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 user 2013-06-24 at 4:21:54 am Views: 85
  • #2264

    Throwing money in the paper bin 

    Every Business has one. You couldn't manage without it. Yet how often do you think about what you spend on your print environment?

    The fact is, according to industry analyst estimates, companies spend between one and three per cent of their revenue on copiers, printers, faxes and scanners. Ironically, as companies take a hard look at corporate expenditures in order to stay operationally lean, print production and infrastructures remain overlooked.

    Print equipment and associated supplies are among the most costly assets for many companies. Millions of dollars are lost due to poorly managed print environments, which for various reasons are often neglected by many senior executives.

    When most companies have developed and implemented strategies to optimize their IT infrastructure, you have to wonder why document production, processes and infrastructure are so widely distributed and under-managed.

    As the information systems grow within an enterprise, the need for a cohesive strategy to effectively control costs and optimize document output and infrastructures grows right along with it. There are several factors that make it difficult for senior-level management to get a comprehensive view of their organization's print environment, hindering them from effectively initiating any kind of a strategy.

    One of the biggest hurdles businesses face when trying to reduce print costs is not a technical one. Traditionally, print has fallen under the domain of office administrative staff but over the past few years, this responsibility has been slowly shifting to the IT department. In many organizations the job is now split between the two departments and there is an overlapping of responsibilities, causing confusion around planning, procurement, integration with IT, ongoing maintenance and support. Identifying and consolidating responsibility for print services is an important step in optimizing the overhead costs associated with document output, ultimately resulting in a significantly improved balance sheet.

    In addition, production has moved from the copier to the printer. There has been a proliferation of seemingly inexpensive personal "desktop" technology devices, like desk-side printers. These devices tend to fall "under the radar" of the IT department and are difficult to control with their insidiously high maintenance and supply costs.

    Many offices are also bogged down by a slew of outdated devices. This is compounded by inefficient processes that govern the way documents are created, managed, distributed, and organized which result in labor-intensive procedures that monopolize valuable employee time and resources. It is amazing that with the myriad collaboration software tools available to automate and streamline internal reviews and approvals, there are such a large number of companies that continue to manually process documents.

    Yet, there is a significant opportunity for organizations to regain control of their print environments, improve productivity and efficiency, and uncover a wealth of hidden cost-saving opportunities.

    By implementing a comprehensive analysis and strategy, companies can positively have an impact on bottom-line performance by closing the loop between document production, management, and output. In fact, evaluating and rightsizing print operations typically reduces print costs between 10 and 30 per cent.

    Today, many multi-function units are available that can reduce equipment investment, as well as consumables and operating costs, improving asset management significantly by allowing businesses to support one device instead of as many as four. Reducing the number of devices in the fleet relieves the burden on IT support staff and consolidates vendors and invoices.

    Re-engineering workflows and incorporating document management software technologies can reduce network bottlenecks, improve employee productivity and lower costs, enabling employees to focus on higher-value activities. Redirecting print jobs to the most capable and efficient devices and improving the physical location of equipment within the organization can enhance document production efficiencies.

    Enhanced business competitiveness through the integration of software that automates business processes and leverages information assets, enables companies to make quick, well-informed decisions and improve response times.

    Companies simply cannot afford to passively manage the print environment, quietly contributing to-millions in lost revenue. By doing a company-wide document output analysis and developing a comprehensive management strategy, companies can enhance business performance, increase productivity, positively impact the bottom-line, and establish a competitive edge through long-term process improvements.

    * Post was edited: 2004-10-20 10:22:00