With businesses spending up to 3% of annual revenue on document output and IT departments allocating 15% of time to printing and related actions, the need to track equipment usage, reduce costs and increase efficiencies is a must.
Ideal for medical centers, hospitals and physicians offices, managed print services (MPS) has taken the fast track in the document solutions industry and with good reason.
Boiled down, MPS looks at per-page cost as the bottom line, in contrast to the final price point of office equipment. Its fundamental premise is consideration of all costs associated with leasing/owning and using printing and imaging equipment, including maintenance and ongoing support – an element that is of particular significance for facilities with multiple locations or satellite offices. Print management software tracks the number of prints each piece of equipment uses and produces reports, that help manage for increased efficiencies.
The availability of managed print services is trending upward; however the industry remains in the growing stage. And while many companies now look to MPS as a business tool that can save thousands of dollars, the majority have not yet come to realize the extent of this valuable business resource.
Although print management may not seem like a high priority when it comes to areas where costs can be cut, the administrator who doesn’t factor print management into the discussion is overlooking a huge potential for savings. In fact, a print management program can save a business 10%, 15% or more in its operational costs.
It may seem counterintuitive to go the MPS route considering the availability of fairly inexpensive desktop printers, copiers and multifunctional devices at virtually every office supply company and “big box” store, but when the cost of replacing cartridges is added to the mix, that $79 printer can end up costing 7 cents or more per page. And with most healthcare facilities now using color when copying, it becomes even more critical to have current technology that allows the control and management of usage. In essence, MPS provides an audit of document generation costs and equipment efficiency.
Print management is set in motion with an initial in-depth analysis of a company that evaluates the existing printer fleet, current costs, operational bottlenecks and IT department time spend. After the analysis there is a “discovery meeting” to review a formal report with key stakeholders. The report summarizes and documents all data and operational costs of the existing equipment fleet. Potential opportunities to consolidate and standardize are highlighted and discussed. Print management looks at all phases of document generation, from the cost of the equipment and supplies through any necessary service support. Most importantly it helps organizations to take an objective look at the amount of internal IT resources it is using to support its users printing equipment.
A Print Management Program can:
Identify current and anticipated printing requirements
Provide consolidation/standardization opportunities
Provide substantial cost savings
Reduce or eliminate internal IT department printer support
Identify opportunities for process improvements
Eliminate need to inventory supplies
Create visibility to all related expenses and usage
An increasingly important component of an MPS system is an in-place tracking software program that enables the provider to monitor clients’ systems remotely, alerting them to potential misfeeds or low toner, thereby averting work stoppage.
Also important to consider when instituting a managed print services program is the paperless office trend. Environmentally, MPS is an effective mechanism to reduce waste, recycle paper, ink and other resources. It is a “green” document solutions approach that is not only cost effective, but can also lower the carbon footprint of a healthcare facility.
Ultimately, an MPS program is a necessary step forward in a changing industry allowing for a facility’s increased efficiency and reduced stress for its staff. And in the medical industry in particular, where sensitivity and protection of equipment is essential, it makes sense to have the most efficient and secure means of generating documents.
(Ray Belanger is President/CEO of Bay Copy, based in Rockland, MA. www.baycopy.com. Bay Copy works with businesses and organizations in a number of industries for more efficiencies in document generation, including the healthcare industry.)