What to Consider in an RFP for Printing Services

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Every business needs a good printing solution, even in today’s digital age.
You’ll want a reliable machine that offers printing and copying capabilities.
When you’re preparing your RFP, it’s important to consider the features
that are most important to your business. Use the points in this checklist to
help create an RFP that helps you find the right printing solution for your

The cost of a printing solution can vary depending on how you
choose to acquire it. To evaluate pricing structures you’ll need
to understand your options.
Decide if you are going to purchase or lease a printer

. Purchasing can be less expensive in the long-run, and
the printer will be considered a company asset

. Leasing offers low upfront costs as well as the ability to
upgrade to the latest technology

Explore the components of the pricing structures available. If
you are purchasing the equipment, ask for the price, warranty,
terms and service agreement. If you’re going to lease, you’ll
want to know the monthly cost, terms and service agreement


In addition, consider the price of consumables. The new
generation of Inkjet printers use high-capacity inks while laser
printers operate with toner cartridges, drumheads and fusers
that may require replacement.

. Compare the cost per page, including black as well as color

. Check the average page yield per cartridge

. For a laser printer, check the average page count of the
drumhead and fuser

If you’re an educational institution, the cost of color cartridges
will likely be an important factor in your choice. Color printing
can be effective for engaging students in the classroom.

Maintenance & Reliability
Another important factor when choosing a printing service is
maintenance and reliability, both of which can impact your
workflow and productivity.

. Find out the number of replaceable parts on a printer
. A more sophisticated unit could require more
maintenance, which can have a related cost as well as the
potential of downtime when the unit needs repairs
. A printer that is less complex could have fewer potential
break points and serviceable parts
. Look for a printer that was designed for business
applications instead of home use; it was built to
withstand a higher output, which can make it more
reliable for your use

If you operate an onsite Architecture, Engineering and
Construction Management business, look for a
low-maintenance printer that’s reliable and durable.

Get a read on the current volume of printing you need to do
on a weekly or daily basis. You may find out that you need to
choose a printer with a faster speed.

. Compare print speed of the units, which is measured in
pages per minute (PPM)
. Will the unit will be shared across departments? This could
impact the speed needed to keep up with demand
. Explore new technology; some of today’s inkjet printers can
provide high-speed output up to 100 PPM

If you’re a House of Worship, you may use a centralized copy
machine and print using a lot of color. Speed could be an
important factor for you, especially if you tend to do your
printing on one or two days a week. Consider PPM as well as
cost of color.


Depending on your industry, you may need a printer to offer
flexibility in its output as well as use.

. Account for the type of output you will need, such as access
to a wider range of paper types and sizes
. Understand the flexibility needs of your company, such as
portability or durability
. What type of power usage is required? Some complex units
require a 220 volt outlet, which might require you to hire an
electrician to install special wiring and outlets

Environmental Impact
Finally, consider the the environmental impact of your printing
service. More companies paying attention to their
environmental footprint. The right printer can help you with
your goals.
. Check a printer’s power consumption, which is determined.
by its technology; the lower the consumption, the lower the
impact on your energy bills
. Consider waste; look for printers that require fewer
consumables or replacement parts
. Ask about particle emissions; laser devices, for example, can
emit ultra-fine toner dust

By using this checklist, you can better understand your needs
and find the right printing service for your business. The right
provider can become a partner in your success.

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