The Long View
Reduce the Total Number of Pages Printed
Properly defined and executed, MPS projects can deliver real results including improved control over and utilization of output devices as well as lower per-page and ongoing asset costs. But focusing on these print-related benefits can simply yield a cheaper version of the status quo by delivering the same information in the same format, albeit at a lower price. The ultimate goal of MPS should be more than shaving fractions off the cost per printed page; it should also seek to reduce the total number of pages printed in the first place.
Recent years have seen the emergence of various businesses and associations focused on the promise of MPS. For example, the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) and the Managed Print Services group on LinkedIn are valuable sources of information. Likewise, Lexington, Kentucky-based Photizo Group is carving out a niche as a research and consulting firm for the MPS market.
Through in-depth customer interviews, The Photizo Group (Photizo) has identified three distinct stages in MPS adoption. According to Ed Crowley in the latest issue of their MPS Insights Journal*, these stages correspond to three increasingly ambitious customer goals:
The last of these requires vendors to take a consultative approach “…which may incorporate software and services, not just hardware, and, provide business process recommendations.” Implicit in this statement is the idea that many customers and vendors view MPS primarily as a way to decrease hardware, paper, and consumable costs.
Next Stop: Stage 3
The LRS® Enterprise Output Server solution helps organizations control and optimize large fleets of printing assets, regardless of hardware vendor or computing platform. However, two specific LRS offerings target the “Third Stage” of MPS as described above.
The PageCenterX® solution helps customers improve basic business processes by giving users the ability to view documents before — or instead of — printing them. This does more than eliminate costly consumables and click charges, however. By distributing electronic access to the information contained in documents instead of the physical documents themselves, whole groups of users can instantly view the same information through any standard web browser. Existing documents can be adapted to new workflows and information needs, all while providing a higher level of information security and tracking than is possible with hardcopy print distribution.
For example, an insurance company in the eastern U.S. used to print customer reports in its central offices and mail them to remote agents around the country. Each report was printed in full, although agents rarely needed more than a few pages of information. LRS worked with the customer to implement a PageCenterX-based solution that provided web-based access to all the information – and only the information – needed by the remote agents. Instant access to customer reports helps agents be more responsive to their customers and decreases the risk of sensitive customer documents being lost in delivery or accessed by unauthorized parties.
As mentioned in the Photizo article, one aim of Stage 3 is to improve basic business processes. “In order to do this, vendors of MPS programs, whether they are resellers or manufacturers, must have an intimate understanding of the customer’s business processes and operating environment,” warns author Ed Crowley.
LRS has a dedicated group of consultants tasked with helping companies evaluate their output infrastructures and identify areas for improvement. LRS’ Enterprise Output Management Consulting group provides customers with hardware-agnostic recommendations based on nearly three decades of helping organizations overcome their printing challenges. Our consultants offer objective advice as well as implementation services to help you put these plans into action — regardless of which equipment vendor you choose.
When you’re ready to take the next step in improving output processes, we’re ready for you. Contact us at EOM-ConsultingServices@LRS.com to learn how we can help.
* Interested readers can subscribe to the MPS Insights Journal here or download a free sample issue and enter a drawing for a free year’s subscription.
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