Producing office paperwork can consume as much as 15 percent of a business’s annual spending. According to Reduce.org, the average office employee generates more than 10,000 sheets of paper each year. In addition to the cost of all that paper, you have to factor in the cost of the printer hardware, toner, maintenance, time spent processing printed pages, and other factors to see how office printing really adds up. Enterprise print services can cut print production and management overhead by as much as 30 percent.
What are Enterprise Print Services?
Enterprise print services, also known as managed print services, are a means to gain visibility and control over all office printing. The reasons to adopt enterprise print services are to save money and boost employee productivity, as well as to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and improve security.
In the context of enterprise print services, “printing” includes pages produced by employees in the office, mobile workers, and production print operations. It also encompasses desktop printers, multifunction printers/scanners/fax machines, high volume printers, mailing, and distribution. Enterprise print services include all the necessary materials for printing such as paper, ink, toner, and other consumables. And it includes the cost of IT support to manage print services including help desk and maintenance.
Each of these aspects of enterprise print services offers opportunities to economize.
Enterprise Efficiency Pays Off
Enterprise print services give IT managers total control over office printing and let them route print requests as needed. Workers can print from anywhere to anywhere, and centralizing control of office printing makes it easier to ensure budget compliance, enforce security protocols, and promote greener business practices.
The immediate cost savings from enterprise print services come in improved use of office resources. The print service provider will perform an audit of the office to determine what type of printing infrastructure best suits the organization’s needs. Does consolidating everything in one print center make sense or does Finance or HR need their own dedicated printer for security reasons? Are the right types of printers being used? What about print output from portable devices or mobile users? Do some departments have specialized printing needs, such as high-quality color printing for customer proofs? An audit will not only reveal office printing requirements but also highlight areas of waste.
Once after the audit is complete and office printing has been optimized with new processes and more efficient equipment, print services will continue to deliver savings. Paper waste will drop. Consumables will be automatically replenished without stockpiling or waste. Maintenance is included with the print services contract so equipment will be serviced regularly and repaired promptly when needed. The whole operation will become more efficient and more cost-effective as a result.
And then there is savings realized in work time. Consider the amount of time workers waste dealing with printer problems, or even running back and forth to the office printer. And what about administrative overhead? Using print service frees IT time to deal with more important issues than clearing a jammed printer or servicing and installing new printers and scanners.
Greater Savings and Security with Digitized Documents
Using enterprise print services encourages more efficient use of electronic documents that are integrated into back office systems. Rather than sending paper between departments of divisions, electronic documents can be stored at a central location for access when needed. The result is not only a savings in paper and printing costs, but savings on courier services, mail costs, and greater efficiency in workflow and workgroup collaboration.
Creating a central repository for digitized office paperwork saves time and money with document retrieval. Since all the paperwork includes met tags and is searchable, finding and retrieving the documents is easy. The result is a tremendous saving in time spent looking for misfiled paperwork; one survey says that workers spend 38 hours annually – one full work week – hunting for lost files.
Digitizing business paperwork also dramatically reduces paper storage requirements. Paper takes up valuable office space, and promoting paperless business processes saves valuable space taken up with files and file boxes with archived paper files. A survey by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) indicates that the average office commits 15.3 percent of its space to storing paper. That drops to 7.4 percent of office space with electronic files.
And there are savings in security costs. Digitizing paperwork makes it easier to control document access. Sensitive documents can be encrypted or access locked. And access to the document repository can be controlled using password authentication and other means.
Adopting digital document storage using print services also aids disaster recovery, since it automatically provides backups of important business documents. In case of a fire or natural disaster all business paperwork is safely archived; no need to worry about losing paper documents.
As you can see the arguments for adopting enterprise print services are strong for any organization. The potentially savings come in many forms – reduced paper and materials consumption, reduced waste, less time wasted, savings on security costs, better workflow, etc. Many organizations who invest in enterprise print services estimate an ROI in 18 months or less.
What’s your strongest argument for adopting or selling enterprise print services? Is there one area where the potential cost savings are just too good to overlook?