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Deciphering Managed Print: Understanding the potential pitfalls of a Managed Print Service contract


The cost of a Managed Print Service is often well justified on a spreadsheet. The total cost of a new consolidated fleet is pitched against the old fleet, revealing an impressive savings figure of between 20-30%.

However, it’s important that clients are asking the right questions before embarking on a new Managed Print Service contract or renewing your existing contract.

Asking the right questions

Is there a minimum volume commitment?
If you commit to a minimum volume you will be contractually liable to pay for that volume whether or not the devices have actually printed that number of pages. Should your usage volumes drop significantly, your costs are unlikely to reduce accordingly.

What is the average coverage of the pages that I am being charged for?
In many cases, cost per page pricing will be based on 5% average ink coverage. This is significantly higher than most organisations’ actual rate of coverage and can lead to higher than expected charges. The most reputable service providers will charge you only for the toner you have actually used.

What happens if we decide to cancel the contract after year one, two or three?
Termination clauses within some supplier contracts could make you liable for charges that run into hundreds or even thousands of pounds, even if you decide to terminate due to unsatisfactory service. The most reputable providers will ask for no more than a termination notice period of no more than three months. Be sure to check the termination clause within any service contract thoroughly before committing.

What is meant by a ‘flexible lease’?
Some service providers will claim that you will be able to change equipment at any point in the agreement and that it will not impact on your monthly or quarterly cost. This may be true. However, some may fail to mention that any change to the equipment will result in the lease starting again from day one. As a result, some customers could find themselves left with an ageing printer fleet and a contractual term that extends far longer than they expected. They may also be burdened with a costly penalty for early termination.

DTP’s MPS Contract Toolkit

These are just a few of the important questions to ask which will help you to read the small print, understand the potential pitfalls and ask the right questions of all potential suppliers.

If you have any concerns about Managed Print, don’t hesitate to contact us for advice and expertise.


Let’s get together and find out.