Although it’s often talked about, and to our knowledge even the so called industry experts have yet to land on a definition for the term - "Corporate Print Policy". So we thought we’d save you the MPS consulting fees and share what we’ve come up with at LMI. In layman terms, we think “a corporate print policy is an agreed upon set of guidelines that define the desired office printing behaviors to be shared by all people within an organization”.
Does this make sense to you? Despite how obvious the need is for any organization to have one, too few do. In fact if you simply use the Gartner findings that suggest that up to 90% of companies don’t know how many printers they have or how much they are spending on print – you could make the case that only 10% have any idea of what’s going on when it comes to office printing. So assisting your MPS customers with a print policy may be an easy value add to separate your MPS offering from your competitors and make it easier for your client to achieve the business outcomes they expect from your managed print services program.
Without a formal office printing policy in place or without an adequate approach to enforcing or monitoring office printing, we have heard some of the following comments from various individuals in organizations on far too many occasions…
“Go ahead and print as much as you’d like…”
“Print in color whenever you want…”
“Two sided printing is just for tree huggers…”
“I do all my personal copying after hours…”
“Don’t worry; nobody’s monitoring what you print…”
Have you heard any of these in your office? With these attitudes all too common in enterprises large and small, your customers may benefit from guidelines to help change these attitudes and help put a stop to some of this thinking and their associated abuses in their offices? Here’s a stat one of our people overheard at the recent MPS World Expo in Las Vegas this summer.
“The moment people know someone is monitoring their office printing activities; their personal print volume immediately drops by 10%”
Even if that stat was only 50% accurate, think of the value a simple corporate print policy could add to your MPS program and your customers business.
If you are looking to design a corporate print policy with your MPS prospects and customers, here are some questions it should answer:
1. Who has Access to Which Print Device(s)?
Defining this can help coral the majority of print volumes to larger, more cost effective devices and deter people from walking to their printer of choice instead of the one closest to them.
2. How Many Prints Can Each Person or Department Make?
Once you start to place restrictions on volume, people tend to think twice about alternatives to printing. This saves money, paper, and energy.
3. Who Has Access to Color Output?
Not everybody in an organization needs to print in color so why leave the door open for them to do so. Most color printers cost 4 – 20 times more to print in color than in black and white!
4. What Are The Print Driver Defaults?
Setting up print drivers to automate the desired choice of output can be the easiest way to make an immediate impact. Popular defaults deployed in most MPS programs include duplexing (printing on two sides of the paper) to save paper and printing in black and white vs. color to save money.
5. What is The Procurement Procedure?
Walk into any big box store and you can buy desktop printer for less than $100. Now we both know the cartridges may cost you more when you run out of gas but that $100 price tag can sure make it tempting to use petty cash and avoid the hassle of formal approval. This is why all printer and consumable purchases should be controlled to avoid random additions to the print environment.
6. What is The Service Policy?
Printers break down and they need to be fixed fast because we depend on them. So when printer service is required, there should be a defined path of resolution preferably with an approved service provider to leverage accountability and cost control.
7. What is The Recycling Policy?
Ask any business leader and they will tell you that they would love their organization to be a zero landfill operation. In addition to cost savings, the sustainability benefits of a properly managed print environment continue to rank among the most compelling reasons most executives endorse an MPS program.
Do you have a print policy that is working well for you and your MPS customers? If so, we would love to hear about it!
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