Document Management Solutions – Creating Accountability in your Organizations Printing Environment

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By: Nate Duprey

Does your company monitor your current printing and copying usage?  How much do you really print a day?  Does your company have a green initiative?  I imagine these questions are important to any company that is looking to implement a MPS or a managed print services program in order to reduce printing costs and increase printing efficiencies. We all know that copying and printing is never the most engaging or exciting thing to talk about but the reality is that copying and printing does cost money and it’s rarely managed properly.

A few of the conclusions I’ve come up with while researching document management solutions, is that there really isn’t anything black and white about it; other than to stop printing or to go completely paperless.  To the best of my knowledge this isn’t necessarily the best option for the majority of companies in the U.S.  With that being said, this leaves companies with a few solutions that truly can work to save your organization money and could potentially uncover an unknown profit source.

To start:

1.       Analyze your printing methods – It is very important to understand who within your organization is printing the most, what they are printing and how much or how often they are printing. This allows you to pinpoint methods to help reduce printing costs and increase printing efficiencies.

2.       Implement a few simple ideas such as duplexing. This is a printing method which allows you to print on both sides of the paper.  This will not only reduce the amount of paper used but can also help reduce purchasing costs.

3.       Inventory your printer and copying assets to see which machines are using a lot of energy. With high efficiency multifunctional products you can print in black and white and/or color while simultaneously giving you the capabilities to scan, fax and copy.  This not only saves on the expenses, but helps the planet as well.

The idea is to eliminate putting ink on paper when it’s not necessary.  Obviously, if you can’t completely avoid doing that, then make sure what you are doing is cost effective and tracked appropriately. These three simple techniques alone can help reduce cost by up to 20%.

For those companies that want to get serious and change the way their organization spends money there are several software programs that will help analyze and eventually pay back the ROI in as little as six months.  There are multiple vendors that offer simple and engaging methods to audit, collect, and manage this information.

  • Print Audit, a Print Management and Print Tracking Solutions Company, offers a tool that allows you to analyze and recover valuable information pertaining to your companies printing habits. It will track every page printed or copy made that goes through your organization.  This can then be routed to an accounting system that will allow you to either bill the total cost of the prints back to a client if necessary, or be subtracted from personal, departmental, or organizational budgets all in real time.
  • Print Audit, Copytrak and Equitrac are all companies that offer “rules-based” solutions to help educate employees on how to save the company money by printing more efficiently.  For example, authentication forces users to take accountability for their own printing and copying behaviors.
  • Based on the number of users and/or PC’s within your organization the initial cost of implementing these solutions is relatively low, especially when comparing this to an expected ROI analysis. This can easily be done once you do a complete analysis of your current printing and copying habits.

In these economic times organizations are looking for ways to save money wherever possible and implementing a managed print services program is a great place to start. These tips that I have suggested above can not only save your organization money but can also help in saving our planet.  So take a look at your organizations document management solutions today, and let us know at Imagetec LP if we can help you become more profitable.

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