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Curb paper wastage, boost ROI, productivity

Businesses are still struggling to get to grips with the financial implications of unnecessary and badly managed distributed printing. By taking control of these wastage issues through an effective print management strategy, they stand to boost productivity and save up to 30 percent in the first year of implementation.

So says Andrew Griffith, product manager at Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa, who explains that paper wastage – through needless printing, duplications, errors and delinquent printing – can seriously add to a business’ expenses.

“Research company, Gartner, predicted that between one and five percent of a small company’s costs might be linked to paper processing costs, including the cost of printing devices, copiers, ink cartridges, toner cartridges, electricity for multiple devices running all the time, IT support, paper usage and waste, as well as the maintenance costs of repairing older less efficient printing devices. It also estimated that between one and three percent of corporate costs are spent on print related costs.

“These unnecessary costs can be curbed with the introduction of improved management controls that would include enforced print policies and would assist in striking a balance between expenses and performance.”

Griffith maintains that the best place for a company to start changing its print management strategy is with an audit that will ascertain the processes already in place, how much it is currently spending on printing, how many devices are already in use and whether there are too many or too few to meet staff’s needs, how much is being spent on print consumables, the cost per page comparison between colour and black & white printers and the effective lifespan of the existing devices.

Once this assessment has been completed, the organisation can then look at what should be introduced in order to make the necessary improvements, setting guidelines, policies and procedures and rationalising the devices and their use, or even replacing them with newer models.

“An organisation that carries out these process improvements is also able to reap the ‘green’ benefits that can be gained, such as the reduction of its carbon footprint through the use of more energy efficient machines that decrease electricity usage,” Griffith explains.

“Reducing the use of paper specifically has two major environmental benefits – it cuts down on the energy associated with the manufacturing and distribution of the paper itself, as well as decreases the energy associated with distribution through the physical mail system, which is significant,” he states.

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