Managed Print Services Versus Cost Per Copy: There Is a Difference



It’s easy to forget how complicated the nuances are in what we do. We, as copier dealers, allow businesses to save money and operate their office equipment as cost-effectively as possible (among other things, such as document management, improving business processes, ensuring our customers select equipment to meet their needs, etc.). 

I recently experienced how easy it is for someone new to the copier industry to become confused during a conversation about cost per copy (CPC).

He kept thinking that cost per copy and managed print services are the same thing. After that conversation, I thought a short explanation here could be helpful for others. 

Now, the two concepts are similar in that you pay a certain cost per page that you output via a copier, printer, or fax machine. 

Per Copy

The CPC is part of the maintenance agreement. You pay only for the pages you print, while we’ll take care of the copier if and when it breaks. This agreement doesn’t include supplies – you have to purchase those yourself, mostly toner (no copier dealer includes paper or staples as part of an agreement; you always will have to purchase those on your own). 

And, unlike MPS, we don’t provide a strategy for how to maximize the use and placement of your office equipment or how to streamline your print spending. With CPC, we’ll identify what your monthly print volume is, provide the right equipment, and establish a monthly volume and CPC. For example, you could contract for 7,000 pages of black and white at $.002 per page and 4,000 pages for color at $.014 per page per month. Should you print over those contracted amounts, overage fees will then apply. 

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Managed Print Services (MPS)

Managed print services is broader than CPC, expanding into print management. MPS involves the copier dealer evaluating the entire print fleet of office equipment and creating a strategy for equipment placement, volume, print rules, and more. This evaluation could lead to deciding to consolidate machines, realizing a better bang for your buck. For example, taking away everyone’s expensive bubble jet desktop printers and putting a central MFP for those folks to share or moving a large MFP that’s being underutilized to a more heavily print-focused area and putting a smaller A4 copier in the “beast’s” place.

A few elements of print strategy with MPS include:
    • How to allocate pages per month for B&W and color
    • Monitoring the supplies and sending what’s needed when the machine sends the “I’m low on toner” signal to the dealership since supplies are included
    • Maintenance Ready to get your print fleet under control? Click here to schedule a consultation with a Managed Print Services expert now!

Managed Print Services is a more comprehensive set of services than cost-per-copy. It involves outsourcing your fleet of printers to a trusted pa

What does cost-per-copy versus DIY look like? We've created an infographic that quickly shows you the differences between the two approaches.  Click here to download a PDF version for yourself.


About The Author

Dave Quint, president and CEO of Advanced Systems Inc. and past president of BTA Mid-America. Dave has worked with copiers, MFPs, scanners, and document workflow software since joining Advanced Systems as a sales associate in 1989. His favorite part of the job -- “there is no greater joy than to see the positive impact these solutions have in our client’s businesses.’ You press print, we take care of the rest. Contact us for more information >>