The cost of doing business continues to rise, and it remains the most significant challenge facing most organizations today. Now more than ever, companies look for ways to reduce costs and strengthen the bottom line. Printing has historically been thought of as a necessary but unmeasured business expense, but that is not the case today. Indeed, it is the increased and intense focus on the cost of printing that has helped fuel the transition to managed print services (MPS).

For many service providers today, the value proposition for MPS remains focused primarily on reducing overall cost-per-page, often with little regard to the impact on productivity. Nevertheless, many businesses looking for immediate cost savings from MPS may not see the kind of results they desire simply because their current printing costs are fairly low relative to other business expenses. In other words, a 20-30% reduction in printing costs for some businesses might provide very little impact to the bottom line.

Cost Versus Productivity
Outdated or inefficient business processes could be costing companies much more in wasted effort and lost worker productivity than could ever be recovered by making output less expensive to produce. In fact, an MPS strategy with a singular focus on driving output costs lower could lead to further inefficiencies in overall document workflow.

One way that MPS providers can reduce printing costs is through the implementation of rules-based printing procedures. These policies can range from administrator-controlled access to output devices or features, to mandatory restrictions and printing limitations. Implemented properly and as part of an integrated document workflow strategy, rules-based printing procedures can be an effective means for optimizing business processes and controlling output costs.

On the other hand, if these policies are strictly enforced with no thought given to the impact on workflow, they can cause significant disruption to worker productivity. In some cases, employees will actually waste significant time and effort simply to avoid certain restrictive print policies in order to do their job effectively.

Nuance Print Management solutions provide effective business results by encouraging better print behavior, rather than simply mandating print policy as a cost-savings utility. The result is a better working environment, and a workforce that is equipped with the information needed to make proper decisions regarding output costs versus alternative document-based processes.

Nuance print management software solutions deliver on all of the prime elements that are most essential to creating an effective and efficient document workflow strategy:

  • Only print what you need, when you need it, and where you need it. Equitrac and SafeCom solutions can turn your MFP into an engine for eliminating nonessential printing.
  • Follow-You Printing® makes network printing convenient and secure, and reduces waste of time and materials by streamlining faulty network printing workflows.
  • Secure document release allows users to hold print jobs at the device until released with a secure PIN. This feature, enabled at the MFP, ensures compliance with regulations and policies; keeps documents secure; and eliminates the need for more costly, single-function personal printers.
  • Rules-based printing to encourage responsible print habits that eliminate waste, including the unnecessary or limited use of color, single-sided or duplex printing, etc.
  • Tracking and reporting of print, copy, and scan traffic enables optimization of the total fleet of hardware devices.
  • Robust audit data and reports enable the development of charge-back models for document workflows, and better measurement of time to complete business processes.

While driving down output costs is important, companies must consider the impact of their MPS strategy on overall business processes. The ultimate goal should be to create a more streamlined office document strategy–from capture, to storage, distribution, and output. For many businesses, the cost of printing is inconsequential relative to the process efficiencies that could be achieved with an optimized document workflow strategy.

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Bill DeStefanis

About Bill DeStefanis

As Nuance’s Director of MFP Product Management, Bill brings more than 20 years of experience in the software industry to the position. He is part of a team responsible for defining Nuance’s Print Management product strategy and business policies. This includes development of pricing and licensing policies, management of OEM relationships and technology acquisitions. Before joining Nuance, Bill was head of Product management at eCopy where he was responsible for all desktop and MFP products. Previously, Bill was vice president of product marketing at ScanSoft Inc. (now Nuance) a developer of speech recognition and image management software, where he led product marketing and product management functions for all of the company’s speech recognition and imaging products. Earlier in his career, Bill spent several years at Lotus Development (an IBM company). There he worked in various product management, senior marketing and technical Sales roles. Bill holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from North Adams State College and an MBA from Suffolk University.