Managed Print Services for a Numbers-Focused Mind
by Andy Jones, Director and General Manager, Global Document Outsourcing, Xerox Europe
Now more than ever, companies are calling on managed print services (MPS) to save money and spur growth. Often overlooked, print is an infrastructure just as important as facilities, telecommunications and IT networks, and CFOs and IT managers are starting to realize the bottom line benefit to getting their printing under control.
By deploying a strategy to better manage the volume of documents flowing through the organisation and minimise the costs associated with printing, sharing and updating them, companies can save up to 30 percent of operating costs.
In addition to cost reduction, MPS helps spur productivity, increase compliance and achieve environmental sustainability by:
• Controlling how and when documents are printed.
• Reducing print-related power usage.
• Reducing the consumption of paper and other related consumables.
• Consolidating document devices such as printers, copiers and fax machines – reducing the user-to-device ratio and increasing device reliability and efficiency.
• Freeing up employee time to spend less time on document-related tasks and more time focused on their real business.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when working toward achieving success.
Implement a Change Management Program
Ultimately, end users enjoy the time they get back in their day thanks to the improved print infrastructure – availability of devices, improved work process and increased productivity. But change of any kind is hard to swallow in an organisation, and end user acceptance of an MPS strategy is critical to the success of the project. End users need to understand and feel good about best practices.
Working with an MPS partner to take a strategic approach to change management will help support the staff during the transition and ultimately help the organization notice a real difference in costs. By investing in change management, companies can be sure to deliver a program with the right formula for existing employee work habits, daily volume and organizational readiness, to help customers empower their workforce to embrace productivity and operational changes.
A few change management tactics to consider include:
• Complete onsite training to help employees manage the new print environment.
• Provide tips on how to reduce the time and money spent on print-related activities.
• Create of a Web portal to provide ongoing support and online learning.
• Launch a communications campaign to help employees better understand the reason for MPS; communicate expectations and anticipated results to the ntire organization.
Leverage Proven Process Improvement Methodologies
To identify what an optimal environment looks like for a particular customer, Xerox uses Lean Six Sigma-based assessments to evaluate employees’ current daily work habits and locate inefficiencies. All cost factors are taken into consideration, including hardware, paper usage, power consumption, IT management needs and footprint of the ideal print solution. Then Xerox recommends a print strategy including workflow improvements made with end users in mind, to maximise benefits while continuing to meet employee needs.
Measure, Report, Adjust
Regular reporting on the new workflow is critically important to understand how end users are adapting to and using the new processes. Print governance software tools that monitor and report on end user behaviors can be implemented as part of an MPS program. The tools can be used to educate users about print alternatives that may be greener or a lower cost, and can help redirect print jobs based on policies or established quotas to ensure that spend is managed according to defined goals.
While the potential for 30 percent cost savings MPS delivers may appeal to a numbers-minded CFO audience, generally speaking, companies want more. A properly implemented MPS strategy integrates with the overall IT platform to help innovate and give employees new ways to work efficiently – to win new business, to get products to market, to get invoices processed, and to communicate more effectively with customers.
A well executed MPS program can slash costs up, increase productivity and improve environmental sustainability – but not all vendors have the ability to deliver on all three. Decision makers should evaluate the following when selecting a supplier:
1. Improved user experience: Do they monitor all devices, and proactively solve problems to avoid unnecessary downtime and keep employees productive?
2. Customer service focus: Will they help employees adapt to the new technology and work processes with change management programs?
3. Ongoing cost management and accountability: Is there a formal reporting process to show business objectives (cost, environmental sustainability, security, and risk compliance) are being met?
4. Multi-vendor approach: Do they support equipment from other vendors so clients don’t have to replace existing devices with the supplier’s brand?
5. Comprehensive offering: Is the offering limited to printers within corporate offices, or can it be extended to include in-house print center and virtual/home worker requirements?
6. Sales and distribution flexibility: Is there a single point of contact and a consistent approach to MPS for businesses that span different geographies?
7. Commitment to innovation: Will they collaborate to understand the business and provide innovative ways for employees to work more effectively – beyond simply managing print?
8. Track record: Can they provide quality references that demonstrate measurable and sustainable results?
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