In part 2 of this series, we explored the critical importance of obtaining benchmarks and a better understanding of the costs associated with printing. Now begins the fun part: the strategic design. Here, I will introduce several keys to achieving greater efficiency, better security, more sustainable printing workflows, and ultimately the lowest costs for your enterprise printing operations.

Once you have your benchmarks and a better understanding of print-related costs, start by asking three simple questions:

  1. What are we trying to achieve?
  2. What problems are we trying to solve?
  3. What does a healthy outcome look like?

It’s important to be holistic in your thinking and ensure that your print strategy addresses the big picture. When you have defined your goals and your desired future state, create a print policy that encapsulates these goals and communicates to employees the purpose of the change to come.

To be successful, this policy must have senior executive sponsorship. Introducing a policy that executive stakeholders agree on will increase buy-in across the organization and simplify the design and implementation process.

This policy will form the basis of your communication framework and establish your organization’s volume reduction goals. Aim high and be bold: your volume reduction goal (and therefore savings goal) should be no less than 35% off your baseline.

Next, go after the low-hanging fruit. Default all your devices to monochrome (black & white) and duplex (double-sided). As part of your policy, require that all printers be on the network and eliminate personal desktop printers – they are by far the most expensive and wasteful printers you can own on a cost-per-page basis. Suspend the purchase of any new printers until your design is complete. Most organizations already have twice as many devices as they need.

Design for Reduced Demand

Another important success factor is to design around where the print volume will be, not where it is today. That is, take what you’ve learned about your current state benchmarks and business-critical print workflows and design around a reduced demand for print in your future state.

Every new device you can avoid buying averages a savings of more than $5,000. In many traditional Managed Print Services (MPS) proposals, customers are commonly presented with a reduction in their number of printers via standardization and rightsizing. The problem is, this “rightsizing” is typically based on existing print volumes, rather than the reduced print volumes that you can expect when you properly address the demand side. When you can optimize your environment for a reduced demand for print, that’s how you achieve the real breakthroughs in cost savings and efficiency.

Place your printers strategically. They should be located where your power users are—the people who require the most print to satisfy business requirements and processes. Using Beacon Analytics, you can quickly identify these power users and incorporate their needs and habits into your fleet design.

For example, if two people typically print about 1,000 pages per month, and one does it with 4 large jobs and the other does it with hundreds of smaller jobs, place the printer(s) closer to the latter individual. Those who need to print the most frequently should be in proximity to the devices they need.

Minimize color and 11×17 device placements. Color pages cost 2-5x more than monochrome. In most organizations, 90% of print never leaves the building, so what value does color add to most documents? Across all our customers, we have yet to find one that produces more than 2% of total volume on 11×17 paper. Why then are most multi-function printers equipped for 11×17 paper? For optimal energy, space, and cost savings, we prefer A4 or letter/legal devices.

These guidelines are just a start, but they will help you to start saving money immediately and lay the foundation for greater savings and efficiency gains down the road. Part 4 of this series will dive deeper into the strategy and provide guidance for successful employee education, optimal device configurations, and the deployment of secure pull printing technology. [ Read Part 4 ]

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!