Disrupting MPS


Disrupting the world of Managed Print Service

Discovering How Things Are ….

When a desktop printer leaves the manufacturing plant, it finds a home in one of two environments –

  1. Transactional – 70% of printers end up in some type of transactional environment either in a business or in a home. In this case, the printer is bought ad hoc and typically, has no service / warranty attached to it beyond the standard manufacturer’s warranty. Ink/toner replenishment is done on an ad hoc basis.
  2. Managed Print Service (MPS) Contract – 30% of all printers typically end up in an MPS environment. This is usual for businesses with no less than five printers. These printers may have been bought up front (CapEx) or on a long term lease (OpEx). Both service and ink elements are charged on a quarterly basis on a pre-agreed cost per page rate for both Mono and Colour pages.

Managed Print Service is preferred by companies with five machines or more because, from a management perspective, it is one less daily headache.

Most MPS companies speak about driving the efficiency of the print fleet that they sell their customers. However, we found that there is little marketplace efficiency because an MPS company makes its money from selling a company printers and Ink contracts. Making the MPS customer efficient would be counter intuitive, that is, it would reduce the revenue of the MPS company.

Challenges ….

Whether your device lives in a transactional environment or in an MPS environment, Kanban knows that the entire supply chain reacts when the machine gives a “low toner alert.” Reacting to this situation can mean running out of ink at the wrong time, over ordering to prevent running out and even bulk ordering which sometimes can result in lots of money being wasted if the machine itself is on its last legs or dies soon after the order has been placed/received.  Ordering reactively means not ordering effectively.

From a large organisation's perspective, hundreds of machines across hundreds of sites can also result in ineffectiveness from a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) perspective. Among other things, there can be multiple deliveries.

For a business, running out at the wrong time isn’t just an inconvenience. It can be very costly. Typically, a business which runs out at the wrong time will be forced to buy from a local, high street supplier who will charge a premium for the service.

To date, Kanban has worked with large organisations where inefficiencies such as the ones described above have cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Industry Response

Since the advent of MPS and more importantly, the sales of photocopiers under MPS contracts, the only software developed to deliver MPS operates from a billing perspective.

In a typical MPS contract, the supplier installs data collection software. This software is predominantly used to read the meter on the printer so that the customer can be billed for mono and colour pages printed. Generally, this is done on a quarterly cycle.

In other words, the only software that the PRINT industry at large developed is billing software.

Because the market has demanded a more pro-active approach to the printer management, this so-called MPS software has been bastardized and is now used to deliver a MANAGED PRINT SERVICE.

Unfortunately, the software used for a MANAGED PRINT SERVICE is still reactive and doesn’t solve any of the issues we discovered and mentioned above.

KANBAN Response

Kanban set about creating a software from scratch based on the pain points of the market.

The Kanban Print Optimization Solution (KPOS) is a global first both in its approach as well as in the way it is delivered.

It’s the only software that does the following –

  1. Forecasted usage – As opposed to reacting to a low toner message from a printer, KPOS treats each printer and its usage like the modern car's petrol gauge. Today’s car constantly monitors the habits of its driver and provides a gauge of what the fuel range may be in real time. Similarly, KPOS monitors the usage of a printer and pro-actively forecasts when the device will run out of ink.
    For example, a printer in an accounts department may have 90% ink left in the last week of a given month. Because KPOS has learned the device's usage pattern, it would have already forecasted that this machine would be doing payroll at the end of the month and that it would would need two extra cartridges.
  2. Device Retirement Forecast – A machine failure at any time can be detrimental to a given business. A machine failure at the wrong time can be enormously expensive. KPOS monitors every error produced by the machine and delivers what we call a Device Retirement Forecast. This data will not only help customers make sure that they don’t order £1,000’s worth of ink for it just before it will be retired but, at the same time, will help them plan for a replacement machine proactively.
  3. Print Optimization – As part of our commitment to our customers, we monitor their entire fleets closely and help drive efficiency and optimization through that existing fleet. We help sweat the asset and advise whether each machine is the right machine for the environment in which it has been placed. A machine that is too small for the team it serves can burn through lots of ink and be very costly. A machine that is too big for the team it serves may end up being too costly because of the cost of the machine itself.

Who Is This Good For?

We are in the midst of conversations about AI, ML, Big Data, etc.

Clean data in any environment is an incredibly powerful asset. Kanban has created a solution that will deliver clean data about companies' print environments. This is a first in the world of MPS. The data we amass is intelligently collected and presented so that companies can make pro-active decisions that will reduce cost and drive efficiency.

Whether you are a business with 5 machines or 5,000 machines our solution / service is guaranteed to help you.

All we need from a typical customer is information about current printing practices. To provide this, please answer the the following questions –

  1. Do you currently have an MPS contract ?
  2. How many printers do you have ?
  3. What make(s) and model(s) are they ?
  4. How much do you print? Answers can be cartridges used per model of printer per month or number of mono/colour pages printed per printer per month.