Print, Copy, Fax, Scan: Optimize Service Levels and Costs

Digital technologies have found their way to day-to-day office worklife. However, despite all earlier expectations, we are far distant from a “paper-less” office. Paper usage has even increased throughout the past years.

Some people regard Output Management (OM) as one of the “last” area of workplace optimisation – especially within industries close to the “document” and the medium paper, namely in banking and insurance companies.

Output Management – jointly with Workflow Management – intends to optimise the flow of documents, forms, and orders. In particular, OM intends to sustainably reduce the costs of printing, copying, and paper handling.

As a background we have to consider a structural change in between the classical medium paper and newer electronical or digital media. Also, software species such as Document Management Systems (DMS) or Management Information Systems (MIS) play a substantial role for the “How” and “Why” of paper based provision, delivery, and transfer of information in today´s management.

On the technology side digital workplace equipment and digital convergence of print & copy represent a long-term background, in short terms we view new offers such as multifunctional devices, electronical forms, networked printing, or decreasing costs of colour printing.

As our surveys show, an up-to-date Output Management might save up to approx. 35% of total output costs. It is of importance to decision makers, that not only purchasing price of devices, but only long-term total cost considerations lead to optimal decisions.
As our studies have shown, inexpensive devices consuming extraordinarily expensive consumables as well as the concept of centralisation of devices with subsequently increasing walk-up-costs imply dramatical inefficiencies.

Optimum decisions may be achieved basing upon total cost considerations, for instance viewing at

business processes, considering all flows of documents, forms, and orders
resources, considering all types of costs such as costs of hardware, finance, consumables, services, labour, and others more, correctly accounted
devices, considering the complete device usage cycle, including purchasing, logistics, maintenance, finance etc.

Besides buying options also contractual ways of providing equipment (e.g. pay-per-page billing models) have to be checked up, in particular viewing at levels, transparency, and flexibility of costs.

The IIW Institute has developed a special Optimisation Programme aiming at manufac- turer independent optimisation of corporate output management. This programme includes document-oriented business process analysis, focusing on cost saving potentials within print, copy, fax and scan functions. Such an analysis would include an analysis of the required OM service levels, a calculation of total costs of OM, and as a result, provide a catalogue of measures for output optimisation.
Moreover, the IIW offers a seminar Output Management which provide valuable information, implementation-driven methodology, and a forum discussion and exchange of experiences.