Is your print environment designed for Output or Outcomes? In most organizations, no matter how big or small, a fleet of printers, copiers, multifunctional devices and scanners are often looked at as required costs of doing business. The fact is, however, they represent an often untapped opportunity to:
- Fully utilize purchased technology
- Create economies and efficiencies
- Address sustainability
- Help enhance security and compliance
- Improve business processes
But be careful as this can only be accomplished if you choose the right partner. Most companies evaluating Managed Print Services don't have the time for a rigorous pre-qualification process to interview multitudes of vendors - so one time saving tip is to evaluate vendors that are geared towards professional services vs. ones that just manufacturer and distribute hardware. Another element is to seek a vendor who has strong partnerships with companies such as HP and Microsoft - the #1 technology and #1 software manufacturers in the world respectively.
A strong Managed Print Services strategy can be divided into phases. A structured approach to the development of integrated hardware, software and services that help you manage workplace documents - both hard-copy and electronic. A few benefits can be:
- To create, manage, store and distribute documents
- Manage digital and paper documents and work-flows more cost-effectively
- Comply with internal and regulatory requirements
- Re-engineer business processes to streamline work-flow
- Reduce operational costs and increase profits
- Enhance security to protect intellectual and paper document assets from destruction or misuse
One of the most common aspects of evaluating a Managed Print Services strategy is the cost assessment phase. In this phase, most companies are content at simply looking at a one dimensional view of cost assessment. A simple model that true Managed Print Services providers utilize can be broken into various elements.
As one can see, conducting a cost analysis can me slightly more complex than your initial thought. Although most organizations could, in principal manage office document output activity and effectively, in reality many lack the time, the staff, the experience, the tools and focus to simply do it on their own. Without conducting a work-flow analysis and other exercises to gain a proper understanding of how and why hard copy and electronic documents circulate within your organization; how do you determine a proper strategy and partner for a long term partnership? A true Managed Print Services provider has a proven model to Analyze, Recommend, Implement, and Manage your mutually agreed upon strategy.
While the financial impact of both hard-copy and electronic documents is only ond portion of the analysis, it is the easiest component to latch onto. As mentioned above, a phased approach has elements of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), Process Improvement, Security Enhancement, and an Environmental impact reduction. Additional benefits can include:
- Project management to transition into new environments
- Installation and configuration management of printer driver and device level programming
- Contract management including Service Level Agreements (SLA's), product portfolio updates, and customized / consolidated billing solutions to reduce the number of payables.
- Asset management program responsible for assessment reporting that accounts for new installs, moves, additions, changes, and disposals.
- Life-cycle management so that companies can make better more informed decisions on device outages or upcoming contract renewals.
- Remote management for capturing device utilization information to proactively predict problems and opportunities.
- Consumables management with automated toner replenishment, and/or a centralized on-site inventory.
- Security management to assist with security / compliance initiatives within any organizations.
- Help desk support to lessen the burden on IT
- Continuous optimization