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Driving Return on Investment with High-Value Documents

11 Aug, 2010 By: Mark McCuen, EFI imageSource

Driving Return on Investment with High-Value Documents

Companies around the globe continue to look for ways to lower costs and improve efficiencies, especially in today’s economic climate. As these companies tighten their corporate belts, one area for cost reduction that is increasingly visible is reducing the amount of printing by their employees, and the amount of paper consumed in the process. Research shows us that an enterprise with 1,000 employees spends almost one half of one million dollars per year on printing office documents.

As an industry bellwether, Gartner reports in their recent research paper, Why You Should Manage Your Office Printing, organizations can reduce their office printing spending by 10% to 30% through active management. While these levels of savings have been touted for several years in our industry, now more than ever, companies are paying attention and are implementing processes and policies to lower printing costs. Understanding that our industry is built on helping customers’ print, have you developed your strategy for growing revenue while your customers are reducing their print volumes?

These same corporations and enterprises are also rallying around the “Green” movement as a way of helping the environment, gaining market awareness, and if possible, saving costs. From a printing perspective, being green is mainly about using less paper. Companies like the concept of reducing paper use for two reasons; first and foremost, they can greatly reduce costs, secondly, they can leverage an initiative that saves paper as an environmentally positive activity that will impress customers and employees alike. However, reducing costs by simply cutting back on all printing can also bring negative effects to companies that want to increase revenues.

This is especially true if these printing cutbacks lead to a reduction of communication with customers; external and internal.

The Competitive Edge
To remain competitive, organizations will always need to produce “high-value” documents that represent their company’s products, solutions and mission to their external customers, as well as their employees. For the external customers these high-value documents are typically sales and marketing-focused, and include brochures, flyers, proposals, catalogs and newsletters. Internally, training manuals, meeting presentations, financial documents, human resources material and business reports are equally important as high-value documents. Gartner states in another research paper, Reducing Paper Consumption Will Drive Down Costs and Improve Workflows, that in most corporations, 44% of printing is avoidable or simply wasted, and 21% of all printouts are thrown away at the end of the day. With this in mind it’s important that resellers help customers distinguish these unnecessary or wasted prints typically associated with email, Web and reprints of existing documents, from the high-value documents they need to continue to grow their business and be competitive.

Because high-value documents are a tangible representation of the company, they share requirements for quality in both color and finishing, and are a great way to show the value of color MFP’s with strong finishing capabilities. While a lot of these organizations are already consolidating their printer fleets by installing MFP’s as a way to offer more cost effective printing to larger workgroups of users, many are unaware that the finishing capabilities available on most MFP’s can also drive a strong return on investment by greatly reducing paper consumption.

For example, it is estimated that today, 70-80% of all corporate documents are only printed on one side of the paper (simplex). If an organization implemented requirements for all corporate documents to be printed on both sides of the paper (duplex), they would immediately reduce paper usage by up to 50%. When you consider that, according to Gartner research, the average office worker prints 10,000 pages annually, printing duplex can save companies a lot of money. And, when these organizations add capabilities like printing two pages per sheet on both sides of the paper and automate scaling of documents to fit on smaller paper, companies can realize a 75-85% paper reduction. In fact, companies that print mostly duplex and booklets, instead of single sided documents, can realize a significant return on investment of up to $6,000 per year for an MFP that supports 25 workers.

Cost Effective Document Experts
So why aren’t these requirements already implemented in corporations around the world? The process of creating finished documents is complex and most customers have the perception that finished documents are more expensive. And, the typical office worker is usually unaware of an MFP’s capabilities, and lacks in-depth knowledge of how to operate the more sophisticated finishing functions available on the device. This is a great opportunity for reseller organizations to position themselves as the “Document Expert” with their customers, and places the MFP at the heart of the customer’s paper reduction initiatives.

There are a wide range of tools available to assist you and your customers in these initiatives, including document assessment /routing solutions, including the new FieryVUE application that simplifies the printing of complex, finished documents with a unique visual interface (http://www.efi.com/fieryvue/). As your customers’ document expert, you can help them reduce costs by eliminating the printing of unnecessary documents and focusing instead on the proper printing of their high-value documents. In addition, you can implement workflow solutions that streamline the process of printing finished documents that will not only reduce the overall cost of printing, but also improve the quality for the  external and internal customers facing these documents.

Mark McCuen, whose career spans more than 25 years in the Digital Printing and Publishing industry is the Product Line Manager at EFI responsible the Fiery BU office products including the new Fiery VUE visual print application that is designed to increase efficiencies and reduce costs for customers in the Office Market. Visit www.efi.com for info.

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