Monday, October 18, 2010

Manage what you measure

Manage what you measure

A print management strategy allows businesses to control expenses by outsourcing management of the printer fleet. The usage-based, outsourced model ensures they only pay for the prints they use and, best of all, there is no capital expenditure required since the agreement is to manage the existing fleet.

Companies cannot manage what they cannot measure. A managed print services strategy should begin with a comprehensive assessment of the current situation to uncover the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your office printing. This assessment provides both a baseline, to measure improvement, and a snapshot of the current situation to discover opportunities to improve. Ascertaining the current situation also gives organisations a benchmark against which to measure the effectiveness of their programme.

Proactively managing printers also enables companies to introduce carbon footprint reduction strategies. Reducing paper use not only reduces the volume of trees consumed, but also helps offset the rising cost of printer paper. There are several means of reducing paper use, including duplex printing and electronic forms among many others.

Some companies are concerned that optimised printing will negatively impact productivity. But a properly implemented managed print strategy boosts productivity. At the most basic level, employees face less distraction from printers that are broken or out of toner. Unlike most IT departments that simply respond to broken systems, a preventative maintenance strategy combined with an automatic supply restocking programme ensures your fleet is operating consistently. Re-deploying the right systems to high-volume locations can also enhance productivity.

Perhaps the biggest cost savings can be found in a more productive IT department. IT resources are costly and it doesn't make sense to use them to fix mechanical devices such as printers. Instead of fielding calls from frustrated users with printer issues, IT employees can focus on core initiatives like security and new software deployments.