Managed print services provide the means to centralize control of document creation and storage, providing active management of document output and optimizing documents for business processes. Print management encompasses various areas including software to manage print volume and user authentication, device management, discovery and design software, and scanning and scan routing software. In fact, much of the savings from managed print services comes from converting paper documents into digital files for easy distribution and archiving.
The managed print services market offers a real growth opportunity for resellers. The global imaging marketing, including managed print services, is expected to reach $26.7 billion in sales by 2017. As part of that projection, managed print services are expected to continue to rise at an annual rate of 9 percent over the next five years.
For VAR customers offering print services offer real savings as well. The typical office worker spends, on average, $725 on office printing each year. When you multiply that by the number of employees in a company it adds up fast. With managed print services, those costs can be cut by 30 percent. And there is an added bonus of a cut of 60 percent in carbon emissions associated with office printing.
So when selling print services, how do you make your case for cutting print costs? There are a number of arguments, but here are 15 to consider:
- Reduction in wasted paper – A study by ThinkBeforePrinting.org shows that 50 percent of office paperwork generated is never actually read. Using managed print services immediately eliminates a lot of paper waste, encouraging employees to only print necessary. It also promotes the use of two-sided printouts and generates less waste and makes more efficient use of paper.
- Fewer printers – Rather than having to maintain different printers for each department, centralizing print services in one location that requires fewer printers to support the entire organization. That means lower operating and maintenance costs.
- Fewer supplies required – if there are fewer printers, then there a fewer supplies required so there is substantial savings on ink, toner, and other consumables.
- Savings in employee time – It’s amazing how much time workers spend printing documents, fetching documents from the printer, loading paper into the printer, clearing a paper jam, or circulating documents once they are printed. Managed print services eliminate those issues by taking responsibility for printing out of the hands of employees.
- Savings in IT time – IT managers earn an average of more than $120,000 per year according to US News and World Report, so their time is precious, and too much of the average IT professional’s time is spent troubleshooting printing problems. Managed print services eliminate time wasted servicing network printers.
- Better equipment maintenance – Outsourcing your printing services means the equipment receives regular maintenance. Plus maintenance is no longer the IT department’s problem.
- Better equipment – Using a print service provider also means equipment is updated regularly, so documents are always produced using the latest printers, scanners, and fax servers. This results substantial savings from replacing aging hardware.
- Departmental charge backs – Whether you are paying for print services by the page or as a flat rate contract, it’s easier to track printer usage when it’s centrally managed. This makes it easier to allocate costs to the appropriate department, or even charge printing services back to clients.
- No training required – By outsourcing print services company employees don’t have to be trained in the use and maintenance of more office equipment.
- Document distribution – Paper documents can be digitized and distributed by email or stored for ready access on a secure server.
- Better workflow management – Centralizing paper management makes it easier to establish more efficient workflows. Routing of documents that require approval or have to be processed in a specific manner can be controlled from one central location so staff members have to adhere to established protocols.
- Better security – Sensitive paper documents can now be archived in a secure location without having to commit additional resources. As part of managed print services, access can be controlled through password authentication, and documents protected by encryption and other means. That means paperwork can be made more secure once it is converted to digital form.
- Backup and disaster recovery – Digitizing essential business paperwork means you automatically have a digital archive in a secure location, usually stored off-site or in the cloud. That means that you already have backups of paper documents in electronic form in the event of a disaster.
- Never lose a file – As many as 7 percent of business documents are lost and 3 percent are misfiled, which means an inordinate amount of worker time is spent looking for misplaced paperwork. With centralized print services all the documents are meta tagged and catalogued to make it easy to search for the documents you need.
- Savings in recycling costs – Managed print services are environmentally friendly, eliminating paper waste and the cost of recycling. It also saves energy that would be consumed by multiple office printers and scanners. And it saves outmoded office printers from taking up landfill. Outsourcing print services are one strategy that more companies are adopting specifically to reduce their carbon footprint.
These are just a few of the ways offices are cutting costs using managed print services. The best way to determine how much they will save is to conduct an audit. Assess the company’s current printing infrastructure and identify areas where they can save by outsourcing or centralizing printing. The results of the audit will surprise you.
So what do you see as the biggest selling point for managed print services? Is there one compelling reason that your customers want to outsource their in-house printing?