According to research from Gartner, print costs can run as high as 3% of total revenue in certain enterprises, but companies can reduce these costs by up to 30% by opting for a managed services model.
The benefits that managed print services offer are similar to those that companies have achieved by outsourcing other non-core business functions, says Nick Constantinou, business development manager at Itec Distribution.
By opting for managed print services, companies can free up financial and human resources for their core businesses and will be able to buy print services on a monthly basis rather than sinking capital into buying printer hardware that will quickly become obsolete. “Your chosen supplier takes full responsibility for the entire print infrastructure, including all services, support, and supplies,” adds Constantinou.
Typically, the service provider will conduct an in-depth assessment of the client's print environment when taking responsibility for providing a managed print service, he says. It will identify opportunities to drive down support, maintenance and consumable costs in the printing and imaging environments, as well as ways to consolidate and centralise printers, scanners, fax machines and other output devices. The managed services provider should be able to reduce and manage costs of document output on the client's behalf – and guarantee cost-savings with a predictable per-page cost.
Another way that managed service providers can help their clients reduce printing costs is by looking at their existing print fleets and replacing ageing equipment where appropriate. In some cases, it will make sense to centralise printers and share them among a number of users, or to replace standalone printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines with multifunction products (MFPs). Older copiers and printers that run up high energy and maintenance costs could be replaced with newer devices that run at a lower cost of ownership.
Companies should look for managed service providers that can offer advanced reporting services that maximise their efficiency gains. For example, Itec has solutions in place such as Sentry and Print Director that enable the company to manage the client's print environment in a proactive way.
Specifically, Sentry automates the reporting of many common service and maintenance issues by document output devices (including printers, copiers, and MFPs) on customer sites so Itec can manage its customers' print infrastructure in a proactive manner. Print Director, meanwhile, is an enterprise system that tracks, audits and controls all printing and photocopying on a network. It allows for user tracking, inter-departmental and client/project code billing.
The move towards managed services is expected to accelerate in 2010 and beyond as more companies look towards suppliers to help them manage their print environments in a holistic manner, Constantinou says.
Itec is southern Africa's fastest growing and third largest office automation, production printing and telecommunications solutions provider - with annual revenue of nearly one billion rand. Through its 47 South African branches and an international footprint that includes the United Kingdom, the company implements total office solutions based on imported, industry-leading, and award-winning products.
Itec serves medium-sized and large businesses in sectors as diverse as financial services and retail - supporting its innovative solutions with proactive service delivery. Some of its 18 000 customers include Value Logistics, Implats, Department of Housing, Business Connexion, ADT, Rand Refinery, First National Bank, Anglogold Ashanti and National Health Laboratory Services.
Our comments policy does not allow anonymous postings. Read the policy here