Importance of change management in MPS
By Mark Hiller, Country General Manager of Lexmark South Africa
Introducing a comprehensive managed print services (MPS) solution into an organisation can help reduce its environmental impact, cut costs and improve efficiency. However, an MPS implementation can be a mammoth undertaking, both from a technical and a logistical perspective.
As a result, it's easy to forget to ensure that end-users are fully informed, understand the advantages and support the introduction of the new infrastructure of output devices.
By simply dropping MPS into the office environment without clear communication or incentives, employees sometimes try to bypass this change, turning to illicit printing devices rather than embracing these systems.
It's important to remember that we are creatures of habit and that MPS introduces changes into the daily routines of employees. Removing a number of printers, which are often seen as personal productivity devices, from the office can lead to feelings of resentment and a sense the company doesn't care about the personal working environment. Thus, these devices are not given up easily, unless people understand the overarching benefits for themselves and their organisations.
Furthermore, the average employee doesn't see printing as a particularly costly activity, but research shows it can account for an average of 2% to 3% of a company's revenue - quickly spiralling into huge sums of money for a large organisation. It is these sorts of benefits that need to be communicated to the workforce if an MPS implementation is to be widely adopted.
By making sure that a clear change management programme is in place as part of the implementation, there will be more acceptance from staff when it comes to replacing the fleet. Not only should key users and staff be made aware of the financial business benefits, but also those relating to their personal impact on productivity improvements or their contribution to green savings, such as the carbon footprint impact of eliminating paper waste, reducing paper consumption and recycling of cartridges.
An MPS implementation should go top-down - changes should be initialised and implemented by senior management itself. But, to really bring staff round to the idea of MPS and get their buy-in, businesses can also deliver clear incentives when making the change. This can include tactics such as highlighting key milestones in environmental, cost and time savings at employee events or company communications, and possibly even reinvesting some of the money savings and space saved into something directly beneficial for the staff, such as free (or subsidised) vending machines.
By underestimating this vital step of educating and informing the workforce about the benefits to the business and themselves, any company risks losing out on the cost and productivity benefits MPS offers. But, with the buy-in of the end-users, MPS has a tremendous amount of potential for a business and can deliver financial, time and efficiency savings across the enterprise.