Frequently Asked Questions
Why all the fuss about print strategies in the past couple of years? Why do we need a print strategy?
Most organizations have stuck to the traditional methods for procurement and ongoing operation of their imaging fleets (printers, copiers, faxes) while technologies have merged into multi-functional devices (MFDs). Many times vendors are happy to sell new products on a like for like basis without delving into the true needs of end users because of the time required to do so. This has resulted in many organizations over paying for their imaging activities. In the early part of this decade IT consulting groups pointed out that most organizations could drastically reduce costs with a properly managed print strategy. As the print strategy trend grows more and more organizations are reaping the benefits of cost reduction, more productive technology and less environmental impacts.
What do we need to know to begin building a print strategy?
Buy in from senior management is essential. Enterprises need to have a complete and accurate understanding of the current state including costs, processes and policies.
This information can be captured in the assessment stage of an enterprise wide print strategy.
How does a print strategy save us money and how much can I expect to save with print strategy?
A print strategy ensures that you have the right processes, polices, and best practices in place to sustain your strategy objectives. Consolidation of devices, migration of print activity to the most cost effective equipment and best practices for ongoing management all contribute to considerable savings. Most print strategies when done properly yield hard savings in the area of 30-40% plus significant soft cost benefits. Return on investment is measured in months not years.
What is a "print assessment"? What does a print assessment provide us?
If you have made the corporate decision to implement a print strategy then it is imperative that you understand the present state of your print policies, fleet and associated costs to manage the current process. An assessment will tell you exactly how much you are spending on the management, procurement and ongoing operation of your fleet, accounting for all service and supply costs, power consumption and so on. This is commonly referred
to as Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). IPMG will take it a step further and
tell you your cost for imaging on each different type of device and compare that with others in your industry. You will also be provided with key statistics such as volume by device type, the ratio of users to devices and environmental impacts.
Many vendors offer to do a Print Assessment for free, why should I pay an independent vendor to have one done?
Many hardware vendors will do this work for free, with a view to placing their own products. Clearly a solution from a copier company would favour the installation of their types of products while the same would hold true for a printer based company. These mixed messages can be confusing to the client. Typically a print strategy that maximizes cost savings involves a mixed deployment of these two technology types. A truly independent vendor will ensure that you capture the maximum savings available to you. Determining an accurate baseline of current costs is critical to measuring the success of an enterprise wide print strategy. IPMG has run into a few clients who have had a study done by other vendors and found the cost estimates to be off by up to 25%.
How do I know IPMG isn’t affiliated with a hardware vendor?
A number of “independent” vendors have been found to have an affiliation with hardware vendors. IPMG has maintained independence as our number one operating aspiration since the company was started. We have been approached many times by various vendors to work with them exclusively; however we have turned down each and every offer. All IPMG clients and all vendors that we have been associated with through our work for clients can testify to our independence. (See Testimonials)
Our staff are resistant to change, how can IPMG help
me with that?
Any project that lacks change management is headed for disaster. IPMG conducts in-depth interviews with your staff to ensure that their printing problems are solved and their needs are met with proper technologies. These change management interviews ensure that your end users endorse the corporate goals of the print strategy.
Most organizations do not know how much e-waste they are sending to landfill or how much power their fleet is consuming. IPMG clients have reduced their landfill contributions by 90% and reduced their hydro by 50% while improving productivity. Enterprise wide print strategies can reduce the amount your business prints by 20%.
How does a print strategy reduce the amount we print?
There are a number of ways to reduce the amount of paper you consume. The one that most people default to is a duplexing policy. This is an effective tool, however a number of others exist. Scanning to email and file are both effective ways to turn hardcopy into digital files for easy distribution. Another very effective way to reduce paper is with a secure print feature. The reason is that a tremendous amount of print jobs are reprinted because the user has found that someone else has mistakenly taken part of their print job from the tray at the printer. Secure printing allows the user to enter a PIN at the device and call up their jobs for printing. One more way to reduce paper consumption is to send a fax directly from your desktop. The present method of creating, printing, scanning into a fax and then printing at the other end consumes paper and reduces image quality. Sending from the desktop routes the data directly through a fax board in an MFD and it is received normally at the other end.
Finally, many organizations are adopting a communication strategy that constantly reminds users to be conscious of what they are printing and why. An example would be inserting a message such as “Consider the environment before printing” in the signature of all emails.
Do I have to change my current equipment providers
to implement a print strategy?
The short answer is no. While IPMG encourages shopping the market we have had a number of clients that for various reasons have preferred to stay with their current vendor. In these cases IPMG has worked with the client to ensure that pricing and contractual arrangements have reflected best available pricing.
We have just leased a new fleet of photocopiers, is it too late to do
a print strategy?
Implementing and managing a print strategy is an on-going task, so any time is a good time for a print strategy. IPMG is conducted over 110 engagements with copier and printer fleets at different stages of their leases or life cycles. All of our clients have realized savings of over 30 percent.
How long does it take to complete and implement
a print strategy?
The time can vary depending on the size of organization, number of users and devices however an assessment can be completed in sixty days. Subsequent design, procurement and implementation stages can vary depending on current contractual obligations, but there are always immediate savings to be had through print migration and device consolidation. An IPMG consultant can tell you more accurately at the outset how long your strategy will take.
How much of our resources does it take to complete an enterprise wide print strategy?
Many organizations have delved into a print strategy without considering the effort that will be required at their end. Some have even hired a consulting firm that has identified cost savings yet did not have the implementation services required to get the project completed. A properly implemented print strategy should provide clear instructions for each and every device in the organization. These instructions should clearly indicate if the device should be moved, stored for redeployment, retired or left alone. Your IT staff will be required to follow these instructions when implementing the strategy. Your project manager will also need to deploy an effective communication strategy (assisted by IPMG) so all users are aware of your corporate goals.
What department should manage an enterprise wide print strategy and why?
The IT department typically manages the print strategy because the net result is devices are network connected.