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Controlling Printing Costs with Print Governance

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[fa icon="pencil'] Posted by Lewan Solutions [fa icon="calendar"] September 7, 2016

Guest blog post by DJ Jandl, our Director of Digital Imaging Solutions at Lewan Technology.

I’m often asked by our customers how to save costs related to printing, copying and faxing. One of the easiest solutions to implement, with cost savings realized almost right out of the gate, is Print Governance.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have visibility into your organization’s printing? To figure out ways to print less, print more cost effectively, or to print nothing at all by managing information electronically?

So what exactly is Print Governance?

I find it to be one of those buzz words like “convergence” or “synergy” that lacks intrinsic meaning to our customers (and even our internal team) until we really dive in and talk more about it.

If you look at each word and merge the meanings together, you’d get “the action of governing the process of printing with control.” So—managing how people print.

BUT what’s missing, and the most important part, is WHY and HOW you control your end users’ printing behavior. That’s what truly reveals the effectiveness and cost savings that make Print Governance so beneficial to any size organization.

Before we can understand the WHY and HOW though, you need to gain visibility into what the current problem or the process is to understand how you might govern it.

Controlling print starts by understanding what and how much your end users print today…

How are they printing?

There are several ways to get a document printed. Depending on the options the company has available, end users can print:

  • Through print servers or centralized print management queues
  • Directly to a device on the network from their desktop computers, smart phone, tablet or laptop
  • By plugging a serial, parallel and USB cable directly into the device
  • Over Wi-Fi to a device

These are all means of decentralized printing. Many organizations struggle to balance providing availability to increase efficiency with providing so much convenience that printing increases and costs spiral out of control.

How much are they printing?

If you’re working with a technology partner (like Lewan) that manages your devices, you’ve gotten a report showing you how may pages each device printed. This “meter reading” or “click rate” is used to calculate what to charge you per billing cycle for the device. What the report won’t tell you is what a specific end user or groups of users printed.

This is where Print Governance comes in…

WHY you need to control printing behavior

Most employees don’t give a second thought to printing information they receive in digital form. Whether an email, internet pages, a fax, making copies of a presentation for a meeting, or simply printing in order to store a copy in a folder or file cabinet for reference later.

In the meantime, that company’s IT professionals are so busy trying to manage data, business systems and the rest of organization’s technology that printers and multi-function devices are only paid attention to when they need fixed. IT does not have the time or resources to look at print as a way to save costs or consider the data security risks of a printed document.

Companies spend an average of 1-3% of annual revenue on document output costs.
—Gartner Group

That means if a company’s annual revenue is $10 million, they are spending  up to $300,000 per year in printing costs!

So how much can you really save from a Print Governance solution?

Print Governance solutions can save a company an average of 20-40% of that 1-3% annually. I’ve found this tried and true. I’ve been in the print industry over 18 years, and completed thousands of Print Governance implementations.

In the example above, a 30% savings equates to $90,000—a significant savings the organization will be able to reinvest in revenue realizing objectives.

So now, HOW you control printing behavior with Print Governance in order to realize these savings?

We'll cover this in my next post on the Top 10 Print Governance Features...

Not sure if Print Governance is the right option for your business? Contact Us for a complimentary assessment and recommended next steps to implement printing policies or other document workflow solutions that can save money and help improve efficiency, security and business processes.

Topics: Paperless Solutions, Paper, Printers & Copiers, IT Solutions

Lewan Solutions
Written by Lewan Solutions

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