Author: Mitchell Filby, First Rock Consulting.
More and more clients are realising that technology is forcing them to do business differently. Large enterprises organisations are now competing against smaller businesses that they didn’t expect were capable of competing against them in the past. Many small to medium businesses and green field businesses now have a large competitive advantage against their larger rivals in the form of agility.
Large businesses are attempting to de-couple their infrastructure and applications that have supported their large operations not only as it allows an improvement in agility, but it is also very attractive to the bottom line. The cost flexibility now has become a main driver to many larger businesses. This point alone is now driving enterprises to rethink how they shape their operations going forward.
As businesses do, office printing will also now need to be on the radar and constantly reviewed. Office workers in many corporate environments will continue to print physical pages to their copiers and printers but this old world dance step will come into question more and more. In fact it’s already in play. Office printing worldwide has and is continuing to fall. Automated digital workflow and business processes are liberating the back office of yesterday. No more holidays, vacation or sick forms to complete. No more paper based weekly, fortnightly or monthly pay forms to be printed. Training manuals, requisition forms, application forms and the list goes on – now all in electronic (digital) form and each process onto another electronic system or database.
This is not a phenomenon, users within large enterprise offices are printing less and this is driven by management as they understand both the inefficiency of building a paper based process within their business and the ongoing costs to support fixed assets that are becoming more and more redundant in the work place.
We are not suggesting a paperless office. However, we are suggesting that larger enterprises need to be really clear on where and why paper exists within their existing operations. Although it is easy to not see office printing (or their assets) as a major problem or expense, it is potentially a virus that traps the business into a less agile and certainly into a less elegant business – this legacy will only weigh down the business as it grows or tries to compete.
The challenge for decision makers is to know who they can use or source to look at this aspect of not printing rather than printing. Today most providers make an income by selling the actual hardware devices that the business wants to get rid of or at least reduce. Many providers will claim they are independent but this is not quite true or perhaps the message of independents is not clearly explained or understood.
There are certainly some providers, who are doing a good job of looking at office printing outside the “box” sale, but many still see the box as “money for jam” and their own business model or sales capability has not moved beyond this point.
One of the reasons I wrote and published Rest In Print: from office printing to THE RISE of MANAGED SERVICES was to assist end customers understand the office printing industry and educate them on the traps and pitfalls of some contracts that are available. The other reason of writing this book was to make the industry accountable to the end customer as they attempt to migrate their own sales and services business away from the typical hardware (product) led model to a customer driven service model.
For more information, please contact First Rock Consulting: http://www.first-rock.com/