This blog was originally posted on The Imaging Channel
As business expenses continue to rise, companies of all sizes remain focused on three key areas: reducing costs, streamlining operational inefficiencies and strengthening the bottom line. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of office document printing. Historically, print has been a necessary but unmeasured business expense — a critical business function, though not necessarily an integral business process.
That has changed as more companies optimize their print environment and take cost out of the system. This increased focus on the cost of print has helped fuel the transition to managed print services (MPS). With MPS, businesses can simply turn the entire process of office printing — from equipment acquisition to ongoing management and supplies fulfillment — over to a third‐party service provider. In turn, the MPS provider promises to reduce the customer’s overall printing costs and in many cases provide ongoing optimization of the printing fleet along with other document‐based business processes.
It has become clear, however, that MPS should not be deployed in the same way for every customer. Indeed, to be effective, managed print engagements must be tailored to meet the specific needs of a business depending upon a number of variables, including company size, document output requirements, business processes and document workflow. It is also important to understand that reducing printing costs, while very important, should not be the only goal in a managed print engagement. It is quite possible to reduce printing costs while causing significant disruption to overall productivity and process efficiency, and this is particularly likely to happen today while many businesses transition their operations from traditional, paper‐based workflows to a digital, mobile‐driven environment.
Managed and implemented properly, MPS streamlines office document strategy, driving printing costs down while creating a more effective and productive business environment. As such, MPS goals should not only focus on reducing printing costs, but also on driving competitiveness and, ultimately, profitability. To achieve these results, MPS must be considered in a manner much different from today’s typical approach. Instead of focusing initially on understanding the makeup of the printing fleet, an MPS provider should first optimize business processes and document workflow in order to manage print as a strategic asset and not as another cost center. In other words, create the most effective business process and workflow environment for your customers and let that dictate their document output needs, not the other way around.