It is not unlikely that most businesses do not know the number of printed pages they are currently generating or what their entire print environment is costing them. It takes a lot of time and industry experts to inventory all the devices, analyse the related cost to each device and understand the current picture of the business environment. If done properly, a print audit can be extremely helpful, as this critical information is used to measure the success and to identify opportunities to revitalise your print environment, reduce costs and improve end-user productivity.
An accurate print audit starts with analysing and auditing the current print estate, helping you understand how your current print environment is structured. Generally, it is assumed that only print and copy devices are what need to be analysed, but this is not true. In order to obtain an accurate analysis of your current print estate, an understanding of all devices that are capable of producing a page is extremely important. Devices such as, document scanners, printers, MFP devices, plotters, dot-matrix devices, etc. all need to be analysed to gather an accurate and current asset list. It is then followed by developing a strategy and plan to reduce your current volume and costs, which leads to an implementation plan to take action.
So, what should you really be getting out of a print audit?
Here is my advice below:
1. A snapshot of your current situation:
This section should focus specifically on your current print environment and how it is currently structured. Any red flags or inefficiencies within the print environment should be highlighted here:
- How many devices do you currently have? Is it what you thought you had prior to the print audit?
- How many devices are actually being used?
- Is your device spec right for your environment?
- What is the life left on your current fleet?
- How many contracts do you have?
- How many vendors do you have?
- How many devices are owned vs how many are leased?
- What is your consumable cost for owned equipment?
- What is the average monthly volume of your current devices?
- A3 devices deployed vs A3 print volume ratio.
- Colour devices deployed vs Colour volume ratio.
- User to device ratio.
- Contractual obligations.
- Current annual expenditure on printing.
2. Optimisation and Plan of Action
A detailed plan for optimisation and rationalisation must be presented to provide you with a roadmap in terms of what your print environment should look like. These findings should present you with a strategy to reduce volumes in certain departments and areas within your business. Print policies can be implemented to assist with this phase where print wastage can be reduced and a plan to remove end-of-life devices could present you with an immediate cost savings. On-going management of this process is required to identify areas where print can be driven down, and wastage needs to be addressed continuously.
It is important to note that a print environment requires ongoing management to drive your print reduction strategy. The analysis of your current print environment provides you with a plan to drive your strategy, but if not implemented correctly, the exercise could be useless. Appointing a managed print partner and outsourcing this function could be beneficial to you, as industry experts are driven and incentivised to drive your print out of your business. It takes on-going planning, project management and change management for user adoption. A project plan must be drawn up to stipulate the areas of priority, detailing timelines and the resources assigned to drive the strategy for you.
In most cases, when an assessment is done in a print environment it is found that savings available to customers could be as much as 20%. Combine those savings with an independent management partner to drive the strategy continuously, and you will be able to save money on your IT budget, increase efficiency and productivity, and enjoy high-quality end-user experience within your business.
If you would like one of our Consultants to contact you to set up a Free High Level Assessment to find out if your environment is optimised, efficient and sustainable, contact us today.