Tag Archives: print management. managing print costs

Business relationships! What's in a business relationship?

Business relationships. What’s in a hand-shake!

Over the last 5-10 years there has been a dramatic shift in business relationships and the way we transact business.

Social media is viral and electronic methods by which we communicate have had a major impact on businesses and the way in which we transact our everyday business interactions.

Gone are the days when you’d receive a call from a customer requesting a quote for… its largely performed by email and telephone calls have been delegated to the bottom of the pile.

In my experience many of the people we transact business with prefer electronic methods of communication rather than talking on the phone or answering the phone for that matter.

Many are competent at texting, using apps and sending emails but engaging in a telephone conversation that’s another matter.

To illustrate, earlier this year we were invited to provide a proposal for the outsourcing of payslip printing for a large Plc.

The initial contact was made by telephone and the gentleman who was heading up the project gave me the details of what the organisation was intending.

Shortly after the call, I immediately established he was on linkedin and was able to ascertain he was in his mid twenties.

Following submission of our proposal we followed up with a call, more friendly and professional wouldn’t you think?

Sadly no, instead we got his voice mail, left messages, voice mail, left messages.

Of course we followed up with an email “bingo” we got a response and the rest is history.

What’s in a relationship?

You trust your Doctor to make the right diagnosis don’t you? You rely on the integrity of your Dentist to extract the right tooth or repair it don’t you?

So why is it that business relationships appear to be so “transient” in this modern day and age?

As purveyors of solutions, systems, products and services you’d think that the customer would really go out of their way to ensure that they as well as the service provider work hard to make the “marriage work”.

Customers want and expect different things from their relationships with different organisations in much the same way as they have different needs and wants from their personal relationships.

There are two types of relationships:

  • the type of relationship that join parties together i.e. what ties us together?
  • the nature of the benefits they offer each party i.e. what’s in it for me?

What ties us together?

Business relationships can be defined in terms of levels of emotional attachment and choice for example a customers relationship with their favourite brand of chocolate, food product or perfume would represent a high emotional attachment or a committed partnership similarly to a marriage.
A business relationship with a service provider or utility company is likely to be one of a low emotional commitment because there is little emotional engagement and the relationship is borne out of convenience and necessity rather than a genuine partnership.
The relationship between the customer and supplier has changed and the balance of power arguably has shifted in favour of the customer. Customers have access to more information, greater choices and with social media are able to voice their dissatisfaction in no uncertain terms.
Customers’ expectations have shifted and companies are expected to pay attention to customer service and caring for customers. In turn, customers are placing greater emphasis on honesty, integrity and transparency.

How solid are your business relationships?

What’s in it for me?

Companies need to understand the customers perspective as this will consolidate the relationship between customer and supplier and increase loyalty. The balance has also changed too with customers expecting a better experience than just simply “using a supplier”.

What are the dynamics of customer relationships?

These relationships change and evolve over time. Whether in response to the supplier’s or customer’s action, the circumstances changing and competitor activity at some point test the validity of the relationship.

When a problem occurs the strength of the relationship before the problem and the way it is then managed tests the validity of the relationship. In other words, if the relationship is solid the customer will be empathetic to why it happened and the supplier will be sympathetic in wanting to resolve it quickly and efficiently.

A successful resolution will greatly enhance the business relationship which is why human interaction and talking on the phone or meeting with the client is crucial to making the customer feel valued and to maintaining the longevity of the relationship. Business relationships change and evolve over time. Whether in response to the supplier’s or customer’s action, the circumstances changing and competitor activity at some point test the validity of the relationship.

Ultimately the relationships we have with our customers have different meanings to that of our personal relationships of family and friends.

But the same principles we expect in our personal relationships are no different to those in which we transact in business – honesty, integrity, being treated as a human being and keeping promises and commitments.

Relationships change and evolve over time. Whether in response to the supplier’s or customer’s action, the circumstances changing and competitor activity at some point test the validity of the relationship.

Furthermore, good business relationships require understanding and effort from BOTH PARTIES not just one!

The key point of this article is communication. The art of communication has been replaced by email and social media. It’s quick and easy to transact business this way than it is to pick up the phone and talk.

What do you think? Are business relationships a thing of the past?

Has communication become a dying art?

Let us know what you think!

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Secure Print Management. How to ensure printed information is kept secure?

The ICO (Information Commisioners Officer) is not holding back when it comes to mis-management of data security.

To quickly illustrate:-

A County Council had to pay £130,000 in December 2011 for a breach of data security relating to confidential child protection case details being inadvertently sent out in error.

In Scotland, a Council was fined £140,000 in January this year for disclosing sensitive personal data about children and their carers to the wrong personnel.

A Care Trust in the South-West was fined £175,000 in August for publishing personal details of staff on its website.

At the very heart of these breaches of data confidentiality was the “printer”; the piece of equipment we take for granted everyday when it comes to printing off emails and necessary information we need to record or refer to!


Printers and MFD’s represent a serious security risk.


How so?

In the case of the Welsh Council, the security breach was related to a mix-up at the printer because an unauthorised case worker had picked up confidential child case notes from the shared office printer and then sent them out as part of another report.

An easy mistake to make particularly when you have shared office printers, get distracted and forget until later to collect your printed documents.

Staff rummaging through the tray on the office printer to find the document they printed earlier is commonplace in most organisations.

But it can be an easy fix.

How? A quick installation of a simple but effective print management solution.

That is safe, secure, manageable and effortless.

Many Companies and Councils have basic print reporting software which lets them know how much toner and paper is being consumed but it doesn’t safe guard what and where it gets printed and by whom.

In a busy office, paper can pile up and by the time you go to collect your vital bits of information you find stacks of paper. Its easy for someone to collect their report or email or letter and inadvertently pick up the first few or the last page of what you sent to be printed.

Not having a secure print management solution in place can prove costly. What results is the document being printed again which is time consuming. In the case of the aforementioned Councils it can pose a data protection breach if the information is confidential and specific to an individual only.


Integrated, secure print management software ensures that the printed documents are secure and confidential until the user is ready to authorise and collect them.


By implementing a print management solution with networked printers and MFP’s (multi-functional devices) is the most secure and efficient way of ensuring organisations safe guard themselves against print and data security issues.

Print management solutions provide the tools you need as an organisation to manage a fleet of networked printers and the security of the documents printed.

Human intervention is the weakest link when there is no secure print management solution in place.

Automating manual processes ensures that an organisation can lock down data security throughout the document journey – from creation, sharing, distribution to storage and archiving.

Digital Print Management can advise specify and provide a range of secure document handling processes.

For more information please call on: 01234-271156 or drop us your details here and one of our expert advisors will contact you. 

What information risks have you experienced?

Do you have a policy in your organisation to safe guard this happening? If so please tell us about it.

We are interested to hear and read your comments.

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Print Management Solutions – Taking Paper out of Paperwork

Print management software/MPS (Managed Print Services) allows you to automatically control and manage how print flows through your organisation improving productivity, maximising efficiency, employee productivity, enhancing document security and improving environmental sustainability.

Print Management software controls how you manage your print-flow in your organisation. It will save time and money!

Using an automated print management solution enables you to set up your print flow by automating print controls making sure that the best printers are optimised for the right jobs.

For example a mono simplex job being re-routed to a black and white device as opposed to a colour printer.

Print specific rules for email or internet access can be set up to ensure that either the application is denied access to specific printing devices or is routed to the most economical printing device.

Industry analysts estimate that 44% of print is unnecessary!

For example:-

  • People are printing things more than once
  • They may try and print a document and then notice there is an error on the screen
  • Their document is not at the requested printer when they go to retrieve it
  • The toner is low or there is a paper jam.

The above only serves to increase the quantity of paper being consumed, increases consumable costs, higher electricity bills all of which aren’t always associated with the “management of print” in a company.

Increased user productivity and cost control

Can only be achieved when a print management software application is installed.

Although we are living in a ever increasing digital era of email communications, internet and scanned-to-PDF documents paper is still the preferred format for many businesses to convey important information this is typical of obligatory and legislative based industries.

Multi-functional devices (MFD’s) are more secure, economical and can process high volumes at less than the cost of the more traditional stand-a-lone desktop printers.

An organisation can reduce print waste and costs by being able to output to the more efficient printers.

STOP! Wasted paper, consumables and mountains of print in your organisation.

Security and confidentiality

By preventing private or sensitive documents from sitting unattended and unclaimed at remote printers.

Users can print securely to networked MFD’s by using a secure, convenient and mobile workflow. With secure document release, the documents are held on a secure server and outputs them only when the user authenticates it.

Productivity and mobility

Documents can be released to any device that is on the network anywhere in the building giving users the mobility to print jobs wherever is convenient for them avoiding job queues, collection lines and out of service printers.

“Send To” Printing lets users share documents by sending colleagues the ability to print and confirm output.

Accurate cost allocation and reporting functionality

User authentication to network services – track, analyse and allocate costs of every document produced on any device anywhere in the building. Workers can accurately charge documents to specific department or cost centres codes. You can also track the costs of document attributes such as file or paper size, media type, colour, duplexing, stitching etc.

Effortless control

Print management software lets you determine who may print to which print devices and set up specific rules to determine where colour jobs are printed, automatically delete print jobs, hold or re-route print jobs to more efficient printers as opposed to desktop printers.

Rapid ROI

Print management system administration and control is centralised making it manageable and less reliant on I.T. for print related errors. Fault detection provides a single console to track devices’ status and history including current toner levels, print failures and error messages.

Managing the print-flow for a more sustainable environment

Managing output, enforcing print rules for users and allocating printing to the correct printer ensures that what is required to be printed is. Which means that consumption is reduced, wastage is lessened and this can form part of your company’s environmental sustainability objectives.

What are the benefits?

  1. Protect document security and confidentiality
  2. Eliminate unauthorised printing and copying
  3. Enforce colour quotas on colour printers
  4. Enforce output to the most economical and efficient device.
  5. Allocate output costs to users, departments, projects or clients
  6. Understand how printers and copiers are being used across your network.
  7. Reduce the cost of purchasing unnecessary and under-used devices.
  8. Reduce I.T. support requirements by not having to call them when there is a paper jam or toner replacement required.

Manage your print, manage your paper, manage your costs!

Next steps

Digital Print Management are channel partners for ProcessFlows the world’s leading print management service and solution providers.

Please contact us for an impartial discussion as to how the Equitrac office software and solutions can help drive down your company’s print costs using our print management solutions.

We like to receive comments so please leave a note and let us know how you manage your print. What are your success stories and how did you manage to implement your print solution.

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Managed Print Services – How to manage your print costs!

Managed Print Services.

One of the biggest challenges facing many companies today is the management of paper, print and print devices.

Implementing a Managed Print Service (MPS) is one of the quickest and measurable way of managing costs because it enables the organisation to consolidate its many devices. Word Cloud "Paperless Office"

Organisations often have an excessive number of devices such as desk top printers, old PC’s and redundant equipment that can either be eliminated or replaced entirely with modern technology.

The ratio of 3:1 reduction in devices is achievable and cost savings on consumables is evident when you consider how expensive desktop printers are to operate, manage and maintain on a standalone basis.

In fact if the cost savings are so transparent you’d think organisations would jump at  implementing an effective print management strategy.

But when considering an MPS there can be resistance from your employees’ and their concerns can be:

  • You cant take away my printer I will be less productive
  • I need this printer because I need to print off confidential information
  • Its not an I.T. issue or expense
  • I print small jobs so it can’t really cost that much can it?

There are ways to overcome user resistance by being able to communicate to the employee the costs of running their printers and the impact on the bottom line; which the employee may not be aware of.

Making a case to implement a printer consolidation strategy starts with communicating the benefits of consolidating printers such as access to better and more up to date technology and the benefits to the environment by printing on efficient devices.

Modern print hardware provides a better quality printed page gives the user faster printing capability for large jobs and colour printing can be offered to the departments who really need it at an affordable price and there are further cost savings by using duplex printing (double-sided printing).

User secure print technology like “Follow-You Printing” can alleviate confidentiality printing since no print job is printed or released until the user authenticates it at the device. Intelligent print rules and routing software takes the burden off the user to decide which printer is best for each job when hitting print a pop up window gives the user options of where to print the job and the associated costs.

A modern print infrastructure will assist employees to be more productive, documents made more secure, and IT can focus on core strategic activities by not having to provide printer support.

After six months, let your employees know that the company has saved thousands thanks to the implementation of a printer consolidation strategy and their changed print behaviour.

Consolidating your devices will save up to 30% of your overall print costs and create a “greener office” by using one of our Print Management Solutions.

Equitrac Office – For the Enterprise

Equitrac Office print management software helps companies gain control and management of their printing to reduce costs, increase document security and enable sustainability programs. Through measurement, monitoring and ongoing management of print activity.

Equitrac Office measures a company’s printing needs and then deploys the proper equipment to meet those needs. It helps employees become more aware of their printing habits and provides the tools to enforce print policies where necessary, such as routing print jobs to the most cost-effective devices or limiting the amount of color printing.


  • Reduce print/copy costs across the whole enterprise
  • Improve document security on the network
  • Eliminate waste and support environmental sustainability

A large US based Bank saved $2 million in 18 months – Eliminated 88 million print impressions, cut colour printing by more than 50%, saved the equivalent of 70 acres of mature trees and paid for the initial investment within the first 60 days of implementation.

Equitrac Express – For Education

Equitrac Express software brings accountability and control of printed output to any campus, school and Higher Education establishment by providing increased awareness of print habits and their associated costs through user-level reporting, print management helps change print behaviour.

Compatible with leading campus card systems and any printer/MFP, Equitrac Express is used in over 1,000 education institutions throughout helping schools enforce student print quotas, charge for printed output, reduce wasteful unclaimed printing, and make printing more convenient, manageable and secure.


  • Reduce print waste and increase cost savings
  • Recover costs via “Pay-for-Print” – Authenticate with Student ID Card or PIN
  • Track and manage print/copy jobs across the site
  • Convenient for users – Documents held in a virtual queue, for printing anywhere to any device (depending on user’s print rights)

A large metropolitan University (24,000 students, over 3,100 staff, 3 separate campuses, 26 buildings) realised £310k savings over three years, eliminating over 4.5 million pages of wasteful printing.

Digital Print Management provides mission critical solutions to enterprises that are looking to effectively manage printing environments, reduce print costs, increase security and and lessen environmental impact.

Call us for more information on: 01234-271156 or fill in our contact form and one of our advisors will get in touch.

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How can a print management services company save YOU time and money?

print management

A print management services company takes the P out of paperwork. By consolidating your suppliers and using a print partner saves you time and money because the print management company has access to solutions and services that can be personalised to fit your needs

“We are a print management services company, not a printing company. We help customers streamline their printing costs by outsourcing print and reduce costs through our expertise and access to an extensive network of suppliers/manufacturers. It is through this network coupled with our expertise that enables us to source the right product and/or solution at the right price for the customer”. 

How can you reduce your print costs using a print management services company?

There are two distinct advantages of working with a print management company:

  • Experience
  • Versatility

A print management services company has the experience to manage the outsourcing of a simple print project to a full scale re-deployment of a company’s corporate print.

They are able to adapt to the evolution of a project and can source through its extensive network a manufacturer or supplier capable of delivering a highly customised cross media print solution, it’s what we call a best fit rather than a one size fits all.

Using long standing qualified and influential relationships ensures that the customer’s work is fulfilled at the right price with the right solution tailored to the customers needs.

print management

Print management companies offer free and impartial advice from the design concept through to the completion of a project.

So how does this save a company money?

It’s not rocket science.

It’s all to do with the relationships that have been built up over many years, the sourcing of specific products and solutions dictated by an ever changing market place that enable the print manager to deliver a whole suite of print and electronic solutions impartially and independently without you, the company having to source, learn, understand and do-it-yourself!

An experienced independent print management company will make the customers needs a priority and offer solutions from a variety of vendors to meet those needs giving them a distinct advantage over an in-house solution/service provided by a manufacturer who are only committed to the expertise and equipment they have to sell, which, in some cases, is an oversold piece of kit or a managed service way in excess of what the customer needs.

8 main reasons why you should use a print management services company!

  1. Time saved on sourcing print items and solutions
  2. One supplier – one invoice
  3. Print & production managed by one project manager
  4. On-line print ordering and viewing system, web2print – customer can view and place orders online, see his order status and update
  5. Skill and expertise not available in-house
  6. Accessibility to 1,000’s of unique print, electronic and promotional products; secure managed print solutions
  7. Continuity of service
  8. Storage of printed material now housed remotely with no on-going cost to you.

These are just a few simple ways a business can benefit from removing itself from the task of buying print and related solutions by using a print management consultant.

For an independent discussion on how outsourcing can work for your company please call us.

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