Managed Print Services vs. Self-Served Printers: Which is More Cost Effective?

Managed Print Services vs. Self-Served Printers

Businesses of all sizes are always looking for ways to become more cost effective and save
money. One area where this can be done is by evaluating your office copier strategy –
specifically, whether using managed print services or self-serve copiers is more cost effective.
It’s easy to assume that having a managed service will be an expensive way of meeting your
print and copier requirements, so read on and we’ll explore what the costs really look like
compared to one another.

Self-serve copiers are, as the name suggests, copiers that you purchase outright and then
maintain and service yourselves. This usually means paying for toner and service calls as and
when they’re needed. On the face of it, this might seem like the cheaper option – but copiers
bought outright are usually significantly more expensive than those provided by managed print
services. This is because providers can buy copiers at a much reduced rate and then pass on
these savings to their customers.

When you factor in the cost of toner and service calls, managed print services are usually the
more cost effective solution – especially when you consider that providers will often include
these in the price of their service. So, if you’re looking to save money on your office copier
requirements, a managed print service is likely to be the best option. Here’s comparison for

Self service example for one of our most popular copiers over 3 years:

TonerBlack & White (20,000 copies
per year )
TonerCYM (20,00 copies per year)£5,600
ServiceCall Outs – Average 4 per
Per month over 3 years£196.00

Smart Office Solution equivalent on a managed service agreement would cost you £65.00 per
month* and represents a saving of 67% per device! Plus, you’ll have peace of mind
that down time will be at a minimum as it will become our job to ensure your device is
operational at all times and unlike many manufacturers we guarantee we’ll be with you in 4
hours to resolve any issues.

Of course, there are other factors to consider when choosing a copier strategy – but from a
purely cost perspective, managed print services are usually the most effective solution. So, if
you’re looking to save money on your office copiers, it’s definitely worth considering a managed

Contact Us Today

If you’d like to find out more about Managed Print Services then feel free to get in touch with us
and one of the team here at Smart Office Solution will be more than happy to talk you.

*Price is based on minimal information and for example purposes only. Before any quote is provided an audit of your print requirements from one of our expert team will be carried out.

Use Papercut Software to Help the Environment

Saving energy and saving money is a popular combination these days, as we all look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Smart Office Solutions is here to help you with that, as we want to promote sustainable practices in your business as well as within ours.

By working with Papercut software we can provide you with all the tools you need to track, monitor, and analyse the print outputs within your business, whether you have 1 printer or 100 printers. Having this foresight as well as the handy tools provided such as ‘Responsible Reminders’ that alert your workforce when they could be using grayscale or duplex print or automated print queues to ensure no print is wasted will enable you to target the areas of your business practice that can be improved to hit your goals for carbon emission reduction. 

As well as having these tools to monitor usage, we also have access to a host of other business support tools provided by Papercut. 

Their reporting dashboard gives a live view of usage by user and printer, as well as your environmental impact. You’ll be able to use their secure and convenient print release tools to manage print queues and ensure that all print is always picked up and never wasted. 

Mobility Print allows you to print from any device including smartphones to any printer on your desired network and with its seamless integration with Microsoft it’ll be the easiest set of tools to add to your stack and start doing your bit for the environment.  

Having an environmentally friendly mindset within all areas of your business will ensure that you are providing the best service possible to the communities around you, while also ensuring that future generations can enjoy life on this planet without impacting it too heavily. For more information about how Papercut software can help you to become more environmentally friendly please contact Smart Office Solutions today.

Get to know more about Papercut Software and get in touch today to talk about how Smart Office Solutions can support you in achieving your environmental goals.
Get in touch to find out more about how we can work with you and use Papercut software to reduce your carbon footprint and hit your targets for helping the environment.

How to lower your CO2 Footprint with your Office Printers

The world is on a mission to undo decades of releasing excessive carbon emissions through our everyday activities and we understand that many of our customers are measuring, monitoring, and aiming to reduce their carbon footprint.

You might think that this is bad news for a business like Smart Office Solutions and that we’d not speak so openly about how you can reduce your carbon footprint. However whilst we are in the business of supplying printers and print agreements, we’re also keen to support our customers in achieving their goals and are leading on supplying technologies that support in meeting the same needs as a printer, and do so in an environmentally sensitive manner.

Here are our top tips for how you can reduce the carbon footprint in your office.

1. Take advantage of print queue management

Gone are the days when you’d have to find the closest printer on the network and hope that it wasn’t being used by others, in most cases these days, printing has moved to a central print queue. This means that you can open up any device with access to your company’s network and send the document straight to the printer. What this also means is that if there are several people sending documents at once, they’ll all go onto one large print queue, rather than being sent directly to the printer.

In addition to streamlining the process for users, print queue management has also allowed for us to waste less paper, no longer will documents be printed and forgotten about, only to be thrown in the bin and re-printed at a later date. Releasing documents at the printer based on the user tapping a card or entering their code is not only more secure for confidential information but it also means that print is collected 100% of the time.

2. Green up your older printers

If you have any older printers in your inventory then it might be worth thinking about replacing them (or at least having plans in place to do so). Older machines are often still good enough for most day-to-day printing requirements but anything more than this and they’ll use more power than their newer counterparts.

When you do take the step to upgrade your assets, keep an eye on the power ratings and environmental standards of any printer that you either have or are looking at purchasing. Many manufacturers have a wide range of printers available in different sizes, resolutions, and formats which might suit specific departments within your organization better than others. Here are a couple of examples of the copiers that we stock and provide to support CO2 reduction:

Konica Minolta C300i – Built with state-of-the-art technology that ensures competitively low energy consumption – which saves both energy and money

Ricoh CM3000 – Operating at under 1,700w maximum, this copier is built for a greener world with a focus on reducing its carbon footprint.

3. Think about the type of paper that you’re using for printing

In theory, it doesn’t seem like there would be much difference between using normal A4 paper from the high street compared to recycled equivalents from office suppliers but when you start to crunch the numbers in terms of print volume across a whole organization, this small difference can add up in a big way! If we were to print out a year’s supply of A4 documents for example for argument’s sake 30 sheets per day that would be 7,800 sheets for more sustainably sourced paper used.

The best way to make an impact is to start early and change your printing habits as much as possible. By encouraging conscious consumption of paper among your workforce.

4. Maximise your printer usage by printing double-sided where possible!

As far as cost per sheet goes, there isn’t much difference between double-sided printing and single-sided but there are many benefits in terms of environmental sustainability. But just adopting this simple technique reduces your paper consumption by half.

This might not seem like much in the grand scheme of all things sustainable, but it does add up.

So to summarise, there are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint with your office printers, some include upgrading your hardware or software and some are more about upgrading your business practices, but whatever your goal Smart Office Solutions can help make sure that you are being as eco friendly as possible.

Printing Solutions For The ‘Hybrid Office’

Following on from our blog on the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid working where we laid out the things that we’d learnt from supporting over 400 organisations with their office print requirements during the pandemic, we wanted to share some of the solutions that we have available to support printing for the hybrid office.

Cloud Printing To Print From Any Device In Any Location

As we work with Papercut software to monitor usage and support you with CO2 reduction, we can also provide mobility print. This cloud based solution will allow you to connect any device to your office printers, allowing your team to add their prints to the queue and collect them when they are next in the office.

Managing Print Queues

With Print Deploy and the Self Service Module provided through the Papercut software that we use you’ll be able to toggle the available printers for each user, this ease of access will mean that whether your team is working in the office or from an alternative location they’ll have the right access to the right printers regardless of their device or location.

Usage Tracking And Monitoring, Even Off Site

We’ve always worked with our customers to ensure they have an oversight of their print usage, whether that be so that they can monitor their spend or report on their CO2 impact in an effort to support the environment. In our partnership with PaperCut, we utilise the Direct Print Monitor software that allows you to report on usage regardless of whether the device is in the office or at your team members home.

Print & Post

Did you know that we also have a copy shop, Smart Print Services is our specialist print house for all of your large format, large quantity or one off prints. Supporting you with a print and post service we can produce and distribute any of your printing needs whether it be meeting packs or client prints.

Same Support And Service Regardless Of Device Location

The thing that our customers have valued most about our services for the hybrid office is that we deliver the same support as we would in an office. Toners directly to the location of your devices whether that be at a satellite office or a member of the team’s home, technical support for those rare occasions that a machine might need some attention and all of the software needed to ensure the most efficient running of your print devices.

Get in touch to find out more about how we can work with you to ensure a smooth running of your printing and infrastructure.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Hybrid Working

Hybrid working is not a new thing for the work environment by any stretch of the imagination. However, over recent times the need to work remotely due to national lockdowns and the global pandemic has accelerated the requirement for organisations to increase their hybrid office capabilities and integrate remote working solutions into their infrastructure.

Working with businesses of all shapes and sizes, we’ve supported over 400 companies from those with one office printer to large multi-site corporations with thousands of employees through the pandemic. We already had the expertise to provide the solutions required but what we’ve developed throughout the journey is a much better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid working, here’s what we’ve discovered:

The Advantages of Hybrid Working

Increased Productivity

In a study carried out by Microsoft 9 out of 10 business leaders agreed that hybrid working was here to stay, but also 83% of them said that they found employees working in this way were equally as productive or significantly more productive when working outside of the office with just 1 in 10 business leaders believing that their workforce was less productive when working remotely.

It used to be the case that managers and business owners would fear that not being able to keep an eye on their employees would lead to a drop in productivity. However, with better visibility of output and productivity through modern tools and the feeling of empowerment passed onto staff the Microsoft report demonstrates that the opposite is true.

In fact by being able to utilise their time more efficiently, supported by working in an often quieter surrounding than an office space free from interruption and distraction and in a more relaxing environment which helps their stress levels. 

Employee Satisfaction

Before the pandemic nearly 70% of people had never worked from home. It turns out that they didn’t know what they were missing out on as laid out in this YouGov survey where it was discovered that there was a 78% uplift in the amount of people that wanted an element of working from home post pandemic.

Financial Efficiencies

With people working flexibly from home or other locations, office occupancy is an opportunity to drive cost efficiencies. At the extreme end of the spectrum it could significantly reduce your overheads by a complete location change and reduction in footprint or a move to a cheaper location, or even at a smaller scale the operating costs of your office space could be leaner with energy usage dropping for example.

Health & Safety

One thing that living through the Coronavirus pandemic has certainly heightened is a personal awareness of health & safety among the workforce. Whilst working in a more remote and hybrid manner has been imperative to slow the spread of COVID, it also has other positive health and safety impacts. It isn’t just COVID that doesn’t spread, reducing colds, flus and gastro illnesses will all reduce the impact of sick days out of the office on your business. In addition, with less people in the office, statistically the chances of other individual related health and safety concerns reduce.

The Disadvantages of Hybrid Working

Potential Burnout

Working in a remote manner often increases the risk of burnout, with the less obvious separation between work and home life often leading to people working longer hours and taking shorter breaks. Working from home often comes with a perception of mistrust and can make employees feel as though they need to prove their trustworthiness and as a result overcompensate and burnout. A shift from a culture of hours worked to something centred around productivity and output is often the key to reducing this risk and allowing people to work in a hybrid way guilt free.

Team Building in a Remote Environment

Whilst working more flexibly can provide a significant amount of personal benefits and increase employee satisfaction, it can be at the cost of team building and rapport. Especially if a team works in completely different patterns it can lead to feelings of exclusion. Without the ability to have desk catch ups and shared lunch breaks, the best way to ensure that team building isn’t sacrificed for hybrid working arrangements, i to make sure that accessibility is key, ensuring meetings happen over networking platforms that enable remote sign in and even plan in regular informal online ‘hangouts’ to give people that opportunity to build rapport and get to know one another.

Over Reliance on Technology

We’ve seen a meteoric rise in use of online networking platforms, video conferencing tools and technology solutions to support the hybrid office. However, many of us have had experiences of poor connection, server issues and software failures. Building a robust infrastructure that supports the access of multiple devices from multiple locations and with a phenomenal amount of use cases is one of the biggest challenges for maintaining a flexible and location-agnostic approach to your business. That said, with the right solutions and suppliers in place this can be managed effectively and should not be a barrier to reaping the rewards of all of the benefits of a hybrid working environment.

How Smart Office Group can Support with Hybrid Working

As mentioned in the opening we’ve supported over 400 businesses with their office print and infrastructure requirements throughout the pandemic. We’ve done this by being able to replicate their office set up in the home or any other working location. Providing devices that are more portable, using software that allows for the usage monitoring of multiple devices in multiple locations and delivering our same first class ongoing support and service regardless of where your workforce and print devices are located.

Get in touch with us today if you’d like to find out how we can support you with your office solutions.

New Acquisition Announcement

Smart Office Group are proud to announce the acquisition of Essex and Suffolk based business, Document Office Technology Service Ltd.

 We would like to welcome all of the DOTS clients with open arms to the largest growing independent print specialist provider in the Southeast of England.  The purchase of DOTS is a large part of our growth plan around the UK.  This latest acquisition for Smart Office Group is the second this month, along with Chariots Office Automation Ltd.

DOTS customers bring a very long history into Smart Office and with the loyalty to the outgoing owners David and Carol, they would like to thank all the clients and staff for all the commitment and loyalty over the last 14 years.  The Smart Office Group would also like to welcome the valued staff members from DOTS into the Smart Office family, like Chariots the DOTS clients and employees are in very good hands.

The Smart Office Group of companies have tripled the size since 2018 through our organic growth and acquisition plan.

Further growth announcements to follow throughout 2021 2022.

Gary Smart
Founder and CEO of Smart Office Solution Ltd

To find out more or if you have any questions, please get in touch

New Acquisition Announcement

The Smart Office Groupare proud to announce today, the acquisition of CHARIOT OFFICE AUTOMATION LIMITED.

“We would like to thank all of the chariot clients base for being so supportive and we welcome them to the fastest growing print solution company in the south East of England. Our high level service offering, will be enjoyed by the Chariot client for many years to come. Chariots customers bring a very long history of commitment and loyalty to the owner Colin Re. The group would also like to welcome Colin into the Smart Office family, for the duration of the transition period. Colin will ensure that all his loyal clients are in very good hands”

Smart Office Group continues with its ambitious growth plans throughout 2021-2022. New acquisition announcements due in the very near future.
Gary Smart
Founder and CEO of Smart Office Solution Ltd

To find out more or if you have any questions, please get in touch

Business Printer Hire In Maidstone

Since the production of the first Xerox machine in 1938, to the recent invention of cloud printing and hybrid technology, printers have been an invaluable part of any office setting. Unfortunately for many small and medium enterprises, their printing needs sometimes surpass their budgets. For this reason, commercial printer hire services have become a great alternative.

Printer hire services allow companies to run unencumbered and supplementing these budgetary constraints. At Smart Office Solutions, we give businesses access to some of the most sophisticated print management equipment, and at a rate that is within their budget.

What We Do

At Smart Office Solutions, we understand the crippling cost of running a business, which is why we offer a variety of digital documenting and printing equipment for hire. This variety means we have something for everyone, from corporate-level mass printing equipment to small scale printers, and everything in between. What we do, essentially is to ensure your company has the best equipment on the market, at the most competitive market rate.

Note that we have been in the industry for a long time, and we understand that all our clients have specific needs. This is why we have a team of technical experts with the industry expertise to not only choose a printer that suits you, but also show you how to maximise output. This kind of added value is what has established us as an industry-leading printer rental company in Maidstone.

Choosing a Printer

Since the invention of the jet printers in the 1960’s, there has always been a debate of quality versus output. Fast forward to more than half a century later, and this debate simply boils down to personal preference. At Smart Office Solutions, our main focus is to ensure you get the best value for your money. The first thing is to identify is the precise quality you want from your printer, is it image sharpness? Output? Or high speed? This allows you to narrow down what you need, and effectively find something that suits you.

Building on the premise that our customers are different and hence have different needs, we offer a free survey and quotation. You may want to hire a multifunctional printer, but you may not have the room for it. Our survey helps us to know how much room you have, and what printer would be the perfect fit. Our quotation serves the main purpose of showing you the variety of options and helping you work within your budget.

Lastly, before you make any purchase, or lease a printer, ensure you prioritise the specification you need to get the best results. We are here to help, and our team of highly qualified personnel will walk you through the entire process.


Smart Office Solutions has been an industry leader for years not just because we offer great value, but also because we care about our customers. As one of the most highly recommended printer hire companies in Maidstone, we have also built and established a reputation for customer satisfaction. Don’t hesitate to call us and get the best value for your money.

Consider Xerox For Your Printer Hire: The Smart Workplace Assistant

Xerox printers are powerful machines that have been changing the way the world prints and manages their printing systems since the early 1900s. Through redefining productivity, driving growth and making your world more secure, Xerox printer hire is the smart workplace assistant you can rely on.

Here at Smart Office Group, we are a proud supplier of Xerox products – whether you’re looking for a reliable printer hire or multifunction copier rental, we supply your business with the best technology it deserves.

Discover the various advanced printer models that we can supply your business with. Let Xerox fulfil all your printer and copier needs today.

Office Printers

Reliability and performance sit at the forefront of our wide range of Xerox office printers. Each model provides unrivalled colour print quality and professional colour tools, outstanding media flexibility, fast printing, app-enabled mobile print support to keep your jobs flowing and much more.

Multifunction Printers/Copiers

From powerful performance to impressive print quality, multifunction printers are the perfect fit for any business that wants to boost their productivity and explore a cost-effective solution. These machines are built specifically for the way you work, catering to all your printing needs such as – long-term reliability in a compact device, fast printing, multiple finishing options and more.

Production Printers & Digital Presses 

Get the speed, productivity and quality you need with powerful production printers. Through maximum and easier automation your business can achieve better results. This fleet of production printers and digital presses are ideal for growing your print operation, with across-the-board improvements to workflows, output and your bottom line.

Xerox provides intelligent print solutions to help improve your workflow, productivity and the operations of your organisation. If you are interested in learning more about printer hire and our Xerox products, services and solutions then contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Copier Leasing Benefits

The benefits of leasing a copier or multifunctional Device for your office

Leasing Benefits

Leasing your copier is a good way of paying for equipment and keeps money in your business rather than it depreciating over time. It enables you to make regular repayments, which meet your cash flow and budgetary requirements, over a  period that suits your business.

Why lease a copier with Finance?

Leasing enables you to acquire the most up-to-date technology whilst having the freedom to focus your capital into growing other areas of your business.

Getting Copier/Printer/Multifunctional Device Finance can help your business in the following by:

  • Leasing through Finance gives you the flexibility to refresh your technology by swapping out the product during the lease period. This ensures that your business will always have the best technology and an affordable payment plan.
  • Rather than tying all your cash up front, leasing with Finance enables you to match payments made to the benefits your business receives from an asset.
  • You may be able to write off monthly payments as an operating expense or capitalise the outlay. (please check)
  • Leasing with Finance enables you to preserve your existing credit lines for other business needs.
  • Finance enables you to package your whole Xerox solution including service and third party software into one periodic payment.

For more information please call Smart Office on 020 3883 4219 or complete our FREE COPIER AUDIT FORM