Increased productivity, reduced operational costs, stronger security and improved environmental sustainability are things that all businesses desire. But how exactly do you go about getting them? Believe it or not one of the best ways to achieve all of these things is to streamline your current printing processes. One way you can achieve this is managed document solutions, but there are other ways too.
If you’re anything like most businesses you have probably never given the print environment of your company a second thought. The chances are your current document management systems evolved as your company grew, with printers being replaced and reassigned without thinking about the cost and efficiency implications.
As a result, through no fault of your own, your printing environment has become inefficient and costly to run. But by assessing your current print processes, right-sizing your printer fleet and implementing a document management system that brings together your print, copy, mail and imaging requirements, you can make significant improvements to the productivity, efficiency and security of your office. So how exactly do you go about assessing your print processes?
Establish cost per page
The very first thing you need to establish is how much it costs to print and copy for each member of your organisation. If you don’t know the answer to this already, you may be surprised how high the cost actually is. A simple way of doing this is to divide the cost of the ink/toner cartridge by the manufacturers recommend yield for the cartridge, then adding in the cost of paper.
However, if you use this method, you should be aware that manufacturer page yields are based on 5% page coverage, a full page of text usually contains 10% coverage, for images it can be as much as 100% coverage. So using this method may underestimate your print costs by quite some margin.
A more accurate way to establish per page costs is to look at your print costs for the previous three months. You will need to take into account the number of pages printed, the cost of leasing print equipment, the amount of paper consumed and the volume of ink used. This information should allow you to establish an accurate estimate of your print costs for each user.
Carry out a document needs assessment
Now you know your per page print costs you need to carry out a document needs assessment. This process starts with quantitative and qualitative data collection analysis of your current print/copy processes, business and user requirements and hardware specifications. The aim of this document is to identify areas for improvement. You should take each individual user group and establish their current print volume, device utilization, document type, the number of users in the group and any challenges they are currently experiencing.
Once this process is complete you should have a clear idea of the type of printing each group does and what steps you need to take to improve performance. For example; would a duplex printer help reduce costs in the marketing department, do they really need a colour printer in accounts, would an inkjet be more efficient than a laser for reception etc. You should be able to answer all these questions and more following your document needs assessment, which will help us design effective managed document solutions for your business.
Design an office output strategy
Once your document needs assessment is complete you are ready to put it all together and create an office output strategy. This document should take into account the goals of your business, including growth projections, as well as comparing the various cost of ownership models, such as leasing equipment vs. owning outright vs. managed print services.
Your office output strategy should also identify the most efficient printer for each print group. You can easily do this using the information gleaned in your document needs assessment. Don’t forget to take into account any growth projections you envisage, you don’t want your new printer to become obsolete 18 months after installation.
New printers also mean access to new technology, such as smart power management which switches the printer off when it is not in use and document routing services which can send faxes straight to the recipients’ inbox. New print technology also reduces the amount of toner required to complete jobs and is made from the more environmentally friendly material.
If you would like more advice assessing your current print processes, ASL Group can help. We are specialists in delivering a range of document management solutions including; managed print services, managed document services, print management as well as on-premise, cloud and hybrid solutions. So no matter how complex your current printing environment our specialists can help. Get in touch with us here: https://asl-group.co.uk/contact/