Many organisations today are still in the dark when it comes to measuring their imaging and printing costs. Most are unaware that there are real savings - both monetary and in terms of business processes - to be had by implementing a print management solution. This lack of understanding is opening up new opportunities for the channel.
Sydney-based independent supplier of document management solutions, Imagetec, recently constructed a print management plan for a property management customer. The client has a national presence, with offices in more than 20 locations including Sydney, the Central Coast, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide.
Over the past couple of years, the client had been going through a rapid growth phase, Imagetec general manager of sales and marketing, Joseph Der, said. Having completed a raft of acquisitions, the customer had wound up with a mixed fleet of printer and copier brands. Machines also came with different service arrangements and could be either rented, owned or leased.
"The client had different companies servicing them and arrangements were all over the place," Der said. "They had inherited various types of equipment from their acquisitions and mergers and that created an environment with a huge mix of things that just wasn't working well for them."
Some of the customer's pain points were tied to to a lack of structure and very limited printing resource planning, Der said.
"It was not a very cost-effective system for them at all," he said. "Not only were they talking to different suppliers for their consumable arrangements but they had different network drivers as well, which created issues."
On the Edge
Der said Imagetec implemented a full print management plan including printers and copiers. In all, they supplied about 300 HP Edgeline products, MFPs and printer devices. He said it took several months to roll out the devices across the client's national locations.
"It became a project management exercise because we wanted to minimise the disruption to the client," Der said.
"We visited each of their locations nationally and over an eight-week period we gathered a significant amount of data on their workflow needs, current costing and arrangements."
One of the benefits of deploying a print management solution was that the customer was able to source services and consumables from one supplier, he said. The use of HP's Edgeline technology also fitted in with the client's environmental focus.
Edgeline provides an ink-based printing engine targeted at high-volume workloads, low-cost operation and faster printing speeds. According to Der, Edgeline also employs less electricity and less harmful substances in producing print than other devices in its class.
He said the customer also liked the idea of Imagetec's mandatory requirements and provisioning of duplexing, which meant the client could print on both sides of one sheet of paper and reduce their paper usage and filing cabinet space.
"They are quite environmentally conscious and products like Edgeline were important to them. Especially with the fact that they were using an ink-based and not a toner-based product," Der said. "Staff were wasting paper and toner all over the place due to the amount of equipment that they had inherited.
"They also had an excess number of devices with about one device for every four employees and thought that it was a bit much."
As devices are becoming more cost-effective and less expensive to run, Der said the customer ended up saving about 15 per cent on its print management capability compared with its previous arrangement.
"They had no structure and limited control over what they were doing," he said.
"Staff would get confused on whether they had to buy consumables for that product or if it was part of a service plan or some other print management plan. There was a lot of confusion internally on how to control their assets."
As part of ongoing services for the customer, most of the print devices deployed by Imagetec feature an alert mechanism that notifies the integrator when the customer needs to replace consumables.
In the future, Imagetec plans to supply a remote wireless product, called Imagetec Remote Care, which will be attached to certain devices. This will notify Imagetec of any service faults or consumable requirements before the customer becomes aware of the situation.