Why Multi-Vendor Solutions Don’t Work

The most common reason why workplaces have printing services from multiple vendors is that these machines could have been accumulated through the years as the business grew. Having different decision-makers may also have a part in this – with one preferring one brand and another, later on, insisting that another brand would be more suitable.

Another possible reason is that printer security solutions may not have been available or known to the business – hence, secure printing was a matter of having one or more local printers for printing sensitive documents. And in this scenario, the brand of the printer is rarely considered.

Therefore, in the process of trying to quickly meet the increasing print demands, security demands, or whatever else, some businesses become blind-sighted by the potential headaches that a multi-vendor printer system can bring.

If you’re reading this article, perhaps you have had experience with multi-vendor printing environments and you may want a comprehensive look at why it never seems to work. Or maybe you’re a new decision-maker in your workplace and looking for a resource that will help you to optimize your printing setup. If this sounds like you, then, you’re in the right place!

In this article, we will cover the main reasons why multi-vendor print solutions are hurting businesses and present you with viable next steps towards vendor consolidation. Without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Multi-Vendor Solutions Can Lead to Over-Used Good Printers

The first issue with a multi-vendor printing environment is that multifunction printers may perform differently and may have different capabilities. Some printers are faster, with a higher dpi, and with a capacity to print on various types of paper. Some printers could be more user-friendly. And some machines may be outdated and lack the features that your employees need.

Therefore, with a multi-vendor printing environment, it’s very uncommon for employees to line up to use the select good printer/s in the office even with other printers within reach. So some printers will have varying degrees of uselessness (and yet their supplies continue to get stocked!) Because of more frequent use of the good printer/s, the monthly duty cycle is quickly exhausted. It won’t be long till the select machine/s breaks down.

Close up of a repairman fixing a broken printer

2. Multi-Vendor Solutions Are Expensive To Maintain

Though supplies can still be purchased in bulk for a multi-vendor printing system, there is hardly any chance that they can be cross-utilized – so you’ll end up needing to maintain separate inventories of supplies.

Maintenance is not any easier. Instead of having your printer maintenance done with one sweep, perhaps according to a set schedule (which is affordable if en masse), you’ll need to call in separate maintenance personnel every time that one multifunction printer or local printer breaks down.

Regular maintenance for multi-vendor printers is almost always out of the question because of how costly it is to regularly call in separate maintenance personnel for each printer type. BUT if this is something that your business is doing, however, there are two likely modes and outcomes:

  1. You are, indeed, losing a lot of money by calling in separate maintenance personnel
  2. You are enlisting the help of a “jack-of-all-trades” repair guy who claims to be able to deal with multiple brands of printers – but might not be giving updated or qualified service.

3. Multi-Vendor Solutions Pose Various Security Risks

Different printers have different built-in security features. Needless to say, some are more secure than others. It will be a hassle for your IT personnel to snoop out all security weaknesses across different types of printers and then find a security solution that can unify them all.

For example, if you are interested in implementing a printer security solution for your business, like FollowMe Printing (which ensures user authentication and prevents document theft), some printers may be able to do it and some cannot. And selectively implementing any security measure will definitely create a vulnerability in the system.

4. Multi-Vendor Solutions Means Struggling With Different Printer Drivers

Along with varying instructions for use and overall user-experience, comes the individual, unique printer drivers that different printer types would need. These would need to be installed individually and maintained with individual updates to enable successful printing. All-in-all, it is a cumbersome and time-consuming process, not only at the setup stage but also in the long run.

A woman on the phone looking frustrated

5. Multi-Vendor Solutions Could Mean Lengthy Troubleshooting

If your employees ever encounter a problem with any of your printers from multiple vendors, they would need to deal with different customer help desks. Some are indeed helpful and quick to assist while others might lag or may not even speak/understand English well. Because there are multiple vendors to call out to, no one is really sure about what to expect and it can turn helpdesk calls into a frustrating, dreaded, and disheartening task.

6. Multi-Vendor Solutions Are An Added Learning Hurdle For All Employees

Different printers, different capabilities, and of course, different instructions. This can discourage employees from using printers that they are not familiar with or are difficult to use. Another outcome is that they can pull out another employee (from whatever task that employee is doing) and get them to help with using the unfamiliar or difficult printer. Either way, productivity is compromised.

7. Multi-Vendor Solutions Can Be Demotivating For All Concerned

As you may have noticed in the above examples, there is plenty of frustration in maintaining and using printers from multiple vendors. The frustration is compounded if the vendor isn’t adequate in giving needed helpdesk support or if the printer just isn’t good enough for diverse modern needs.

All of this doesn’t just waste man-hours and increase costs, it has an added negative effect on employees. As tasks are slowed down by equipment malfunction or an overlooked need for supplies, it can really demotivate employees, slow them down, or might even cause them to do unnecessary overtime.

What is Vendor Consolidation and How Can It Help Me?

Print vendor consolidation with the right MPS company addresses all of the problems listed above – this is done by unifying your devices under one, reputable vendor. And in so doing, you’ll be able to say goodbye to all the headaches and enjoy these benefits instead:

  • Cost effectivity when it comes to supplies and maintenance
  • Ability to make use of a universal printer driver for easier printing
  • Employees being able to make use of the same user-friendly interface
  • Decreased difficulty and man-hours spent on troubleshooting and fixing printer problems
  • Ability to have unified and enhanced printer security

I’m in. Where Can I Get Print Vendor Consolidation?

Integr8 is the leading provider of a full range of Managed Print Services in Canada and the United States. A complete print vendor consolidation package is one of the services that we are proud to offer. To ensure that you get nothing but the best, we work only with industry-leading partners like Canon, HP, and Konica Minolta.

We’ve worked with various businesses over the years and we give the same, close attention and dedication to helping our new clients in growing their business with a trusty and personalized Managed Print Services solution.

With our top-notch vendor consolidation package, you’ll be able to experience enhanced productivity and cost-efficiency like never before. So why wait? Contact us today and let’s get started!

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