Making a world of difference with MPS

The past year saw marked growth in business at Bryan S Ryan, despite Ireland’s economic recession, global fears about the euro, and a roller-coaster ride on the markets here and internationally. So let me start by thanking all our loyal customers who helped us make 2011 a true success story.

In fact it’s true to say that, while we’re “The People Behind Your Business”, you are also the people behind our winning ways.

The past year’s growth in business is largely due to increased revenues from our managed print services division, as more Irish companies recognise the benefits of having an MPS contract. But technology waits for no-one, and in coming issues of this e-zine we’ll be keeping our customers informed about developments in managed print services – and about how these advances can help your business even more.

I wrote in a recent article for an Irish technology magazine that the advantages of MPS include giving the user clear expense oversight and hassle-free control, plus a clearer understanding of the ROI in the daily infrastructure – benefits that would not accrue simply through a move to outsourced virtualisation.

Let’s take a closer look at this MPS selling point. The average company, according to researchers such as Forrester and Gartner, spends 1% of its budget on printing costs. The same researchers point out that, on average, the lifespan of a paper document is five minutes before it gets binned, filed or dumped in the Pending tray and forgotten. It simply doesn’t make sense to fritter away 1% of budget on a product that is so ephemeral.

Yet the written word is vital for conveying and disseminating essential corporate information. So, if we can’t dispense with the written word, we need to control the cost of producing it. Digital documentation – the so-called paperless office – is just the start.

A managed print service, tailored to any customer’s requirements, shows exactly where “document spend” is going: how much on paper, toner, servicing, and even energy use. Better still, MPS can give the customer control over which people or departments in an organisation can print which documents – and on which devices. Print audits show who is printing unnecessarily or wastefully; for example, printing black-and-white documents on a colour printer is like throwing money out the window. Yet in a non-MPS environment it happens all the time because staff don’t understand how printers work or inadvertently waste company resources.

A huge benefit of MPS is its ability through print-centralisation to significantly reduce the number of physical printers in an organisation – and research shows that most organisations have far more printers than they actually need. Cut that number of devices by, say one-quarter, then add the cost of supplying and servicing those machines, and we begin to see how an MPS contract can save the average company up to 30% on its printing costs.

Among the cost-cutting tools available to our customers are Equitrac print-management software and uniFLOW Output Manager. Equitrac can generate reports weekly or monthly to show how many pages each staff member has printed and how much it all cost in paper, toner and energy. Organisations that have emailed those reports to each staff member have seen the think-before-you-print religion spread like wildfire, with a significant cost saving as a result.

Another major waste is the person who prints a document to a remote device then forgets to collect it, so the pages fall on the floor or get binned. So these days any half decent print management system will store the document unprinted until the originator arrives at the printer and keys in a PIN number or waves a swipe-card at an electronic reader.

These cost-saving benefits of MPS are becoming widely recognised. Other, less well known advantages include security. Each time a document is printed, an image of that document is stored on a hard drive or, in a networked system, on a server. The data sits there for ever, waiting for a hacker or perhaps for a disgruntled employee with no right to that information retrieving it for their own nefarious purposes.

In this article I have concentrated on the hardware and software side of MPS. However, there’s another equally critical aspect: the choice of an MPS vendor or provider. In a future issue we’ll examine the ins and outs of vendor choice and explain why you need to get it right – and what is right for your organisation. Until then, work economically and best wishes to you all for 2012.


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