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Business

Should Paper Be Included in an MPS Contract?

So when looking into a Managed Print Services contract, is it reasonable to expect paper to be included in the services provided? Many MPS contracts leave paper up to a third party supplier or the customer is on their own to supply raw paper stock. This is due partly because of the unpredictable nature of paper pricing, difficulty in shipping paper, etc. Most MPS suppliers prefer to stay way from being your paper supplier too.
Written by Doc , Contributor on

One of the problems Doc has with the paper industry is that paper is a bulk commodity and is priced in mysterious ways that seem to change all too frequently. It is, at best, a volatile industry.

So when looking into a Managed Print Services contract, is it reasonable to expect paper to be included in the services provided? Many MPS contracts leave paper up to a third party supplier or the customer is on their own to supply raw paper stock. This is due partly because of the unpredictable nature of paper pricing, difficulty in shipping paper, etc. Most MPS suppliers prefer to stay way from being your paper supplier too.

But ultimately paper is a factor in the total cost of printing and has to be considered in the big picture. Even if you don't have paper supply built into your MPS contract, you have to consider it when evaluating your document production practices. If you are considering a cost-per-click sort of MPS arrangement, don't forget about the cost of paper.

Because the goal of most MPS contracts is to ultimately reduce the total volume of printing, paper costs should go down accordingly. But if you are purchasing and tracking your paper costs separately, how can you be sure your cost reductions are in line with other benefits from your MPS contract?

Perhaps more MPS suppliers should consider offering paper as part of their services so that customers can truly have a one-stop relationship for all their printing needs. I'd love to hear from those of you with MPS contracts – do any of them include paper? Or would you rather supply and manage your own paper stock?

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