Tag Archives: Print Audit

How print management saves time and money.

20 pund note

A managed outsource printing service = savings for your business

Easy really, the majority of businesses don’t have a clue how much they actually spend on corporate print such as letter-headings, invoices, paper, consumables in fact, anything print related. This is because there is no methodology to managing the process from purchasing, stocking and re-ordering.

A print management company can provide a fully automated and customised print management service which will help measure and control your printing costs.

The first step in the process is understanding how much your current spend is on print this is achieved by carrying out a print audit of the various documents used by the business.

A print management company seeks to understand why and how documents are used, what the order cycle is and whom the suppliers are? From the information gleaned determines the total print spend!

A project manager oversees the whole process from start to finish culminating in a proposal detailing current print costs V cost savings on the various print items ordered.

Emphasis will be to demonstrate cost savings through efficiency driven processes.

Each quarter, a review of the usage of the various items is undertaken to see where further cost savings can be made. Managing your company print, usage and spend should be an on-going process of analysis and review.

Managed Print Services is at the other end of the spectrum to print management and enables companies to manage the flow of print in an organisation.

Equitrac print management allows you to automatically control and manage how print flows through your organisation – improving productivity and maximising time.

Using print management software organisations are able to set up automated print controls and rules to optimise the way print moves around the company.  Employees can be denied printing certain applications such as email by automatically routing jobs to the most cost-effective printer for that task.

For example a solid ink colour device is more cost effective to print obligatory emails and letters rather than a colour-cartridge-guzzling desktop printer for colour runs, colour print can be prevented altogether unless user authorised.

Industry analysts estimate that 44% of printing is unnecessary

  • People are printing things more than once which is wasting huge amounts of money
  • They may send a document to print, then notice an error on screen
  • A document is not at the printer when they go to retrieve it
  • The toner is low or there is a paper jam

This results in wasted paper, consumables and larger electricity bills. Print management software enable a more efficient, leaner and greener print environment.

What do you think? Have you implemented one or both solutions? How have they worked for you? Please do share your success or disaster stories.

To learn more about how you can regain control of your office printing costs, contact us today.

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What is Print Management?

print management

What is print management?

 

We wanted to write an article about print management because it can mean different things to different people.

When I am asked what my line of work is or what I do for a living invariably I find myself answering: “actually I work for a print management company”.

My answer depending on whom I’m speaking with and where I am, business function or cocktail party is equally met with a bewildered expression! As the subject quickly moves onto the state of the economy or do you have kids?

In reality it is a mixture of many diciplines such as procurement, storage, stock control and distribution of printed material to provide cost savings whilst delivering a managed print solution.

Long winded isn’t it?

Print management is about managing the purchasing.

Many companies are deluged with paper even in this electronic age. We are over printing, over stocking, over ordering print items again and again yet in reality some 80%+ of UK businesses don’t know what their print is actually costing them.

With proven savings potentially in excess of 30% why are companies not beating down a path to the doors of print managers in droves!

Print is such a diverse product it covers anything from a business card to a printed USB stick, mouse mat, cardboard boxes through to the supply of office furniture/equipment to web design, e-commerce and e-marketing such is the diversification of a print manager’s tool box.

Invariably print is purchased by many people within an organisation and therefore the true cost of print is often absorbed into different cost centres.

Print is generally perceived as a necessary evil rather than a business process that can or should be improved. Companies define print as business cards, letter-headings and the company brochures, it is a lot more.

It is an area of a business that should be outsourced but often it is overlooked because companies do not have either the time, the expertise and sometimes the inclination to carry out this exercise.

In reality print for most organisations falls into the ownerless category and ordering daily and discreetly in company departments is a common occurrence; with multiple suppliers, inconsistent quality and often shortfalls in critical printing such as a company’s transactional documents.

Print management

Print management is about managing the purchasing, finding solutions to problems that customers didn’t know they had and reducing the paper-flow.

Which is where a print management company comes in! A Print Manager’s business is Print Management that is what we do! Which means we specialise in sourcing and providing bespoke print solutions and printed matter for the end user.

Your core business is what IT IS YOU DO OR WHATEVER SERVICE YOU PROVIDE so why get involved in print when a print manager can do it for you saving you time and money!

Most businesses will benefit from some form of managed print solutions because they don’t possess the knowledge, the time to develop the internal infrastructure to physically manage the purchasing, lack resources and the supplier base that a print manager will have developed and cultivated through many years of trading.

4 Things a Print Manager will do to assist a company’s need to centralise print purchasing:

1. Analyse and carry out a print audit of all printed items used by the company

2. Understand the paper flow i.e. who orders what, when and why, how is the product used

3. Review the supplier base to ascertain who and how many with a view to providing a more stream-lined and sustainable approach to managing print

4. A detailed proposal which will provide an effective, more streamlined process which in turn will show a reduction in total print spend

Top Tips to assist companies with print outsourcing:

1. Engage with a proven print management company that can bring the expertise you are looking for specifically whether it is print management, payroll or e-billing.

2. Identify the key personnel internally who will run the process; who will push compliance and conformity

3. Identify key areas of spend (this will have been hi-lighted during a print audit by the print manager) and this should be across all departments, payroll, marketing, credit/billing all of which can have large spends

Print management

Print management relieves you of having to do the print buying. A print manager will seek, search and recommend the best solutions for you.

4. Keep any design/creativity spend separate from print i.e. if you work with a design agency who are a separate entity and who have a completely different skill set required by your company

5. The business needs to be ready to face change management, there will undoubtedly be some internal resistance to outsourcing print by being transparent and open will cause less confusion and resistance from employees

6. If the costs regarding the current print spend are unquantifiable then don’t be overly concerned; the Print Manager will start to create relevant management information on stock, print type and spend.

The print manager will be responsible for giving you up to the minute information on print spend and within 3-6 months you will have a bank of data to work from to help you set a more concrete print budget for the next 6 months.

What do you think? How are you managing your print costs? Do you know how much your organisation spends on print each year?

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