Creating greater efficiencies in the office with MPS
Does this sound familiar?
One of your printers breaks down and you need to replace it immediately or else that report you promised your most important client will be delayed.
Your already busy day aside, the quickest option is to go to a big box store, where you see a $179 desktop printer that does both color and black and white. You complete the purchase, bring it to your office, and the problem is resolved.
But ... is it?
What you may not immediately realize is that the actual cost to produce each page that comes from that printer may be five times greater than you could have otherwise achieved with a more efficient device.
The problem is further magnified in that many businesses operate multiple printers and copiers for different functions within their company. In the case of the "bargain" printer, the ink cartridges have a relatively short shelf life and must be replaced far more frequently than more efficiently engineered devices.
The trap that many business owners fall into is looking exclusively at the initial cost. The more efficient machines have a higher cost up front, but the toner and/or ink they use to generate documents lasts far, far longer than the cartridges associated with bargain printers. The more efficient devices deliver a significantly better return on investment over their life span.
Workflow interruptions are never welcomed, but they can happen in any business whether it be a nonprofit, a commercial real estate office, a CPA firm, or a neighborhood clinic.
The first step toward greater efficiencies in document generation is to think strategically about equipment purchase or leasing. Multifunction printers or copiers need to be evaluated not in terms of the initial purchase price, but instead by what the final cost per page to create each document is. This practice is known as Managed Print Services (MPS), which is an important tool for businesses to have and here is why.
Organizations typically spend between 1% and 3% of their total bottom line on costs associated with generating documents. For a business with annual sales of $6 million, that translates to an average printing budget of $180,000 a year. With the efficiencies of an MPS program, that cost could be reduced anywhere from 15% to 25%, or up to $45,000 in savings.
The savings are even more dramatic if the business is a CPA firm with revenues of $25,000,000 annually. In that case, a print budget could reach $750,000 annually and MPS savings could reach over $187,000.
The business owner should thoroughly evaluate all pieces of equipment used in an office to see if each is the best for what it's being used for. If one department creates lengthy black-and-white reports, the recommended printer would be different from for another department which might create 500 color flyers annually.
There are software solutions that monitor systems for mis-feeds and determine when toner and ink levels are low, thereby alerting the business before a potential problem becomes an actual one and causes workflow interruption.
There is also the additional benefit of being a better environmental steward, and there are organizations that help customers not only save on costs, but through these reduced costs promote recycling to help grow the global forestry system.
Whether you take the first steps on your own, or partner with an MPS provider who takes the worry off your shoulders by overseeing the entire process, MPS is an excellent way to save on costs, help the environment, and help your business run more efficiently. And aren't those goals we can all embrace?
• Chip Miceli is CEO of Pulse Technology, http://pulsetechnology.com, a technology business headquartered in Schaumburg.