Lexmark has launched a new MPS programme that gives SMEs the benefis of proactive consumables management without the expense of print audits
It is customary to divide managed print offerings into Basic Print Services (BPS), consisting of device and consumables monitoring with alerts and easy ordering when new supplies are required, and Managed Print Services (MPS), which offer proactive consumables management and the assessment, right-sizing and continuous improvement of a printer fleet.
Now, Lexmark is introducing a third category. Sitting somewhere between a BPS and an MPS, the Lexmark Advantage MPS Core Program is a post-sales service and support offering for Lexmark print devices sold or leased by a reseller. It provides:
proactive consumables monitoring,
with just-in-time delivery of replacement supplies;
remote collection of page counts
via cloud services;
servicing and maintenance;
a single click charge;
no minimum number of devices;
no minimum print volumes.
Advantage MPS Core Program includes elements not normally found in a BPS, such as proactive consumables management, but also lacks key features of an MPS, notably printer fleet assessments/right-sizing and multi-vendor device support.
Leaning on Lexmark
The service is sold and billed to customers by local IT resellers but almost all elements are actually delivered by Lexmark.
Martin Fairman, Lexmark channel sales director, UK & Ireland, said: “We do all the heavy lifting for a reseller. We will set up software on the end user site so that we can monitor the estate; we will do all the proactive consumables management, which is a unique part of our offering; and we will do all of the maintenance and all of the servicing necessary for the life of the contract.”
This gives customers the reassurance that their printers are being managed by a global business and MPS leader with more than 20 years experience in delivering MPS to some of the world’s leading brands.
Simple entry point
The Advantage MPS Core Program is specially designed to give SMEs and IT resellers a simple entry point to MPS, which is why expensive, time-consuming fleet assessments are deliberately not part of the programme. Nor are there minimum fleet sizes or page volumes.
“There’s no minimum number of devices,” explained Fairman. “And no minimum bill. Whether the end user prints 1 page or 1,000 pages, we will only charge for what they print and that is a fixed cost per copy throughout the contract. There is also a small monthly service charge per device that covers all maintenance for the life of a contract and the delivery of consumables to the end user’s site. We’ve made it a really simple, but very comprehensive package.”
The simplicity of the Advantage MPS Core Program is one of its selling points, but for those who wish, it also provides a springboard to make ongoing improvements to printing and document processes throughout the term of a contract.
“The data collection tool can highlight where one machine is being over-utilised or show how many scans are going through a device, which raises another conversation the reseller can have with the end user – what are you doing with that?; how are you capturing that data once you’ve scanned it in?,” explained Fairman.
He points out that through the acquisitions Lexmark has made since 2010, it now has a broad portfolio of software solutions that businesses can use to digitise their business processes and workflows. As an example, Fairman cites a new Lexmark product called AccuRead Automate that resides on an MFP and can be operated via the device’s colour touchscreen display.
“You can go into accounts payable, download the application software, put it into learn mode and the machine will very quickly learn what a purchase order from a supplier looks like. You then take it out of learn mode and ask it to recognise four key fields, e.g. PO number, which it will extract from a scanned document and put into a repository to be acted upon. It takes you away from the manual process of getting a PO, taking off all the info and retyping it into Sage or whatever,” he said.
Fairman added that using Lexmark solutions with Lexmark devices, rather than third party software, has the added benefit that should there be a problem, there is no debate about whether the fault lies with the Lexmark MFP or the third party software application.
Advantage MPS Core Program has some limitations – for example, it is only available for Lexmark devices – but for businesses that want to reduce the burden of printer management and remove the need to stock consumables, it provides an interesting third way between an entry-level BPS and a more complex MPS.