Tips on how managed print services can reduce your law firm’s overheads

by Alex Hutchinson on February 10, 2014

managed print services for law firmsThere are massive opportunities to reduce your law firm’s spend on A4 Desktop Printing using Managed Print Services. The real bonus is you can realise these “bottom line” savings immediately with NO CAPITAL OUTLAY! – All you have to do is find the right supplier / partner to review this area with… and make it a priority.

Last month we looked at “How your firm can reduce spend on Document Output / Production” and this follows on directly from this post. A big part of your spend in this area will be on your A4 Laser / Inkjet Printers – they key questions is – Do you know how much you spend each month on running your A4 Desktop devices? The answer is probably NO.

The good news is that improving efficiency, increasing productivity and also reducing operating costs can be achieved quite easily in this area – here are some tips / information on how.

Industry Overview

There have been lots of changes in this market over the past 18+ months, where companies who have historically manufactured Multifunctional Devices / Photocopiers have entered the A4 Printer market and are aggressively looking to take HP’s Market Share. In order to do this, they realised that they needed to produce reliable equipment, with the correct driver / integration so IT Managers will be happy, and then ensure the commercial / financial model was appealing.

How Did They Do This?

Well you may / may not know that a number of manufacturers already make printers / devices for their competitors under license! (Canon historically made a number of devices for HP until they “fell out” and HP have recently signed and agreement with SHARP to produce some of their A3 Multifunctional Devices and there are lots more examples of this in the industry) so basically SOME of these guys already know how to make reliable equipment (I do stress the point of SOME as not all devices / makes / models are the same ) as they have been doing it on an A3 devices for years – all they needed was a competitive advantage!

Price Point

Manufacturers of Multifunctional Devices already have an alternative commercial model of an all inclusive “cost per copy / cost per print” and they already had a very competitive running cost compared to A4 Printers. They reviewed the market and realised that they could produce a scaled down version of their existing A3 models and develop an A4 Printer which offers running costs at about 50% lower than the average operating costs of a printer (where you purchase the hardware for a low capital cost and then buy the toner / consumables whenever you need them) These A4 devices operate on an all inclusive cost per print and come under the model / solution of something called MANAGED PRINT SERVICES and it is a big opportunity for businesses to reduce operating costs easily within their business right now.

It is worth noting that the lower operating costs which can be achieved with Managed Print Services, will be lower than the running costs on your existing devices, where you buy the toners – even if you have someone checking the prices you pay for toner, online EVERY DAY, to try and get the best price for your toner costs at the minute – this is a different business model and will ALWAYS be more competitive than buying a printer and paying for consumables separately! We speak to a number of firms who are operating competitively when buying toner / consumables for their existing devices at the moment but have STILL implemented significant cost savings over and above this.

Managed Print Services / Efficiency / Productivity

These devices with new low operating costs can be implemented with automatic toner ordering and also auto fault notification / preventative maintenance schedules built in by the suppliers management system. This means less downtime and less time spent managing devices – on top of this the inclusive cost per print, which is lower, will ALSO INCLUDE SERVICE / MAINTENANCE so there is less downtime with any faults / service issues and a fully maintained solution! Yes – Lower Pricing and Inclusive Service.

The business case for this type of solution really is worth investigating – be careful if reviewing with a resellers / dealer as the old adage will apply where you will deal with a SALESPERSON – they will carry out a “FREE PRINT AUDIT” and you know what FREE is worth . Bear in mind that they will also be PAID to SELL HARDWARE and MAXIMISE MARGIN – you need to ensure you work with someone who has the same goals as you and is looking to identify the optimum business case for your firm and can show you what devices are actually worth replacing – as this may not apply to every device you have.

The right solution for you will most probably be a Hybrid of NEW KIT along side EXISTING KIT – and having the existing devices managed as well. ONLY look at changing devices if there is a business case to do so ( I know you know this bit but worth reminding everyone as finding the right partners to deliver this can be easier said than done).

Cost of Switching?

Clearly – in order to print on the new devices, with the low operating costs, you will need the new devices to be installed and this wont happen for free. This is where you need to ensure you are working with a partner who is not just looking to SELL kit as there are opportunities, and we have a NUMBER of examples where we have implemented, strong business cases where the cost of replacing devices to a new lower operating cost device (Managed Print Services) and EVEN including the cost of new hardware will still deliver a business case and implement significant bottom line savings. This can be done by having an all inclusive cost per print, which includes the hardware but even including hardware and service / toner, it is still lower than the traditional costs – just for your toner! or the devices can be leased – in this case the cost of the lease and the new running costs on a Managed Print Service solution, included will still be lower than what you are paying for RUNNING COSTS ALONE on the traditional desktop devices.


There are not many areas of a business where you can increase productivity / improve efficiencies, reduce operating costs IMMEDIATELY with NO CAPITAL OUTLAY – I would definitely recommend reviewing this area of spend within your firm – just ensure you review this area with a trusted advisor / expert who is credible / professional and will review your business to advise you on the optimum business case for your firm – not just someone looking for opportunities to SELL hardware. Make sure you understand their goals / objectives first, to see how they fit with what you are looking to achieve and make sure you avoid any conflicts of interest.

Future posts will include: Tips for choosing the right Supplier / Partner for reviewing Multifunctional Devices / Network Printers / Managed Print Services & also more information on the Fleet Management / Automation available with a Managed Print Service Solution.

Author: Alex Hutchinson is the author behind and Partner at TBA Group, an Independent Office Equipment Consultancy, which offers expert advice to Clients in the Professional Services Sector.

“We help clients identify what they need and NOT what someone wants to SELL them… (there’s a big difference). We do this with a 100% transparent process, (even down to net pricing with pre-agreed margins) and cover the whole life cycle, from review to installation to service / maintenance. More importantly, we do all of this under a business model which removes ALL conflicts of interest, problems and frustrations which can come from dealing with Salespeople from the industry standard resellers / dealers.” to find out more or to arrange a phone call with Alex Hutchinson visit TBA Group

Alex Hutchinson
My name is Alex Hutchinson and I am Partner of the Professional Services Division at TBA Group. We are an Independent Office Equipment Consultancy which helps clients review all areas of their Office Equipment (Multifunctional Devices / Network Printers / Scanners etc) and implement a more Productive & Efficient solutions whilst also reducing operating costs - more importantly our model helps clients remove the time, problems and frustrations Clients experience when trying to review this area of spend productively and accurately with Salespeople! We enable clients to understand WHAT'S RIGHT FOR THEIR FIRM and NOT just WHAT SOMEONE WANTS TO SELL THEM... there's a big difference. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or would like to discuss any issues / requirements - I'm always happy to help. Just make contact via our website and i'll be in touch: Alex Hutchinson Partner - Professional Services Division TBA Group
Alex Hutchinson
Alex Hutchinson

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