Why Copiers Are Wasting Budget and How Print Management Can Save It
Tue Sep 13, 2016 | Lasers Resource
It's hard to manage what you don't measure.
What if I told you you could potentially save nearly 30% of your spend on one of your business processes?
Sounds too good to be true, right?
You'd be wrong. Printing and copying costs are the great unknown across businesses in the US. You probably have no idea exactly how much you spend on paper, toner, repairs, IT staff time troubleshooting issues, and everything else that goes into managing your printer fleet (that's the technical term for your printing devices – printers, fax machines, copiers, and, sometimes, scanners). IT research company Gartner has shown that printing can consume up to 3% of your total revenue – making it the third costliest thing for your business after payroll and rent. Yet, hardly anyone works at making a print budget or plan.
Why Outsource the Management of Your Copiers?
Today, every business process can be outsourced – need a new website? Outsource the design and even hosting of it. Need storage and backup for your information? Outsource it to the cloud. Not to mention all of the apps that you use for business that live in the cloud.
You can also outsource the management and maintenance of your printing devices. That's called managed print services (MPS).
“Managed print services (MPS) are services offered by an external provider to optimize or manage a company’s document output. The main components provided are needs assessment, selective or general replacement of hardware, and the service, parts and supplies needed to operate the new and/or existing hardware (including existing third-party equipment if this is required by the customer). The provider also tracks how the printer, fax, copier and MFP fleet is being used, the problems, and the user’s satisfaction.” - Gartner
Why would you want to consider having anything managed for you let alone something like your printers and copiers?
Contact us to schedule a print and workflow assessment.
After all, you or your staff have been able to keep your printers full of ink and running so far. Why would you want to pay someone for print management? That's crazy talk right? You can spend your money better elsewhere.
Well, like any service you outsource (personal or professional) you do it because someone else can perform the task better and more cost-effectively than you can do it yourself. Anyone with access to YouTube and a small amount of ability can fix minor household issues on their own. Say you've got a leaky pipe. All you need to do is go to Home Depot and get the right pipe. Drive back home; turn off your water, remove the pipe. Whoops, drive back to Home Depot for a wrench large enough to remove the pipe. Drive back home; replace the pipe, turn the water back on to reveal that it still leaks, remember you didn't wrap plumber tape around the pipe's grooves, remove the pipe, wrap the plumber's tape around the grooves, reinstall the pipe, turn on the water, and, VOILA, you've fixed your leak. And it only took you quadruple the time and about the same amount of money as if you had just called a plumber.
Today's copiers are more complicated than ever (combining software and hundreds to thousands of physical parts). Trying to fix them yourself is a recipe for disaster. Plus, you're almost certainly outsourcing other business needs already – most of which don't affect your bottom line as much as your printer fleet.
Why Is It So Expensive to Print?
So why does printing and copying cost so much? Companies often print more than they need – and estimates are that half of documents printed or copied end up in the circular file at the end of the day (we'll revisit this in future blog posts). Ink is also one of the most expensive liquids on earth. However, there are two major business reasons:
1. No strategy
2. Don't just focus on the hardware
You Have No Strategy
You probably don't have a clue as to why you own or lease the printing devices you currently have in your business.
In new customers, we almost always discover that a strategy for print management doesn't exist. Facilities buy the hardware. Purchasing orders the supplies. Ongoing upkeep and maintenance are punted to IT. It's a rock, paper, scissors game for companies on who does what when, and it's driving your costs way up.
This leads to an overabundance of devices that don't exactly meet your business needs. Businesses also waste money on filling closets full of toner. IT has no clear idea of what's going on with the network and digital copiers and printers can create holes in your security network.
A managed print service partner will assess your organization's printer and copier fleet in two ways:
1. To determine optimum placement of equipment throughout the office
2. Decide what machines will suit your business the best, which could mean buying a new fleet, but often means using what you have more effectively while bringing in newer devices to replace aging and under-performing equipment.
Once the right devices are in place for your business needs, your MPS partner will monitor your fleet, provide recommendations, automate toner delivery, service any down machines, and work with your organization to get some of those printer-related calls away from your help desk.
How's this save you money? Simply by using the printers you already have and re-positioning them in your office to improve efficiency can save thousands of dollars a year.
There's More to Printing and Copying Than the Printers and Copiers
A good partner will work with you to create policies to save on paper and money. Print rules and policies can be created and enforced, a few examples are:
- All emails will be printed in black and white and on both sides of the paper
- Only marketing can print in color
- Documents are automatically routed to the printer with the lowest cost per page while still performing the functions that are needed for the job
Finding scanned documents can also waste employee time. A true MPS partner can help you establish document routing rules so that scanned documents can be delivered to the correct location (email, file share, document repository, even a business workflow) via pre-programmed buttons on the copier interface.
Every business is concerned about data and network security. Networked printers and copiers are access points onto your network and should be protected. An MPS partner can set up security from outside and inside threats. Pull Printing is popular. With pull printing, a document does not get printed until the end-user is at the printer and authenticates the job. This eliminates the need for the recycle bin next to the printer, keeps documents out of the wrong hands for HR and other reasons, and helps to ensure you are following government standards like HIPAA and others.
Still think you should do it yourself when it comes to managing your printers and copiers? If not, schedule a print and workflow assessment with us today. It's free and you've got nothing to lose.
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