One of the cornerstones of any managed print services (MPS) strategy is the optimisation of the print environment. Most MPS engagements begin with an initial assessment of the printing fleet, which is conducted pre-sales and focuses on installed hardware and print volumes by device in order to establish a baseline for MPS contract terms.
This assessment-driven process works well for identifying potential redundancies in the print environment and is a crucial part of driving down the costs of output. Unfortunately, a singular focus on reducing print costs can often lead to inefficiencies in other business processes, which over the long run can cost businesses much more in lost productivity than could ever be recovered by reducing the costs of printing.
Instead of focusing first on understanding the makeup of the printing fleet, businesses should work closely with their MPS provider to first optimise business processes and document workflow. In other words, create the most effective business process and workflow environment for your company, and let that dictate your document output needs, instead of the other way around. The result is an integrated strategy that drives efficiencies and enables your print environment to complement overall corporate objectives and business goals.
Workflow is the Key
The real value from any MPS engagement comes from addressing fundamental problems with office documents – including page volume, security vulnerabilities, compliance risks, and inefficient document workflows that lead to lower worker productivity. In order for organisations to derive value from MPS, software is an essential component. Only the proper software can provide insight into how users interact with their printing resources, and give businesses and their MPS providers the ability to influence end-user printing-related behaviour.
There are many facets to document workflow, all of which are ripe for improvement in areas such as automation, integration, and performance. One element that is top of mind for most businesses today is document capture. Indeed, scanning remains one of the most important elements of any document workflow strategy. The digitisation of hardcopy content and converting paper-based workflow to electronic workflow remains a challenge for businesses of all sizes.
Nuance eCopy software solutions speed access to information currently trapped in paper. More importantly, these solutions have the intelligence to scan directly to the desired system, and in the format the customer needs. Key benefits of these software solutions include:
- The elimination of unnecessary photocopying, which perpetuates the “trapped in paper” problem. Scanning is a more efficient, less expensive alternative to photocopying hardcopy documents.
- MFP-based scanning makes the benefits of scanning accessible to everyone with access to the device, as opposed to individual users.
- Shared use of networked scanners is more efficient and less costly compared with personal single-function scanners.
- Creating scanned, searchable files eliminate labour-intensive processes, such as searching hardcopy documents for information manually. According to a study by Gartner Research, the average office worker spends 20% of their time searching for information.
- Office MFPs can be programmed so that a simple button touch can automate scanning workflows such as conversion, filing, routing, distribution, data capture, etc.
- Granular data regarding document capture helps provide cost reduction and compliance in an MPS deployment.
Optimised workflow is key to improving worker productivity and getting the most from your MPS program. If you are already utilising managed print services, or if you are currently evaluating providers, take the necessary steps to ensure that documents workflow and process needs are an integral part of your overall MPS objectives. At the same time, evaluate closely whether your MPS provider or prospective provider has access to the necessary software and tools for improving workflow and simplifying business processes. This will lead to a more efficient office environment and help uncover further opportunities for reduced costs throughout the workflow cycle.
To learn more about the value and benefits of MPS, please visit Nuance’s Managed Print Services page.