’re managing 3-4 office locations with 5-6 printers each, is troubleshooting printer issues and ensuring that you’re ordering toners on time a valuable use of your time and skills? You’ll also have to manage your print servers, print queues, and any software additions like swipe-to-release.

Owning business-critical technology can feel satisfying and secure, but is it the best financial or operational decision for you?  Here are a few reasons why you should consider a managed print service over purchasing and managing your printers outright: 

1. Get your printing basics set up correctly

Technology evolves fast. Owning a machine ties you to its generation of tech and if you’re buying outright you may be tempted to extend the lifespan of a printer well -past its end-of-life. Not only does this see you missing out on technology upgrades, but it also becomes more expensive as the cost of service, parts and consumables increases with the age of your device. With a managed print service (MPS), your ability to upgrade and replace technology without more CapEx is a huge win.


2. Cash flow impact

Printers cost money, whether you're buying or leasing. Owning means a significant capital investment into your printers right off the bat, especially if you require a fleet of printers for multiple sites. Managed print services, on the other hand, give you access to competitive rates and predictable, manageable monthly costs.


3. Get the best-matched devices for your needs

When you buy equipment, you might be tempted to go for the best machine with all the features. Or in an effort to reduce costs, you may pick a more budget-friendly device. But you might end up overpaying for things you don't need or underequipped to meet your needs. MPS providers help find the best-matched devices for, saving you time and making budgeting easier.


4. Maintenance and repairs? Not your problem

Having your printers on a managed print agreement means you're not responsible for maintenance and repair, and the costs involved. Even if new equipment comes with warranties, issues can occur that require a technician or replacement parts not covered by warranty. An MPS agreement includes timely support and covers repair costs. Instead of spending time trying to find and arrange support and parts, an MPS provider can take care of this for you.


5. Keep your team focussed

Buying outright means your team has to handle ordering supplies, reporting faults, arranging service and more. With an MPS provider, these tasks are handled by a dedicated account manager and support team, ensuring that your team can focus on more important work.


6. Print smarter

An experienced MPS provider will not only set up your printers, but look to enhance the way you manage documents and paper processes in your business. They’ll add time and cost-saving solutions like swipe-to-release, serverless printing and more. They can also provide you with reports and recommendations on how to optimize your print solutions over time.


Evaluating your options: Purchase outright or MPS?

Deciding whether to purchase or lease new equipment for your business is a significant decision. We suggest those who typically buy outright to assess the advantages of a managed print service and determine which choice benefits their business most.

If you're interested in discussing the benefits and drawbacks of purchasing outright compared to using a managed print service, get in touch below.