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The print environment can often find itself in an inefficient state due to business processes that take too long to realise the required results.  Printing makes up a big part of any business operation and if a printer is down and users can’t print, IT must ensure quick resolution to keep downtime to a minimum.


An SLA (Service Level Agreement) for a print device is offered by a third party to your business at a rate that is determined by the running cost of the printer. You will pay a predetermined cost per page (CPP) which includes items/responsibilities for the upkeep of the device (replacement of additional parts and toners/cartridges).

Here are 3 simple reasons why it is preferable to have print devices on an SLA as opposed to having their maintenance and consumable costs procured and requested on an ad-hoc basis:

1. It makes more sense for Procurement: No ongoing decision making required  
The procurement function is detailed to ensure that all business processes are supported by a strategy that informs best practice for the business.  The factors in play on such decision making are mainly cost, capacity for service delivery and BEE requirements.  When a print device is on an SLA, the procurement decision is made once off.  
Benefits include:

  • Better control over suppliers
  • Better control of costs
  • Increased bargaining power
  • Decreased workload

2. It makes more sense for Finance: Assist with the budget planning process
The finance function is crucial to any successful business.  Often there are crucial business needs that go unmet because the finance department is unsatisfied that due process has been followed.  When costly invoices are processed at random for printer parts, toners and services, it makes it difficult for finance to budget and plan for IT expenses.  The use of a CPP (cost per page) rate is much better for budgeting because it is based on print volume, which is much easier to forecast and control costs.

3. It makes more sense for IT: Fast turnaround time on calls logged
When something goes wrong with the company’s network connectivity, PBX, ERP solutions or IT hardware infrastructure, the first port of call is to log a call with the IT Help Desk.  When a device is on an SLA, the agreement typically includes a 4-hour response/ 10-hour resolution time.  This assists with the turnaround time on calls logged with the help desk.

When a businesses is purchasing printers and copiers outright, they do so without planning for maintenance and upkeep after the warranty expires.  This often results in an inefficient print environment at risk of overspend and unnecessarily long periods of print device downtime.The simple solution for this common business problem is to assess your needs and to go out to market for a reliable SLA provider.

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