Despite the huge growth in electronic communications, printed
output, whether internally produced or externally procured, is
still widely used in 21st century businesses. Yet all too often,
a fragmented approach to managing desktop printing, the print
room and external printing means that few organisations have
visibility into enterprise-wide print costs. This can lead to
spiralling economic and environmental costs along with the
inherent security risks of poorly managed printing.
The problems are further compounded by the need to ensure all
users - whether they are office-based or remote - have access to
the right devices and tools to enable them to print documents
securely, reliably and in a timely manner. Many large businesses
are seeing significant cost reductions, better resource use,
higher availability and better visibility of their spending on
print through adopting a managed print service that covers both
internally and externally produced printed materials.
This paper explores the challenges of managing printing in large
organisations today, the implications of an unmanaged print
environment and recommendations for adopting an enterprise wide
print strategy. A coordinated approach to controlling internally
and externally produced print
Most office printing environments have evolved to become a
patchwork of devices including copiers, printers, scanners and
fax machines, together with a multitude of isolated document
processes. Despite the proliferation of digital communications,
printed output remains pervasive - whether it is internally
printed documents or those outsourced to commercial printers.
Most organisations manage desktop printing, the print room,
remote printing and external procurement as silos, resulting in
little or no visibility of enterprise-wide printing costs.
Progressive organisations that are adopting enterprise managed
print services (MPS) are gaining visibility across both internal
and externally procured print, leading to reduced costs and
Printing is pervasive across large businesses, but
managed in silos. From desktop-generated documents
produced on office printers, to high volume or customised
documents produced in print rooms through to externally
procured material, printed output is ubiquitous and must be
accessible to both office workers and the growing population of
remote workers. Yet fragmented print management through
different stakeholders, including IT, procurement, facilities
management and the lines of business means few organisations
have a comprehensive view of enterprise-wide printing costs.
An unmanaged print environment is costly and
inefficient. Operating an unmanaged print environment
can lead to excessive paper wastage, high energy usage, poorly
optimised purchasing of consumables and security
vulnerabilities. While this can be mitigated through MPS,
embracing the wider picture of enterprise printed output is key
to longer term savings and efficiencies.
Large organisations are using MPS to optimise their
distributed office print requirements. Using an
external provider to manage office printing addresses device
sprawl through consolidation and minimises disruption through
proactive service and support. However, few organisations
include the print room within their office MPS engagement or
consider the wider costs associated with the decentralised use
of external commercial printers.
Poor device utilisation impacts print room
productivity. Many document production processes are
cumbersome and rarely integrated across the office and print
room environments. This can cause poor print room device
utilisation, particularly when jobs that can be produced more
cost-effectively in the print room are sent to commercial
printers. Integrated workflow tools enable complex print jobs
to be re-routed from office printers to the print room,
ensuring optimal device utilisation and minimal business
disruption. This integration is the foundation of enterprise
Traditional approaches to print procurement are no
longer tenable. In industries such as publishing,
advertising and retail, printing is a major item of corporate
spending. Most print procurement processes are manual and
costly with little control across the supply chain and limited
visibility into overall spending. A centralised, outsourced
e-procurement service leverages economies of scale, leading to
faster job completion turnaround times, lowering costs and
eliminating ad hoc spending.
Businesses must look beyond office printing to further
reduce costs. Enterprises should first conduct a
thorough review of all internal and external print spending
through using an external MPS provider. This will identify
which opportunities for consolidation and centralisation will
generate the fastest and most significant print infrastructure
cost savings and environmental efficiencies.
Quocirca recommends that large organisations consider all
elements of internally and externally produced printing and take
a strategic approach to developing an efficient, environmentally
sound and low cost enterprise printing infrastructure.
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