Identifying and reducing the hidden costs of your business

Implementing a managed print services solution will allow companies to reduce their hidden print costs and improve efficiency within the organisation, says Ryan Harper, MPS Business Unit manager at Printacom.

Johannesburg, 13 Jun 2016
Read time 4min 30sec

Most businesses today have the necessary systems in place to keep a tight control on their overheads. However, in an increasingly competitive world, the difference between success and failure is so marginal that ensuring your business is as cost and environmentally efficient as it can be, is critical.

One of the last hidden costs in your business is none other than avoidable print related expenses, according to Ryan Harper - MPS Business Unit manager at Printacom. He points out that within these costs is the amount of unnecessary printing that occurs in an organisation every day, not to mention the time allocated to managing and maintaining the printer fleet.

"How much of your cash flow is tied up in consumables or invested in equipment, and how much of your office is taken up storing paper and toner cartridges? What impact does your organisation have on the environment from old energy hungry devices, wasted paper from unnecessary printing or consumables that are thrown away rather than being recycled?" he asks.

The answer, inevitably, is too much, and yet the easiest way to reduce costs and solve the associated challenges is to implement a managed print services (MPS) solution. This, says Harper, will allow companies to reduce their hidden print costs and improve efficiency within the organisation.

"A good MPS begins with a service provider that takes the time to properly understand the customer's philosophy and culture. The strategy can then be applied in a way that underpins these company values, whilst achieving the respective cost and performance objectives."

"The second step involves a consolidation procedure. Through the convergence of printer and copier technology, OKI is able to dramatically reduce the amount of associated capital equipment in the organisation. This is achieved by deploying multi-function printers (MFPs) into work group environments, replacing the high cost 'desktop' devices and ensuring a much higher return on assets managed."

After this, continues Harper, standardising the document device fleet will enable the company to realise enormous benefits in terms of staff training and utilisation, support costs and economies of scale procurement.

Productivity must also be considered, he adds. Many consolidations adopt a centralised solution approach, which may create productivity bottlenecks. OKI applies a balanced, features-based strategy, which ensures consolidation is achieved, whilst providing enhanced features such as print-on-demand, confidentiality print and scan to e-mail. "We can also deploy tracking software, so that document costs can be accounted for. This report-based tracking will enable the customer to understand which departments or users are high cost."

"The design and implementation of print policy is also vital, as this creates workflows within the organisation and forms the basis of the print procedure, providing rules around the routing of printing, as well as the administration and control of how users may print."

Authentication is also an effective way to reduce the amount of wasted printing that takes place, he says. After all, if the users have to authenticate themselves wherever they are retrieving their documentation, it would alleviate much of the wasted documents are seen lying around common print stations.

"OKI is able to assist customers with the implementation of an entire MPS solution, from hardware and software installations to recommending an implementation plan to the organisation with minimal downtime or change in current workflow. Such an implementation plan would also include security violation errors, such as preventing users from printing directly to the devices instead of through management software, designating user groups with colour access printing and print policy standardisation."

With a good MPS solution in place, the organisation will reap a wide range of benefits continues. Such benefits include the reduction of support and maintenance costs, thanks to the consolidation process, the standardising of printer fleets and rationalising of infrastructure to improve efficiency and procurement processes and the central administration of users and devices, which makes the support task much simpler. In the end, print infrastructure consolidation and effective tools to manage printers and users will result in less time spent on administration and support, freeing up IT resources for more strategic projects.

"Through the complete visibility of your organisation's printing behaviour, OKI's MPS will deliver the cost benefits that will enable your business to stay as competitive as possible. This solution will help you to significantly reduce the complexity of your print environment." "At the same time, it will assist you to identify and reduce the many hidden costs within your business, whether these are visible expenses - such as hardware, consumables and paper - or the more intangible management costs that relate to support, administration and maintenance.

With OKI's MPS solution, your organisation will have the opportunity to develop into the kind of lean machine that will be able to effectively compete with the competition, regardless of the state of the economy," concludes Harper. - See more at:

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OKI Greg Sellars (+27) 11 553 2810
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