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Print spending

Do you really know what you are spending on print?

Around 64% of companies don’t and this is why.

If 2017 is going to be another year where you need to review operational costs, then you might want to understand what your organisation is printing across the entire business – and not just in the office.

The cost of print continues to be at the forefront of most organisations and it is always a target when looking to reduce operational business costs. We regularly engage with large organisations that want to reduce their office printing, believing this will address most of their print related costs. However, according to analysts, many larger organisations can spend up to three times more on their enterprise print outside of the office printing environment.

What might you not know about?
It is only when organisations start looking at specific document driven areas of the business like finance, logistics, marketing. I.T and manufacturing for example, that you start to realise that much of what is printed by these departments are often not controlled through the office print strategy. And if you consider what print is purchased externally to address the different needs of these different business areas, the amount of money spent, and the likely additional costs of print storage or waste, then you start getting a bigger picture of your enterprise print activity and what’s really being spent across the entire organisation.

What about paper to digital?
The argument that many business processes still requiring the need for a printed document is one for another day but too often a simple “print evaluation” focuses only on existing print output and not what else an organisation could start doing digitally to really improve business efficiency. Of course there are still many processes that need a mandatory printed document, but until these are identified it is too easy to assume that businesses can just adopt a paper to digital strategy overnight without affecting the daily operation of selling and delivering goods, or communicating to customers and suppliers.
So understanding what is right to turn digital, should also be part of any enterprise output assessment and quite often the best way to start is to perform an analysis of a specific document intensive process that still relies on print. Then it should be possible to review the potential to migrate this to a fully digital process that can drive real business improvements as well as cost savings. A good area to look at first is what you are producing from your management systems, whether it be a mainframe or an ERP like SAP®. It is quite common for organisations or office users to print large reports from these systems for management, yet using some clever workflow you could easily turn this into PDF that can be sent by email to whoever you want, whenever you want – and you could even schedule every week automatically.

Where’s the quick win?
Typically, organisations spend much more on mail and externally sourced print than what they think, so a quick win can be achieved by targeting these two areas. For organisations who have an in-house print facility or a print room, there are always opportunities to do more in house, particularly as many print jobs are being produced in smaller run lengths. For those without a print facility, there are ways to reduce costs by potentially managing print and suppliers better – or by consolidating both in some cases.

As for mail, if your organisation is sending out mail in the volumes you were doing in the last few years, then a review of what you send and how you do it should also be part of an enterprise output strategy. Much of the mail sent to customers can be migrated to a Hybrid Mail solution that allows both optimised printed mail to be combined with digital.

Next steps
So if any of this sounds familiar to you, maybe you should look to get an enterprise output management study, as looking at office print costs might not get the return you want in cost savings or business efficiency.

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