Most global companies are experienced when it comes to driving efficiency and planning for organizational growth. The leaders behind these companies initiate models that work to drive down costs, refine processes, retire antiquated technologies and streamline workflows. Yet, one of the more commonly overlooked technologies adds up to be one of the most expensive when not globally managed. Moreover, for good measure it’s a technology that can’t be expelled from most organizational environments. That technology is printing.
Printing is a commonplace in nearly any 21st-century work environment. It’s so innocuous that most of your employees (outside of finance and accounting) would be shocked to hear it costs global companies upwards of millions of dollars annually. Yet, when dozens of subsidiary offices and hundreds of departmental levels print in-house at their own accord, it becomes a real financial issue.
As Triple Pundit illustrates, global companies end up leaving as much as 50 percent of their potential savings on the table when their 21st century print management is not addressed. Let’s take a look at a few stats:
- On average, a single office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper annually
- 45 percent of the paper printed in any given office is thrown away by the end of the day
- U.S. organizations spend over $120 billion on printer forms per year – the majority of which become outdated three months after printing
- Globally, more than a trillion sheets of copy paper printed each year have only a one-day lifespan
- Every four-drawer file cabinet storing paper documents costs a company $1,500 per year
Beyond Printed Waste
The problem goes beyond the waste of physical paper documents, however. Triple Pundit explained that there are a handful of problems related directly to printing that allow inefficiencies to pervade global supply chains and organizational functions. One factor is the sheer variety of printers in many modern offices.
Whether this is a result of a failure to coordinate between departments or policies that dictate purchasing the cheapest models at the time, inconsistency in print management can be a major burden on your budget. It is not uncommon for large organizations to house 200 disparate models of printers from a variety of manufacturers.
“Neglecting to optimize your global printing processes is a wasteful practice.”
By focusing on print management by way of consolidating devices across departments and offices, businesses can save anywhere from 15 to 25 percent on enterprise printing costs while also decreasing energy consumption, explained Triple Pundit. Different devices require different toners, ink, and replacement hardware as well as unique support and inventory, all culminating in higher labor costs.
This is only one example of how ineffective print management can cost your company some serious cash. Neglecting to optimize your global printing processes is a wasteful practice. So how do you remedy this ongoing problem and put your organization on a more efficient printing path? Let’s take a look at some options:
System Analysis: Any good reparative plan starts with assessing the landscape. Approaching better print management is no different. Organizational leaders must take the time to conduct a thorough analysis of the current printing infrastructure. Are your devices consistent across offices? Do you have a uniform protocol for printer maintenance? How long does a typical print job take? Gathering as much information as possible will better inform your new approach to print management – be thorough and relentless in this preliminary analysis.
“Leaders must have a firm understanding of print volumes within the office.”
Print Workflows: In order to effectively reduce costs through print management, leaders must have a firm understanding of print volumes within the office. This involves tracking how much employees print and then comparing that to what they actually need to print to meet organizational work requirements, explained Triple Pundit.
Traveling employees, out of region events, trade shows, and international meetings cannot be neglected in this assessment. Printing and then distributing content across borders is especially costly. Customs, taxes, and tariffs increase costs of shipping and don’t guarantee your content will arrive on time if at all. Producing materials in-region erases the costs of shipping and the wait for customs. Consider solutions that handle the international printing logistics for you to save you both valuable time and money.
Examine IT: IT plays an important role in the world modern print management. With many processes being moved to the cloud and other relevant technologies, your IT team will play a big role in the successes and failures of your print management strategy. In a white paper by Redmond Magazine, the publication examined what it takes to master print management in the current technologically-advanced landscape. In an interview with VP of Product Management at PrinterLogic Devin Anderson, Anderson noted that printer-related help desk calls are one of the top 10 reasons for IT tickets.
“I remember talking to one customer lately who told me that $30,000 a month is how much they’re spending in IT costs just trying to resolve printing related issues,” explained Anderson. In order to mitigate some of these costs and prepare your office for maximum levels of efficiency, you must ensure your IT systems are up to date and your IT team is equipped to handle the potential volume of printer problems for a global organization.
Cost per Page: Metrics in terms of print management can be tricky to calculate. While cost per page can be a useful way to measure various components of printing processes, Triple Pundit suggested not getting too caught up on this metric. For ideal levels of productivity, organizations must secure a solid ratio of users to devices while ensuring those printers are being used at a considerable rate.
When devices are used at a low frequency they actually increase cost of device ownership and cost per printer page. Triple Pundit cited a customer that reported 28 percent of company printers created 200 pages or fewer over 30 days. In this scenario cost per page is less relevant because the company has more printing capacity than needed.
“Outsourcing some of your print needs makes management and cost-efficiency much simpler.”
Outsource: While global companies can’t necessarily outsource all their printing needs, they can save money and resources by utilizing online managed content distribution and printing providers like Mimeo. Mimeo offers real-time pricing inclusive of distribution and handles all of the logistics. Hubcast, Mimeo’s global cloud print application, provides the opportunity to print and deliver high-quality in-region documents.
Whether you use a couple of these tips or all five, the major takeaway here is that print management can be a source of considerable savings for your company – not just financially but in terms of efficiency as well. Global companies can waste upwards of millions on print if they have broken processes in place. Avoid these pitfalls by reexamining your approach to print on a global scale with modernity in mind.
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