Managed Print Services Pricing

Managed Print Services Pricing

As with all aspects of business, one of the most important factors that companies consider when it comes to renewing photocopier and printer contracts is cost. However, managed print services pricing is not always as black and white as it may first appear.

Managed Print Services pricing varies from company to company. As expected, a smaller company, with just one printer will be paying significantly less for its MPS than a multi-site company with over 100 devices. However, different Managed Print Service providers have varying pricing models for their MPS solutions, which can cause confusion.

There are three main Managed Print Services pricing models:

managed print services pricing• Cost Per Copy
• Cost Per Development
• Tiered Billing

The difference between the three managed print services pricing models is not always clear, so understanding what you are being quoted for in advance is always good to investigate thoroughly.

Cost Per Copy
In most situations, you can expect to be quoted Cost per Copy (also know and Cost per Page), this is Midshire’s preferred method of charging for Managed Print Services, as it is the most transparent method. Cost per Copy charges the customer a certain amount for black copies and a certain amount for colour copies, irrespective of how much coverage there is. You will be given a cost for an A4 sized print colour and mono and usually a more expensive cost for an A3 sheet (again colour and mono) because its larger in area and a bigger sheet of paper.

Cost Per Development
If you are quoted Cost per Development (sometimes known as cost per separation), at a glance this may appear to be the same as Cost per Copy, however this is the cost for each colour used on a piece of paper. This means that if the customer uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black on one piece of paper, your ‘cost per colour’ will be 4 x the amount in the quotation.

Tiered Billing
Tiered billing is another way of paying for a Managed Print Service. This charges the customer based on the coverage of ink on paper. So if there is less than a certain percentage of ink coverage, the customer will be charged a set amount, the price increases as the percentage coverage increases. The Managed Print Service company will most likely quote for the smallest percentage coverage, so the customer thinks that it is the cheapest option, but can then be shocked when the monthly bill comes in.

As a rule of thumb, if the costs appear to be unusually low, it is likely that you are being quoted Cost per Development or on some kind of tiered contract. Our account managers will be happy to answer any questions you may have on this, and clear up any uncertainty that can arise simply because of the ambiguity and complexity in the way these terms are used within the industry.

It is also worth bearing in mind that, in a few rare situations, you might find an unscrupulous Managed Print Service company looking to make the most of the confusion. It is not unheard of for suppliers to quote Cost per Development for black and white prints, but then set the machines to use colour cartridges to create the colour black, charging you significantly more than you had been quoted. The golden rule is to investigate any proposal you have been given thoroughly and ensure you are completely clear on the contract you are agreeing too.