Print Management Lessons from a Cat

Dale McIntyre

Dale McIntyre Dale McIntyre

Vice President | Marketing, Sustainability

BEFORE JOINING PHAROS, Dale brought his energy and creative vision to Kodak (while dreaming of being a professional baseball player). Author of over 160 US Patents, Dale has a knack for translating technology into the language of business, and vice versa. He has helped lead Pharos in exciting new directions, from bringing fresh clarity to the Pharos brand to being the driving force behind the company’s recent recognition as a certified B Corp.

An avid explorer, Dale has hiked all 46 High Peaks in the Adirondack Mountains and savors the solitude of wilderness settings while camping, hiking and canoeing with his wife, three boys and friends. His passion for sustainability is driven by a strong sense of stewardship and is evident in his approach to his varied personal pursuits.

“Pharos values my passion for learning and creativity, for applying the skills I have acquired to a new set of challenges. I enjoy the process of growing the business and the flexibility afforded to me to get it done.”

Heat loss. Wasted energy. The unwanted transfer of thermal energy. Yes, we can learn a lot from a cat. Heat, or thermal energy, is a wavelength of light that is invisible to our eyes. While most of us know that heat loss happens, we don’t really understand the magnitude of it until we get a larger-than-expected bill. The bill is a just a symptom of the problem, while the source remains hidden. The bill provides zero insight into the source of the heat loss.

To find the source, we need to make the invisible, well…visible. Enter the thermal camera, a device that converts invisible infrared light into something we can see and understand—something on which we can take action. If we do nothing, the problem persists.

Printing costs. Habitual, often mindless choices. Wasted money. Wasted energy. Wasted paper. Wasted labor. When it comes to office printing, the sources of cost and waste are often hidden. The invoice we get from our Managed Print Services (MPS) provider is one symptom of the problem which accounts for only 10–15% of the total cost of printing. Worse, this bill is the result of printing activity that has already happened, and doing nothing dooms us to repeat the same thing next month.

The hard costs of printing are well understood and include elements such as:

  • Device cost
  • Device consumables (ink/toner)
  • Break/fix service
  • Paper

With the exception of paper, these costs are rolled into a commonly known and visible metric, the Cost Per Page (CPP). The typical response to the desire to reduce the CPP involves an RFP process and slugging through several rounds of question and answer sessions to possibly gain another $0.001 concession on CPP from an MPS vendor. Meanwhile, the hidden costs keep piling up while the RFP process is running.

So if the hard costs account for about 15% of the total cost of printing, what’s in the other 85%? There’s resource costs for IT and purchasing staff (time and opportunity costs), shredding/disposal costs, storage and retrieval, and energy consumption costs. All of these costs scale upwards with the number of unique devices throughout the enterprise.

How do we get a different perspective on these hidden costs? Wouldn’t it make sense to think differently about print management by looking at it through a lens of sustainability? Consider the following sequence of events, which suggests a better way to lower your total cost of ownership (TCO):

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Let us help you establish more mindful and sustainable printing habits in your organization. You’ll be surprised to see how much more efficient your printing operations can be and how much money you can save your organization every year. Start the conversation today!

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