Absolutely! This is the single largest area of print cost exposure for a company. Consider that toner costs alone are five times more expensive when producing a printed page. This statistic is based on pages printed at 5-percent page saturation. Keep in mind the average page saturation of a black and white document is printed at 17-percent page saturation. Now, add the fact that the average color document is printed at 20-25 percent page saturation. As more color printers are added to a company’s network, the associated escalating print costs will be sure to follow. Assisting companies in identifying and controlling these costs is one of our primary focuses.
While it is true that every print device will eventually reach the end of its useful life, a proper Managed Print Service is designed around an effective and comprehensive preventative maintenance schedule. This will ensure the lowest cost of ownership for an organization. New print devices also experience paper jams and need new parts on a regular basis. This is all a function of the number of pages running through a printer, not just the age of the device. None of this is covered under a manufact urer’s warranty. Additionally, the most costly and continuous repairs are the replacement of fuser units and maintenance kits. Both of these items are considered to be “normal wear and tear” items and are therefore not covered by the warranty.
On the surface, Managed Print Services would appear to consist of replacing toner cartridges and repairing broken print devices. That is only part of what and effective Managed Print Services solution provides. Our program breaks down and addresses every aspect of print costs. A Flex Imaging program consts of all of the following:
- elimination of inventory carrying costs to an outsourced Help Desk approach
- assisting an IT department in effectively managing it’s print device population
- an increased efficiency to the end-user due to increased print device uptime
- proactive preventative maintenance associated with reducing current print repair costs
- and ultimately, extending the useful life of a company’s print device assets
An effective Managed Print Service solution gives a company the tools it needs to properly balance its print environment and meet its print needs as a whole. If properly deployed, an effective Managed Print Service can save a company more money in reduced operational overhead, increasing efficiencies, as well as identifying abuses of print within a company. By billing print costs back to each cost center or department that generated the print, a company gains control and accountability over all aspects of print expenditures.
An aggressive preventative maintenance program provided through Flex Imaging creates less end-user down time, reduces IT interaction for print issues, creates greater print quality, and extends a print device’s life. Our goal is to create less end-user down time, reduce IT interaction for print issues, create greater print quality, and to extend printer life.
Each time a toner cartridge is requested or a service call or a repair order is needed, a series of events take place.
• the user requisitions from purchasing
• purchasing writes up an order
• management approves the order
• the order is sent oﬀ to the vendor
• the vendor sends a bill to accounting
• accounting verifies the bill
• the user or purchaser approves the bill
• a check is written
• the check is signed
• the check is mailed
Every time a call is necessary, these events take place. That takes time, from clerical to management, from computer to paper, as well as numerous hours of down time. Transaction costs have been documented as low as $50 and as high as $175 per transaction. With Flex Imaging, transaction costs and its associated paper trail are virtually eliminated. We submit one invoice per month which summarizes all pages printed by print device, department and/or cost center. For this reason, accounting departments embrace the operational efficiency of this program.
Actually, Managed Print Service become more cost effective over time. If you think about the dynamics for a moment, you discover some overwhelming support for this. First, cost-per-page rates are determined and budgeted based on historical data. Flex Imaging’s Managed Print Service is designed not to replace aging devices, but to keep them running for as long as possible. Like a used car, as print devices age, repair costs go up. They rise to a level where it is deemed more cost effective to replace a device as opposed to repairing it. You replace a device with a newer one in hopes of ending the escalating repair costs associated with the replaced device. But isn’t that a cost of repairs in itself, just one that is now capitalized as a depreciable asset? And doesn’t that new device begin to age and require more and more repairs over time? These
repairs could begin early in the life of the new print device. That’s the beauty of Flex Imaging’s program. It locks in a cost-per-page rate based on historical data. From that point on, Flex Imaging becomes responsible for maintaining the operational performance and readiness of all covered equipment. Print costs for the first time become fixed and easily budgeted.
Remote monitoring of print environments is the next generation of proactive Print Management. We’ve addressed the security issue by deploying a remote monitoring solution that will not breach the security concerns of an IT department. Flex Imaging utilizes a remote management solution (developed by Miracom Network) for networked print devices that allows you to conveniently and effortlessly track and monitor the data most needed to manage your print environment. Powered by the Magic 1500 appliance, the web-based print management application proactively manages all operational needs of a print device, inclusive of low toner alerts, fuser issues, paper jams, etc.
Managed Print Services is the active management and optimization of document output devices and related business processes
At the start of a Managed Print Program, all equipment is brought up to OEM specifications. Any issues are identified and resolved and with each cartridge change-out, both the toner cartridge and the print device is inspected to ensure that print quality is at peak performance. Finally, semi-annual preventative maintenance services are performed to ensure both the quality of the print and the longevity of the print device.
Most companies will maintain a stock room of toner or will keep spare cartridges near each printer. The larger the print environment, the larger the company’s inventory carrying costs. This inventory never goes away until the printer does. At that point, the remaining toner becomes obsolete and subsequently a financial loss due to the excess toner inventory. This is a poor utilization of corporate funds and adds to a company’s cost-per-page calculation. Under Flex Imaging’s cost-per-page program, customer inventory needs are significantly reduced, if not eliminated altogether. Flex Imaging manages and will maintain any level of on-site emergency inventory required by the customer.
Since we are counting actual pages being printed to each print device, we can accurately and appropriately allocate all print costs back to the department and/or cost center that generates the print. This reduces print costs simply by the fact that people are now conscious of the consequences of their sometimes excessive printing behavior.
IT departments embrace this program for several reasons. First, it dramatically reduces the amount of print-related issues that an IT department needs to respond to. Managed Print Services will streamline all aspects of IT print issue involvement and it will assist an IT department to properly identify over and under utilization of print devices. This will assist them in the proper management and deployment of corporate print assets in the future.
It is common practice where IT departments have to absorb the costs associated with all connected devices to the network. Many times this is because a company does not have an easy method to identify and allocate print costs. This is where Flex Imaging comes in. We summarize billing by departments and/or cost centers, make individual groups responsible and accountable for their own operating print expenses. IT departments are no longer responsible for carrying the print costs of other departments and are able to reduce their overall budget.