The right questions for an effective document management strategy, with IBS’ Brown

Alan Brown, IBS

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14 March 2016 | 0

Rising business costs are constantly challenging business owners to find ways to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. We hear it on a daily basis. Executives are urged to look at reducing headcount or reducing overheads. Turning either of these strategies into reality can create a lull in the business and affect staff morale. If businesses could find a strategy that provides a significant ROI and enhances productivity, wouldn’t they want to hear more? A well planned and executed document and print management strategy provides this solution.

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On average, up to 3% of a company’s revenues are used in document production and this figure is rising for many organisations. Most companies are also doing significantly more colour printing, which is essential, but it can cost up to 5 to 10 times more than black and white print. Added to this, you can have a scenario where companies are using a range of vendors for device hardware, supplies and maintenance and tend to have little understanding of what is in their print estate and the associated costs. Costs can include product, supplies, service and support. Managing all of these relationships and costs coupled with processing numerous invoices creates a huge drain on resources.

Deploying a Document Management strategy begins by understanding your current environment and the weaknesses in the workflows – how documents and paper move about and are used within your organisation. You then need to eliminate weaknesses and find ways to optimise the environment based on a thorough understanding of existing and future business requirements – in this way, future-proofing your investment.

The first step is to review and really understand your current infrastructure. You need to ask questions such as:

  • What devices do you have and where are they located – both physically and from a network perspective?
  • What are your print volumes and usage patterns?
  • Why are people printing? Are the outputs being used effectively?
  • How is printing and scanning linked to the flow of electronic documents within your business?
  • What is the total cost of running your current infrastructure? Look at supply costs, maintenance, staff time costs, IT support, outsourced print etc.
  • What functionality do you need from your print and document solutions for the next 1- 5 years?

The good news is that the answer is almost certainly not that you need more equipment!

Typically, businesses find that significant rationalisation is possible – particularly through using Pull Printing solutions where users release their documents to the most convenient printer. The right equipment in the right locations with the right software solutions allows businesses to print less and print for less.

Don’t underestimate the value that is to be realised in outsourcing Print Management.

Outsourcing your print management can create unrivalled efficiencies in the business. Printing and scanning can be seen as one of the more mundane areas within a company’s IT infrastructure – but tell that to a user when it’s not working and their customer is waiting for an RFP response! When you have an effective document management strategy in place with workflows that are seamless and staff that can print what they want, when they want then proactive management of your fleet and smart software solutions are the final piece of the jigsaw. A Managed Service, from a partner you can trust, ensures great service levels for your staff and frees up your IT department to focus on critical business initiatives.

 

 

Alan Brown is managing director of IBS, a Xerox Company

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