Remember the “paperless office” we were supposed to be working in by now? Long before the trend toward Green IT, the goal of the paperless office was simple: save time and monetary resources. But how much money and how many trees actually end up being saved? More importantly, how can one measure whether they really are?
What you count, counts.
Hardcopy documents represent a major source of unnecessary expense for most organizations. But without a way to track what is being printed — as well as where, when, and by whom — it is difficult to identify and quantify which types of printing to eliminate. The challenge is to uncover inefficiencies of all kinds before they impact your bottom line.
The solution is our new Innovate/Audit software. This addition to the LRS product line was specifically designed to help customers monitor and analyze how their printers and other document resources are being utilized. Running as a service on a Windows server, the software consolidates tracking data from multiple ‘Audit enabled’ LRS sources to provide an enterprise view of all printing, viewing, and other document events.
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In its role as the central point of control for enterprise printing, VPSX® software can identify and track over 60 separate document attributes. These include the job owner, originating system, target destination, page count, color characteristics, and more. Similar information is captured for any document stored or retrieved using the PageCenterX® web viewing product.
In many organizations, however, a great deal of output is generated by word processing programs, spreadsheets, email clients, and other end-user applications. This “unmanaged” office printing is usually sent to Windows print servers or even directly to cable-connected printers instead of through VPSX or comparable solutions. To track this unmanaged printing, LRS developed the Printer Driver Management (PDM) module. This silently installed service runs on Windows client PCs and provides the same type of output event tracking found in the other LRS products.
Taken in the aggregate, this audit information provides a detailed view of your organization’s complete output environment. Customers can analyze Innovate/Audit data using a variety of third-party utilities or with an LRS-supplied reporting tool. The latter of these is included with the Innovate/Audit software, along with more than a dozen summary and detail reports. For example, the Summary of Printers by Cost report (click to see image) lists the most heavily-used devices in the organization along with the estimated printing costs. Also listed are the potential savings from implementing various output rules, for example, two-sided or monochorome printing.
Innovate/Audit software in action
Several years ago, a Fortune 500 global manufacturing company implemented VPSX software as part of an effort to improve their SAP printing environment. Project team members also developed cost-saving print policies and sought to eliminate unnecessary documents and printers wherever possible.
To ensure these goals were being met, the customer’s VPSX operations group recently began running Innovate/Audit software to track end user printing. What they found was amazing; hundreds of small printers that had supposedly been replaced by multifunction devices were still churning out large numbers of documents. Enterprising users were stashing retired devices in desk drawers and printing to them via parallel cables. And despite policies to the contrary, the Innovate/Audit logs uncovered a lot of non-work-related printing using company equipment.
With thousands of printers spread across dozens of countries, the customer’s output management group cannot physically enforce compliance with corporate policies. But Innovate/Audit software enables them to easily identify document use and misuse by tracking all print events — the first step on the road to savings.
This same customer is now working to eliminate “automatic” printing of many documents by routing them instead to LRS’ PageCenterX solution for online viewing via a web browser. For these documents, Innovate/Audit software provides a detailed record of document access to aid in compliance and e-discovery efforts. While compliance-related savings are difficult to quantify, any regulatory fine avoided is money in the bank.
Find Out More
With an estimated 1 - 3 percent of corporate revenues being spent on document output, even modest reductions in printing can add up fast. To find out how the Innovate/Audit solution can help your organization save money, contact your account representative or click here to email your question directly to LRS.
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