Why Are Managed Print Vendors so Bad?

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Print vendors have a bad reputation in the MSP community. And when you look at the number of horror stories floating around about working with print companies, it's easy to see why.

Unfortunately, print vendors are known for doing the bare minimum for their customers.

Some make empty promises to their customers, while others are just sloppy. Some even create security hazards for their clients!

At Print Partner, we’ve heard it all. We know how bad the managed print space can look to MSPs.

That’s why we’ve branded ourselves as the only managed print provider wholly aligned with supporting our MSP partners.

In this article, we’ll discuss how print vendors have failed to impress their MSP counterparts on multiple fronts and why so many MSPs think they suck!

False Promises of Managed Print Service

Who wouldn’t want all-inclusive, full-service management of the most confusing devices ever invented?

However, reality does not always sync up with what print vendors advertise.

There’s a fundamental difference between print vendors and MSPs. MSPs are, first and foremost, service organizations striving to create a robust, fleshed-out service suite that supports all technology needs. 

MSPs have exceptional service delivery programmed into the core of their business DNA as a leading principle.

In contrast to MSPs, print vendors are primarily sales organizations. They focus on getting the sale, sometimes leading to exaggerations about their service. Print vendors have sales as the leading component of their business DNA, with service as a necessary evil that comes with the territory. 

Print vendors promise everything under the sun. But when your client signs up with a vendor who goes radio silent after the devices are installed, who picks up the slack? Most of the time, it’s you, the MSP.

And so, your technicians are stuck handling the thankless job of troubleshooting copiers left behind by a neglectful print vendor. It’s a sad story and a tale as old as time.

Quality service is the beating heart of the MSP business community. Striving to do the best in every customer interaction. Selling the best possible solution. Providing the best possible protection.

Don’t get us wrong - You need sales to run a business, of course! But if your core focus is to get people to buy your product and service is an afterthought? Well, that will clearly reflect in the quality of your work.

To learn other reasons MSPs have a distaste for the print industry, read: 5 Reasons Why MSPs Hate Print

Delays in Delivery of Print Device Parts

Print devices are complicated machines with many little parts that make up the whole.

The copy machine is like a puzzle. If one puzzle piece is missing, the device cannot work as intended.

And with so many different makes and models of print devices, there might be a certain piece or part that is highly specific to a particular device.

If a crucial print device is not working and the replacement part is on backorder, your client’s business operations can be dramatically stalled.

And often, there’s not much the print vendor can do to speed up the shipping process.

There are, however, workarounds to keep your client’s business up to speed, even when a critical device is temporarily down.

Our parent company, Green Office Partner, provides loaner devices. These are printers that clients can borrow and use while they are waiting for their primary device to receive replacement parts.

That way, even if your client has to wait a few weeks for a replacement part, they won’t miss a beat on their printing workflow.

Or, why not avoid the productivity hit entirely? To avoid risking print-related setbacks, some clients keep a backup device that can pick up the slack if their primary equipment is out of commission. 

So to avoid delays in replacement parts, connect your clients to an MPS vendor that offers loaner devices.

To learn more about our support process, read: How Print Partner Handles Your Clients' Support Requests

Print-Related Security Risks

Print devices can create colossal security risks for businesses.

It’s incredibly frustrating when your MSP meticulously checks every aspect of your client’s technology suite to account for potential vulnerabilities… and then the print vendor drops the ball and leaves them wide open to hackers.

If you do a quick web search of horror stories involving print vendors, you’ll never look at copiers the same way again.

Here are some examples of how print vendors compromise users’ security:

  • MPS vendors routinely ask their clients for domain admin credentials. This is unnecessary and a huge security no-no!

  • Print vendors can accidentally install ransomware during a repair, as recounted by a member of the r/MSP Reddit community.

  • Mitch Kranitz, former MSP owner and founder of Print Partner, recounts a time when a print vendor sold a “new” device to one of his MSP’s clients. Upon closer inspection, the device was actually used, and still had SMTP, LDAP, SMB creds and complete address book information from its former owner. Yikes.

    When security is not taken seriously, it can spell disaster for clients, and for their MSPs.

    To learn more about how to secure a print device, read: Top 10 Tips for Printer Security

Print Devices Suck!

It’s hard to believe that, in 2023, print devices give users the same ole headaches as they always have.

But here we are.

Print devices are finicky machines, with many different moving parts and security concerns. Literally - if you’ve ever peeked under the hood of a copier, you’ll know that these things are complicated pieces of machinery.

There are countless different device models on the market, each with its own unique set of things that can go wrong. Even to print experts, these devices can be unpredictable.

And as we discussed earlier - when print vendors fail, MSPs have to collaborate with clients to pick up the pieces.

If you aren’t specially trained on or have prior experience with the specific device models you service… good luck with troubleshooting.

So combine a product notoriously complicated with an industry known for neglect and half-baked service… and wallah! You have a recipe for utter disaster.

Print Partner and the Print Industry Status Quo

Thanks for sticking with us on this journey. By now, your blood is probably boiling.

The print has gotten a bad reputation, and we understand why so many MSPs and users are fed up with it.

That’s why Print Partner was created - to do what others are not!

Print Partner is the only print vendor on the market that is wholly aligned with supporting MSP partners. We know that your team has better things to do than fiddle around with printers and correct the mistakes of random print vendors.

 Our goal is to take the burden of print off of your hands.

When your MSP works with us, we manage and support your client’s printing needs, so you’ll never have to waste your energy on these infernal contraptions again.

Plus, we’ll pay you! For every referral sent our way, we pay you at least $250, plus $1,000 per copier sold and 5% on your client’s lifetime print allotment.

So if you want to create an additional revenue stream for your business while offloading print-related busy-work from your support team, consider partnering with us, a Print Partner you can trust.

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