A colleague of mine, Leslie Falk wrote an interesting post on another forum that I’m re-posting for her on the CIO Forum.  I’ve blogged about managed print services previously, but Leslie enhances the conversation by delving into the savings potential of managing a print environment holistically.  Here’s what she has to say:


If you have implemented a strategy for managing print you’re in the majority. The idea of saving up to 30% with managed print services (MPS) has been quantified for several years.  I’ve been pondering what it means when an organization says they have a strategy for managing print.  Is it a strategy across their whole organization? Does it include all their imaging and printing environments?


In considering these questions, I read an IDC Analyst Executive Summary, New Frontiers for Document Solutions: Managed Production Print Services, and I’d like to share the findings.  IDC surveyed more than 400 companies worldwide.  The majority of respondents, 74% to be exact, said their organization has a strategy for managing print.  That’s a large percentage.  The research goes on to say that sixty-five percent of the respondents believe that their document-intensive processes are cost-effective and efficient. However, 50% of the respondents admit that printing is managed in separate silos- departments or business units- instead of centrally.  While many organizations have a strategy for managing printing many are missing the opportunity for increased savings by not taking a holistic approach.


What might a holistic approach look like for you? I’ll proffer up two potential opportunities to consider- a global managed print strategy across your entire organization and viewing printing in all your environments, including office and production print.   Your organization may be tempted to stop at just your office environment, forgetting to take a holistic approach that includes production printing.  Organizations vary- you might have in-house production printing while another organization may choose to outsource their production printing.  And, of course your company may have a mixture of both in-house and outsourced.


But, this begs the question, “What do you mean by production printing?” When my colleague asked me this question she was envisioning the large print shops with digital presses, pumping out color glossy brochures.  I too, can envision that environment.  Not all production printing is of that milieu.  A simple way to think about production printing is producing documents in large quantity on a regular basis and at a professional-grade quality that is key to an organization’s business-critical goals.  These document types vary, depending on the organization. They might be bills, invoices or statements. Flyers. Brochures. Customer Communications. Proposals. Annual reports. And more.  These documents aren’t always printed out- if you’re like me; I receive my monthly bank statement online for example.


Does it really matter if you look at your printing environment from a holistic viewpoint? It does, if you are interested in additional cost savings and capitalizing on the efficiencies of optimized document workflows.  IDC calculated that organizations could save up to 25%- while increasing productivity and stakeholder satisfaction by managing office and printing holistically.  If your company is similar to my company, additional cost savings has my attention.


[Cara] – It’s me again — Thanks Leslie for your thoughts on managing print holistically.  You’re right that the savings potential only continues to grow for organizations as you look beyond general office printing and consider all printing generated by or for the business.