Sunday Apr 20, 2014
Navigating Affordable Print Management
Written by CDW   
Monday, 02 May 2011 00:44

Navigating the printing services available in today’s workplace can be a daunting task.  Technology promises a completely digital workplace, but many organizations have yet to see this come to fruition.  In reality, the majority of today’s workers still use a diverse assortment of printers, copiers and fax machines, ranging in age, network and function capabilities.

This leads to uncontrolled supply and maintenance management, resulting in cramped efficiency, added costs and reduced Information Technology (IT) staff productivity.

Often overlooked, print management is an area that can help businesses control spiraling costs.  These expenses come not only from the cost of the printers, toner and paper, but also from additional hardware, maintenance services and power consumption.

As more organizations look for ways to conserve capital, managing print services has become a front runner for cutting costs.  Managed Print Services (MPS) is a strategy used for managing the volume of documents flowing through an organization, while minimizing the costs associated with printing, maintenance and upgrades.  Making small changes in printing practices can help businesses get a handle on largely-undocumented, unpredictable and often excessive annual printing expenditures – cutting costs by as much as 30 percent.

Before employing managed print services, consider two key steps:

Step 1:  Assess your organization’s current printing environment

An audit analyzes and documents usage patterns to determine where inefficiencies lie and where improvements are possible.  If executed correctly, the audit details valuable information including the number and types of printers, locations and users, as well as services or supplies each requires and how efficiently each is being utilized.  Managed print services provides estimates on the number of toner and ink cartridges needed and determines the need for maintenance kits and other necessary supplies for several years, based on current and anticipated print volumes.

Step 2:  Consolidate your devices

Consolidation goes beyond eliminating redundant and high-cost devices.  Combining multiple devices into a single, multi-functional unit can positively affect any business’s bottom line.  Consolidation eliminates wasted paper and other consumable supplies, while reducing equipment’s power use by as much as 40 percent.  It also increases security by making it more difficult to print, copy or fax potentially sensitive information.  In the case of businesses with smaller remote offices, consolidation enables the proactive management of costlier work.  This includes squeezing the most efficient utilization out of color printers, even while attempting to reduce printing volumes to save on ink.

Replacing the Old with the New

Managed print services determines whether or not it’s possible to leverage the productivity and money-saving benefits built into the latest printer technology – all while helping to manage costs and conserve capital

When promoting the idea to management, consider how you can justify the expense of new printing technology when revenue and budget dollars are tight.  Emphasize that new printer technology provides a strong ROI fairly quickly, as it usually contains cost-effective features, including:

Lower price and higher performance:  When paper, ink and energy consumption costs are considered, total document production costs can be reduced by one-third to nearly one-half

Bonus features and functionality:  Most new technologies feature automated ordering, enabling the printer to analyze what it needs, order it from a supplier and have it delivered prior to supplies running out

 Less energy:  New technology provides warm-up features that are more energy efficient

Reduced physical footprint:  Consolidating devices frees up much needed space

Fewer consumables:  Ink toners contain much more ink, reducing the need to change them or fill the supply closet as often

Less paper means increased productivity:  The two-sided print feature available on many new printers saves trees and paper costs while reducing time spent constantly filling the paper tray

Reduced maintenance costs:  New technology lasts longer, and new toner-based printers are easier to self-service, drastically reducing the number of service calls made each year

Solidify the Terms

Managed print services anticipates volumes that establish the price of supplies and services, guaranteeing them for the term of the agreement while enabling organizations to pay only for their needs, usually with no escalators, minimums or page counts to manage.

Printing seems like a simple concept, but many organizations do not understand that it is more economical and efficient to invest in new products and upgrades than to rely on their older technologies.  A properly executed print management solution enables businesses to save money and boost productivity – this alone should make pitching the idea to management a breeze.

About CDW:CDW is a leading provider of technology solutions for business, government, education and healthcare. Ranked No. 38 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies, CDW features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company’s solution architects offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include software, network communications, notebooks/mobile devices, data storage, video monitors, desktops, printers and solutions such as virtualization, collaboration, security, mobility, data center optimization and cloud computing. CDW was founded in 1984 and employs more than 6,200 coworkers. In 2010, the company generated sales of $8.8 billion. For more information, visit CDW.com.

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