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Nubeprint MPS Compliant Report

6 Mar, 2013

According to the Managed Print Services Association’s (MPSA) definition of MPS, “The active management and optimization of document output devices and related business processes,” MPS is much more than selling equipment and supplies, and providing service for a specified period. (Though it should be noted that the only living task during the life of an MPS contract is, to provide the right service and consumables on time in order to keep the printing devices in full operating condition).

The Managed Print Services business strongly depends on the capacity of the printer or copier to be monitored from remote, combined with the capabilities of the service provider to deliver supplies and service supported by the right technology.

The Nubeprint MPS Compliance Report measures to which extent, the most frequent network printer and copier models are MPS ready. The analysis is fully independent to printer and copier vendors, and is based on actual data from printer models in a live MPS environment.

This Report provides relevant information to printer and copier vendors, supplies manufacturers or remanufacturers, MPS service providers, future MPS providers, end-customers, and in general anyone interested on getting inside information of the MPS business. The analysis focuses on the ability of the printer to provide sufficient data so that an advanced MPS technology can potentially drive the services.

There is a wide variety of printing technologies in the market. The analysis does not make any difference as long as the document output is homogeneous: an office printer or copier, no matter what its size is (letter, A4, A3, A0, etc.).  As a consequence, the Report includes laser printer, inkjet and solid ink printers, ribbon or large format printers, and each type is analyzed for compliance with its own specific criteria, based on business needs.

The population analyzed in this MPS Compliance Report shows that 29% of the models are full MPS compliant, while 32% have some major limitations, including 4% that are not compliant; meaning not being appropriate for MPS. Non compliant models remain exceptional, and have the biggest concentration among 4 OEMs and LFP products.

MPS Compliant
67% of models do require an advanced MPS management technology to compensate the lack of compliance of the device. In other words, two out of three models analyzed do expose the service MPS provider to risks in terms of the quality of the service, profitability of the business, and therefore competitiveness. These models are significantly less efficient in terms of proactively identifying their needs and the amount of resources to manage them.

The customer is impacted too: he is forced to manually trigger any need of toner and other supplies by calling the dealer or through other manual methods. The dealer’s infrastructure shall then be oversized to handle all this manual work (calls, control of duplicated deliveries).   

It’s easy to understand why most, if not all the MPS providers, complain of the big infrastructure they were forced to build in order to manage their MPS contracts, compared to a transactional business with a similar volume.

Our Report clearly shows how each vendor positions compared to others. The Index pounders each printer model limitation based on how it influences an efficient delivery of MPS services, including the quality of the service, the control of the costs for the service provider, the possibility to generate the highest profitability, and the degree of real automation (or outsourcing of tasks and not only responsibilities) from a customer’s perspective. 

The closer a manufacturer index is to the center, the more MPS compliant its products are. The Index is only calculated for those vendors for which a sufficient number of models have been tested.

NubePrint MPS Compliant index

The area of the highest MPS compliance is populated by vendors like Dell, Epson, Muratec, Oki and Samsung. The middle range is occupied by Xerox, HP, Sagem, Sindoh, Sharp, Kyocera and Lexmark. Sato gets the worst results in terms of MPS compliance of its ribbon printers.

The Supplies

The Nubeprint Report includes an analysis of the volume of consumables managed by each printer. Nubeprint defines consumables in a wide sense, including references that other may call “parts”. Their reason is to consider consumable any supply that can be directly associated to the usage of the printer or copier, and therefore can be handle as a toner cartridge, and as a consequence it is a hassle both for the dealer and the customer. The larger the number of consumables is, the more expensive is to manage the device.  Indeed, the number of supplies, and more specifically, their diversity has a relevant impact on an MPS service:

• The number of references needed per model determines the size of the stock of supplies needed to attend the devices under MPS;
• The number of calls from customers ordering the supplies does also multiply based on the diversity of references, and so does the cost of delivery;
• The number of cartridges that get lost (that never reach the printer) is around 7-9% of the total ordered, and the risk increases as the number of supplies rises;
• The number of false alerts caused by MPS tracking systems, or requested unnecessarily by the printer user (the customer) increases in proportion to the amount of references managed.

The highest is the amount of supplies, the more complex and expensive it is to manage the printing device.
In general, the amount of types of supplies increases as the volume capacity of the device goes up. The number of supplies needed in a color printer multiplies by almost four, those of a monochrome printer. If the printer is MFP, it needs in average an extra reference compared to a simple printer.

The different technologies of the vendors does have an impact on the number of supplies required for a similar product. So, while the customer perceives no significant difference between one printer model or another from two different vendors, the MPS service provider may want to analyze how the number of different supplies he/she will have to manage will contribute to generate profit, or just the opposite: to incur in extra costs to manage this complexity.

The tough competition in the market, combined with the customer’s perception that there are no relevant differences from vendor to vendor, is creating an opportunity for those second player vendors that offer a better CPP (Cost per page) ratio, where MPS is acting as the facilitator.

MPS is also the vehicle used by recyclers to re-launch their sales. A more competitive CPP, combined with a quality similar to OEM, and their contribution to reduce the environmental impact of used cartridges, are major arguments for their new success. But their presence in MPS has been strongly limited up until recently by the limitation in terms of connectivity of some recycled cartridges, forcing them to manually manage the needs, while preventing the printer user to know the actual level.  In general, the rise of Yield Technologies in the MPS industry is benefiting the vendors, the dealers and the end customers, by reducing costs and streamlining processes and services.

MPS Compliance Report is issued by Nubeprint Inc. and is based on independent analysis in-house. The report is published 2X a year. Download the January 2013 release from: http://nubeprint.com/nubeprint-report-january-2013 or http://www.nubeprint.com  or  email: http://info@Nubeprint.com 

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