We’ve learned from our customers that total print, copy and fax operating costs don’t spiral out of control overnight, this happens over time.
It’s never the result of one person, one bad decision or bad intentions. Based on most of our analysis and case studies, this happens as a result of a lot of smaller decisions from lots of different people from all areas of the business. In the end, as our PrinterWorks ad indicates, the most common and significant problems stem from:
In many cases the problem grows as fast, or faster than the organization. Before long it is impossible for anyone to answer the question.
“What is the total monthly cost of our printing, copying and faxing?”
Their businesses grew and office products (fax machines, printers, copiers, MFP’s) were acquired on a “case by case” basis to meet immediate business demands. Before they knew it, dozens if not hundreds, of different brands of products began to appear throughout their organization. Each of these products carried different support methods for obtaining service or toner. Each of these products carried different methods of billing. Each of these products were acquired by different people in the organization.
From existing copier leases and service agreements to long-term fax machine service contracts – too many different contracts with multiple billing methods expiring at different times made it difficult to place an accurate number on the total costs being spent. Some were charged in a cost per copy format, some on a time and materials, others were saddled with minimum flat fee billing schemes. Each of these contracts were signed with different stakeholders in the company making it difficult to “roll up” a number that made sense – or at least to compare contracts “apples to apples”.
Lack of a centralized print strategy led to no true accountability for the overall costs associated with print, fax, and copy. Traditionally, responsibility for print, copy, and fax were kept in different silos in companies. With the advent of all-in-one, or MFP, now machines were being sold to IT departments, Purchasing departments, and Facilities departments. Often, we encounter situations where clients are oversold because of a lack of central strategy.
They were asked to report on sustainability programs and had no idea what ramifications their office products were having on the environment. They were asked to provide quantifiable methods to lower their carbon footprint. They had no clear strategy to deal with IT or supplies recycling. Multiple Products / Multiple Invoices – Again, the lack of a cohesive strategy hindered any ability to provide meaningful sustainability programs.
Often the largest and most overlooked area of spending is with Toner and Ink. Clients would stockpile cartridges, order the wrong cartridges, overpay for cartridges, buy from general office suppliers or toner re-fillers. Generally, clients would mismanage this “budget” because there wasn’t a direct budget to charge and expose the costs. These costs are generally hidden in “miscellaneous”, “office supplies”, or “general” cost codes and are rarely managed or understood.