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Re-Envision Enterprise Printing

Don’t settle for printer consolidation; seek the elimination of print.

  • Enterprises may be overspending on printing, but this spend is often unknown and untracked.
  • You are locked into a traditional printer lease and outdated document management practices, hampering digital transformation.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Don’t just settle for printer consolidation: Seek to eliminate print and enlist your managed print services vendor to help you achieve that goal.

Impact and Result

  • Identify reduction opportunities via a thorough inventory and requirements-gathering process, and educate others on the financial and non-financial benefits. Enforce reduced printing through policies.
  • Change your printing financial model to print as a service by building an RFP and scoring tool for managed print services that makes the vendor a partner in continuous innovation.
  • Leverage durable print management software to achieve vendor-agnostic governance and visibility.

Re-Envision Enterprise Printing Research & Tools

1. Re-Envision Enterprise Printing – A step-by-step document to help plan and execute a printer reduction project.

This storyboard will help you plan the project, assess your current state and requirements, build a managed print services RFP and scoring process, and build continuous improvement of business processes into your operations.

2. Planning tools

Use these templates and tools to plan the printer reduction project, document your inventory, assess current printer usage, and gather information on current and future requirements.

3. RFP tools

Use these templates and tools to create an RFP for managed print services that can easily score and compare vendors.

4. Printer policy

Update the printer policy to express the new focus on reducing unsupported printer use.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

8.0/10


Overall Impact

$9,000


Average $ Saved

2


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Regina Catholic Schools

Guided Implementation

8/10

$9,000

2


Re-Envision Enterprise Printing

Don't settle for printer consolidation; seek the elimination of print

Analyst perspective

You're likely not in the printing business.
Prepare your organization for the future by reducing print.

Initiatives to reduce printers are often met with end-user resistance. Don't focus on the idea of taking something away from end users. Instead, focus on how print reduction fits into larger goals of business process improvement, and on opportunities to turn the vendor into a partner who drives business process improvement through ongoing innovation and print reduction.

What are your true print use cases? Except in some legitimate use cases, printing often introduces friction and does not lead to efficiencies. Companies investing in digital transformation and document management initiatives must take a hard look at business processes still reliant on hard copies. Assess your current state to identify what the current print volume and costs are and where there are opportunities to consolidate and reduce.

Change your financial model. The managed print services industry allows you to use a pay-as-you-go approach and right-size your print spend to the organization's needs. However, in order to do printing-as-a-service right, you will need to develop a good RFP and RFP evaluation process to make sure your needs are covered by the vendor, while also baking in assurances the vendor will partner with you for continuous print reduction.

This is a picture of Emily Sugerman

Emily Sugerman
Research Analyst, Infrastructure & Operations
Info-Tech Research Group

Darin Stahl
Principal Research Advisor, Infrastructure & Operations
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive summary

Your Challenge

IT directors and business operations managers face several challenges:

  • Too many known unknowns: Enterprises may be overspending on printing, but this spend is often unknown and untracked.
  • Opportunity costs: By locking into conventional printer leases and outdated document management, you are locking yourself out of the opportunity to improve business processes.

Common Obstacles

Printer reduction initiatives are stymied by:

  • End-user resistance: Though sometimes the use of paper remains necessary, end users often cling to paper processes out of concern about change.
  • Lack of governance: You lack insight into legitimate print use cases and lack full control over procurement of devices and consumables.
  • Overly generic RFP: Print requirements are not tailored to your organization, and your managed print services RFP does not ask enough of the vendor.

Info-Tech's Approach

Follow these steps to excise superfluous, costly printing:

  • Identify reduction opportunities via a thorough inventory and requirements-gathering process, and educate others on the financial and non-financial benefits. Enforce reduced printing through policies.
  • Change your printing financial model to print-as-a-service by building an RFP and scoring tool for managed print services that makes the vendor a partner in continuous innovation.
  • Leverage durable print management software to achieve vendor-agnostic governance and visibility.

Info-Tech Insight

Don't settle for printer consolidation: seek to eliminate print and enlist your managed print services vendor to help you achieve that goal.

Your challenge

This research is designed to help organizations that aim to reduce printing long term

  • Finally understand aggregate printing costs: Not surprisingly, printing has become a large hidden expense in IT. Enterprises may be overspending on printing, but this spend is often unknown and untracked. Printer consumables are purchased independently by each department, non-networked desktop printers are everywhere, and everyone seems to be printing in color.
  • Walk the walk when it comes to digital transformation: Outdated document management practices that rely on unnecessary printing are not the foundation upon which the organization can improve business processes.
  • Get out of the printing business: Hire a managed print provider and manage that vendor well.

"There will be neither a V-shaped nor U-shaped recovery in demand for printing paper . . . We are braced for a long L-shaped decline."
–Toru Nozawa, President, Nippon Paper Industries (qtd. in Nikkei Asia, 2020).

Weight of paper and paperboard generated in the U.S.*

This is an image of a graph plotting the total weight of paper and paperboard generated in the US, bu thousands of US tons.

*Comprises nondurable goods (including office paper), containers, and packaging.

**2020 data not available.

Source: EPA, 2020.

Common obstacles

These barriers make this challenge difficult to address for many organizations:

  • Cost-saving opportunities are unclear: In most cases, nobody is accountable for controlling printing costs, so there's a lack of incentive to do so.
  • End-user attachment to paper-based processes: For end users who have been relying on paper processes, switching to a new way of working can feel like a big ask, particularly if an optimized alternative has not been provided and socialized.
  • Legitimate print use cases are undefined: Print does still have a role in some business processes (e.g. for regulatory reasons). However, these business processes have not been analyzed to determine which print use cases are still legitimate. The WFH experience during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that many workflows that previously incorporated printing could be digitized. Indeed, the overall attachment to office paper is declining (see chart).
  • Immature RFP and RFP scoring methods: Outsourcing print to a managed service provider necessitates careful attention to RFP building and scoring. If your print requirements are not properly tailored to your organization and your managed print services RFP does not ask enough of the vendor, it will be harder to hold your vendor to account.

How important is paper in your office?

87% 77%

Quocirca, a printer industry market research firm, found that the number of organizations for whom paper is "fairly or very important to their business" has dropped 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2021.

Source: Quocirca, 2021.

Info-Tech's approach

Permanently change your company's print culture

  1. Plan your Project
    • Create your project charter, investigate end user printer behavior and reduction opportunities, gather requirements and calculate printer costs
  2. Find the right managed print vendor
    • Protect yourself by building the right requirements into your RFP, evaluating candidates and negotiating from a strong position
  3. Implement the new printer strategy
    • Identify printers to consolidate and eliminate, install them, and communicate updated printer policy
  4. Operate
    • Track the usage metrics, service requests, and printing trends, support the printers and educate users to print wisely and sparingly

The Info-Tech difference:

  1. Use Info-Tech's tracking tools to finally track data on printer inventory and usage.
  2. Get to an RFP for managed print services faster through Info-Tech's requirement selection activity, and use Info-Tech's scoring tool template to more quickly compare candidates and identify frontrunners and knockouts.
  3. Use Info-Tech's guidance on print management software to decouple your need to govern the fleet from any specific vendor.

Info-Tech's methodology for Re-Envision Enterprise Printing

1. Strategy & planning 2. Vendor selection, evaluation, acquisition 3. Implementation & operation
Phase steps
  1. Create project charter and assign roles
  2. Assess current state of enterprise print environments
  3. Gather current and future printer requirements
  1. Understand managed print services model
  2. Create RFP documents and score vendors
  3. Understand continuous innovation & print management software
  1. Modify printer policies
  2. Measure project success
  3. Training & adoption
  4. Plan persuasive communication
  5. Prepare for continuous improvement
Phase outcomes
  • Documentation of project roles, scope, objectives, success metrics
  • Accurate printer inventory
  • Documentation of requirements based on end-user feedback, existing usage, and future goals
  • Finalized requirements
  • Completed RFP and vendor scoring tool
  • Managed print vendor selected, if necessary
  • Updated printer policies that reinforce print reduction focus
  • Assessment of project success

Insight summary

Keep an eye on the long-term goal of eliminating print

Don't settle for printer consolidation: seek to eliminate print and enlist your managed print services vendor to help you achieve that goal.

Persuading leaders is key

Good metrics and visible improvement are important to strengthen executive support for a long-term printer reduction strategy.

Tie printer reduction into business process improvement

Achieve long-lasting reductions in print through document management and improved workflow processes.

Maintain clarity on what types of printer use are and aren't supported by IT

Modifying and enforcing printing policies can help reduce use of printers.

Print management software allows for vendor-agnostic continuity

Print management software should be vendor-agnostic and allow you to manage devices even if you change vendors or print services.

Secure a better financial model from the provider

Simply changing your managed print services pay model to "pay-per-click" can result in large cost savings.

Blueprint deliverables

Key deliverable:

Managed Print Services RFP

This blueprint's key deliverable is a completed RFP for enterprise managed print services, which feeds into a scoring tool that accelerates the requirements selection and vendor evaluation process.

Managed Print Services Vendor Assessment Questions

This is a screenshot from the Managed Print Services Vendor Assessment Questions

Managed Print Services RFP Template

This is a screenshot from the Managed Print Services RFP Template

Managed Print Services RFP Vendor Proposal Scoring Tool

This is a screenshot from the Managed Print Services RFP Vendor Proposal Scoring Tool

Each step of this blueprint is accompanied by supporting deliverables to help you accomplish your goals:

Enterprise Printing Project Charter

This is a screenshot from the Enterprise Printing Project Charter

Document the parameters of the print reduction project, your goals, desired business benefits, metrics.

Enterprise Printing Roles and Responsibilities RACI Guide

This is a screenshot from the Enterprise Printing Project Charter

Assign key tasks for the project across strategy & planning, vendor selection, implementation, and operation.

Printer Policy

This is a screenshot from the Printer Policy

Start with a policy template that emphasizes reduction in print usage and adjust as needed for your organization.

Printer Reduction Tool

This is a screenshot from the Printer Reduction Tool

Track the printer inventory and calculate total printing costs.

End-User Print Requirements Survey

This is a screenshot from the End-User Print Requirements Survey

Base your requirements in end user needs and feedback.

Blueprint benefits

IT benefits

  • Make the project charter for printer reduction and estimate cost savings
  • Determine your organization's current printing costs, usage, and capabilities
  • Define your organization's printing requirements and select a solution
  • Develop a printer policy and implement the policy

Business benefits

  • Understand the challenges involved in reducing printers
  • Understand the potential of this initiative to reduce costs
  • Accelerate existing plans for modernization of paper-based business processes by reducing printer usage
  • Contribute to organizational environmental sustainability targets

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful."

Guided Implementation

"Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track."

Workshop

"We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place."

Consulting

"Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Guided Implementation

What does a typical GI on this topic look like?

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Call #1: Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges.

Call #4: Review requirements.
Weigh the benefits of managed print services.

Call #6: Measure project success.

Call #2: Review your printer inventory.
Understand your current printing costs and usage.

Call #5: Review completed scoring tool and RFP.

Call #5: Review vendor responses to RFP.

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with an Info-Tech analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

A typical GI is 8 to 12 calls over the course of 4 to 6 months.

Phase 1

Strategy and Planning

Strategy & planning

Vendor selection, evaluation, acquisition

Implementation & Operation

1.1 Create project charter and assign roles

1.2 Assess current state

1.3 Gather requirements

2.1 Understand managed print services model

2.2 Create RFP materials

2.3 Leverage print management software

3.1 Modify printer policies

3.2 Measure project success

3.3 Training & adoption

3.4 Plan communication

3.5 Prepare for continuous improvement

Re-Envision Enterprise Printing

  • This phase will walk you through the following activities:
  • Create a list of enterprise print roles and responsibilities
  • Create project charter
  • Inventory printer fleet and calculate printing costs
  • Examine current printing behavior and identify candidates for device elimination
  • Gather requirements, including through end user survey

This phase involves the following participants:

  • IT director/CIO
  • Business operations manager
  • Project manager

Step 1.1

Create project charter and assign roles

Outcomes of this step

Completed Project Charter with RACI chart

Phase 1: Strategy and Planning

  • Step 1.1 Create project charter and assign roles
  • Step 1.2 Assess current state
  • Step 1.3 Gather requirements

This step involves the following participants:

  • IT director/CIO
  • Business operations manager
  • Project manager

Activities in this step

  • Create a list of enterprise print roles and responsibilities
  • Create project charter

1.1 Create project charter

Use the project charter to clearly define the scope and avoid scope creep

Identify project purpose

  • Why is the organization taking on this project? What are you trying to achieve?
  • What is the important background you need to document? How old is the fleet? What kinds of printer complaints do you get? What percentage of the IT budget does printing occupy?
  • What specific goals should this project achieve? What measurable financial and non-financial benefits do these goals achieve?

Identify project scope

  • What functional requirements do you have?
  • What outputs are expected?
  • What constraints will affect this project?
  • What is out of scope for this project?

What are the main roles and responsibilities?

  • Who is doing what for this project?

How will you measure success?

  • What are the project's success metrics and KPIs?

Enterprise Printing Project Charter

This is a screenshot from the Enterprise Printing Project Charter

Anticipate stakeholder resistance

Getting management buy-in for printer reduction is often one of the biggest challenges of the project.

Challenge Resolution
Printer reduction is not typically high on the priority list of strategic IT initiatives. It is often a project that regularly gets deferred. The lack of an aggregate view of the total cost of printing in the environment could be one root cause, and what can't be measured usually isn't being managed. Educate and communicate the benefits of printer reduction to executives. In particular, spend time getting buy-in from the COO and/or CFO. Use Info-Tech's Printer Reduction Tool to show executives the waste that is currently being generated.
Printers are a sensitive and therefore unpopular topic of discussion. Executives often see a trade-off: cost savings versus end-user satisfaction. Make a strong financial and non-financial case for the project. Show examples of other organizations that have successfully consolidated their printers.

Info-Tech Insight

If printer reduction is not driven and enforced from the top down, employees will find ways to work around your policies and changes. Do not attempt to undertake printer reduction initiatives without alerting executives. Ensure visible executive support to achieve higher cost savings.

Align the printer reduction project to org goals to achieve buy-in

A successful IT project demonstrates clear connections to business goals

Which business and organizational goals and drivers are supported by IT's intention to transform its printing ecosystem? For example,

Legislation: In 2009, the Washington House of Representatives passed a bill requiring state agencies to implement a plan to reduce paper consumption by 30% (State of Washington, 2009). The University of Washington cites this directive as one of the drivers for their plans to switch fully to electronic records by 2022 (University of Washington, n.d.).

Health care modernization: Implementing electronic health records; reducing paper charts.

Supply chain risk reduction: In 2021, an Ontario district school board experienced photocopier toner shortages and were forced to request schools to reduce printing and photocopying: "We have recommended to all locations that the use of printing be minimized as much as possible and priority given to the printing of sensitive and confidential documentation" (CBC, 2021).

Identify overall organizational goals in the following places:

  • Company mission statements
  • Corporate website
  • Business strategy documents
  • Other IT strategy documents
  • Executives

Document financial and non-financial benefits

Financial benefits: Printer reduction can reduce your printing costs and improve printing capabilities.

  • Printer reduction creates a controlled print environment; poorly controlled print environments breed unnecessary costs.
  • Cost savings can be realized through:
    • Elimination of cost-efficient inkjet desktop printers.
    • Elimination of high-cost, inefficient, or underutilized printers.
    • Sharing of workshop printers between an optimal number of end users.
    • Replacing separate printers, scanners, copiers, and fax machines with. multi-function devices.
  • Cost savings can be achieved through a move to managed print services, if you negotiate the contract well and manage the vendor properly. The University of Washington estimated a 20-25% cost reduction under a managed print services model compared to the existing lease (University of Washington, "What is MPS").

Non-financial benefits: Although the main motivation behind printer reduction is usually cost savings, there are also non-financial benefits to the project.

  • Printer reduction decreases physical space required for printers
  • Printer reduction meets employee and client environmental demands
    • Printer reduction can reduce the electricity and consumables used
    • Reduction in consumables means reduced hazardous waste from consumables and devices
  • Printer reduction can result in better printing capabilities
    • Moving to a managed print services model can provide you with better printing capabilities with higher availability

Assign responsibility to track print device costs to IT

Problem:
Managers in many organizations wrongly assume that since IT manages the printer devices, they also already manage costs.

However, end users typically order printer devices and supplies through the supplies/facilities department, bypassing any budget approval process, or through IT, which does not have any authority or incentive to restrict requests (when they're not measured against the controlling of printer costs).

Organization-wide printer usage policies are rarely enforced with any strictness.

Without systematic policy enforcement, end-user print behavior becomes frivolous and generates massive printing costs.

Solution:
Recommend all print device costs be allocated to IT.

  • Aggregate responsibility: Recommend that all printer costs be aggregated under IT's budget and tracked by IT staff.
  • Assign accountability: Although supplies may continually be procured by the organization's supplies/facilities department, IT should track monthly usage and costs by department.
  • Enforce policy: Empower IT with the ability to enforce a strict procurement policy that ensures all devices in the print environment are approved models under IT's control. This eliminates having unknown devices in the printer fleet and allows for economies of scale to be realized from purchasing standardized printing supplies.
  • Track metrics: IT should establish metrics to measure and control each department's printer usage and flat departments that exceed their acceptable usage amounts.

Assign accountability for the initiative

Someone needs to have accountability for both the printer reduction tasks and the ongoing operation tasks, or the initiative will quickly lose momentum.

Customize Info-Tech's Enterprise Printing Roles and Responsibilities RACI Guide RACI chart to designate project roles and responsibilities to participants both inside and outside IT.

These tasks fall under the categories of:

  • Strategy and planning
  • Vendor selection, evaluation, and acquisition
  • Implementation
  • Operate

Assign a RACI: Remember the meaning of the different roles

  • Responsible (does the work on a day-to-day basis)
  • Accountable (reviews, signs off on, and is held accountable for outcomes)
  • Consulted (input is sought to feed into decision making)
  • Informed (is given notification of outcomes)

As a best practice, no more than one person should be responsible or accountable for any given process. The same person can be both responsible and accountable for a given process, or it could be two different people.

Avoid making someone accountable for a process if they do not have full visibility into the process for appropriate oversight, or do not have time to give the process sufficient attention.

The Enterprise Printing Roles and Responsibilities RACI Guide can be used to organize and manage these tasks.

This is a screenshot from the Enterprise Printing Roles and Responsibilities RACI Guide

Define metrics to measure success

Track your project success by developing and tracking success metrics

Ensure your metrics relate both to business value and customer satisfaction. "Reduction of print" is a business metric, not an experience metric.

Frame metrics around experience level agreements (XLAs) and experience level objectives (XLOs): What are the outcomes the customer wants to achieve and the benefits they want to achieve? Tie the net promoter score into the reporting from the IT service management system, since SLAs are still needed to tactically manage the achievement of the XLOs.

Use the Metrics Development Workbook from Info-Tech's Develop Meaningful Service Metrics to define:

  • Relevant stakeholders
  • Their goals and pain points
  • The success criteria that must be met to achieve these goals
  • The key indicators that must be measured to achieve these goals from an IT perspective
  • What the appropriate IT metrics are, based on all of the above

Metrics could include

  • User satisfaction
  • Print services net promoter model
  • Total printing costs
  • Printer availability (uptime)
  • Printer reliability (mean time between failures)
  • Total number of reported incidents
  • Mean time for vendor to respond and repair

Info-Tech Insight:

Good metrics and visible improvement are important to strengthen executive support for a long-term printer reduction strategy.

Step 1.2

Assess current state

Outcomes of this step

  • Aggregate view of your printer usage and costs

Strategy and Planning

This step involves the following participants:

  • IT director/CIO
  • Business operations manager
  • Project manager

Activities in this step

  • 1.2. Inventory your printer fleet: Office walk-around
  • 1.2 Inventory your printer fleet: Collect purchase receipts/statements/service records
  • 1.3 Calculate printing costs

Create an aggregate view of your printer usage and costs

Problem: Lack of visibility

  • Most organizations are unaware of the savings potential in reducing print due to a lack of data.
  • Additionally, organizations may have inappropriately sized devices for their workloads.
  • Often, nobody is responsible for managing the printers collectively, resulting in a lack of visibility into printing activity. Without this visibility, it is difficult to muster executive commitment and support for printer reduction efforts.
  • The first step to eliminating your printers is to inventory all the printers in the organization and look at an aggregate view of the costs. Without understanding the cost saving potential, management will likely continue to avoid printer changes due to the idea's unpopularity with end users.
  • Valid use cases for printers will likely still remain, but these use cases should be based on a requirements analysis.
This is a screenshot from the Printer Reduction Tool. It includes the Printer Inventory, and a table with the following column headings: Device Type; Specific Device; Networked; Manufacturer; Model; Serial #; Office Location; Device Owner; # users Supported; Monthly Duty; Page Count to; Device Age; Remaining Useful; # Pages printer/month; % Utilization

Create visibility through by following these steps:

  1. Office walk-around: Most organizations have no idea how many printers they have until they walk around the office and physically count them. This is especially true in cases where management is allowed to purchase personal printers and keep them at their desks. An office walk-around is often necessary to accurately capture all the printers in your inventory.
  2. Collect purchase receipts/statements/service records: Double-check your printer inventory by referring to purchase receipts, statements, and service records.
  3. Identify other sources of costs: Printer purchases only make up a small fraction of total printing costs. Operating costs typically account for 95% of total printer costs. Make sure to factor in paper, ink/toner, electricity, and maintenance costs.

1.2.1 Inventory your printer fleet: part 1

Office walk-around

  1. Methodically walk around the office and determine the following for each printer:
    • Device type
    • Make, model, serial number
    • Location
    • Number of users supported
    • Device owner
    • Type of users supported (department, employee position)
  2. Record printer details in Tab 1 of Info-Tech's Printer Reduction Tool. Collaborate with the accounting or purchasing department to determine the following for each printer recorded:
    • Purchase price/date
    • Monthly duty cycle
    • Estimated remaining useful life
    • Page count to date

Input

Output
  • Existing inventory lists
  • Visual observation
  • Inventory of office printers, including their printer details

Materials

Participants

  • Notepad
  • Pen
  • Printer Reduction Tool
  • IT director
  • IT staff

Download the Printer Reduction Tool

1.2.2 Inventory your printer fleet:
part 2

Collect purchase receipts/statements/service records

  1. Ask your purchasing manager for purchase receipts, statements, and service records relating to printing.
  2. For documents found, match the printer with your physical inventory. Add any printers found that were not captured in the physical inventory count. Record the following:
    1. Device type
    2. Make, model, serial number
    3. Location
    4. Number of users supported
    5. Device owner
    6. Type of users supported (department, employee position)
  3. 3. Collaborate with the accounting or purchasing department to determine the following for each printer recorded:
    1. Purchase price/date
    2. Monthly duty cycle
    3. Estimated remaining useful life
    4. Page count to date
  4. Enter the data in Tab 1 of the Printer Reduction Tool

Input

Output
  • Purchase receipts
  • Statements
  • Service records
  • Printer inventory cross-checked with paperwork

Materials

Participants

  • Printer inventory from previous activity
  • IT director
  • IT staff
  • Purchasing manager

Download the Printer Reduction Tool

1.2.3 Calculate your printing costs

Collect purchase receipts/statements/service records

  • Collect invoices, receipts, and service records to sum up the costs of paper, ink or toner, and maintenance for each machine. Estimate electricity costs.
  • Record your costs in Tab 2 of the Printer Reduction Tool.
  • Review the costs per page and per user to look for particularly expensive printers and understand the main drivers of the cost.
  • Review your average monthly cost and annual cost per user. Do these costs surprise you?

Input

Output
  • Invoices, receipts, service records for
  • Cost per page and user
  • Average monthly and annual cost

Materials

Participants

  • Printer Reduction Tool
  • IT director
  • IT staff

Step 1.3

Gather printing requirements

Outcomes of this step

  • Understanding of the organization's current printing behavior and habits
  • Identification of how industry context and digitization of business processes have impacted current and future requirements

This step involves the following participants:

  • IT director
  • IT staff
  • Rest of organization

Activities in this step

  • Examine current printing behavior and habits
  • Administer end-user survey
  • Identify current requirements
  • Identify future requirements

Requirements Gathering Overview

  1. Identify opportunities to go paperless
    • Determine where business process automation is occurring
    • Align with environmental and sustainability campaigns
  2. Identify current requirements
    • Review the types of document being printed and the corresponding features needed
    • Administer end-user survey to understand user needs and current printer performance
  3. Identify future requirements
    • Identify future requirements to avoid prematurely refreshing your printer fleet
  4. Examine industry-specific/ workflow printing
    • Some industries have specific printing requirements such as barcode printing accuracy. Examine your industry-specific printing requirements

Stop: Do not click "Print"

The most effective way to achieve durable printing cost reduction is simply to print less.

  • Consolidating devices and removing cost-inefficient individual printers is a good first step to yielding savings.
  • However, more sustainable success is achieved by working with the printer vendor(s) and the business on continuous innovation via proposals and initiatives that combine hardware, software, and services.
  • Sustained print reduction depends on separate but related business process automation and digital innovation initiatives.

Info-Tech Insight:

Achieve long-lasting reductions in print through document management and improved workflow processes.

Leverage Info-Tech research to support your business' digital transformation

This is an image of the title page from Info-Tech's Define your Digital Business Strategy blueprint.

Define how changes to enterprise printing fit into digital transformation plans

Identify opportunities to go paperless

The "paperless office" has been discussed since the 1970s. The IT director alone does not have authority to change business processes. Ensure the print reduction effort is tied to other strategies and initiatives around digital transformation. Working on analog pieces of paper is not digital and may be eroding digital transformation process.

Leverage Info-Tech's Assert IT's Relevance During Digital Transformations to remind others that modernization of the enterprise print environment belongs to the discussion around increasing digitized support capabilities.

1. Digital Marketing

2. Digital Channels

3. Digitized Support Capabilities

4. Digitally Enabled Products

5. Business Model Innovation

Manage Websites

E-Channel Operations

Workforce Management

Product Design

Innovation Lab Management

Brand Management

Product Inventory Management

Digital Workplace Management

Portfolio Product Administration

Data Sandbox Management

SEO

Interactive Help

Document Management

Product Performance Measurement

Innovation Compensation Management

Campaign Execution

Party Authentication

Eliminate business process friction caused by print

Analyze workflows for where they are still using paper. Ask probing questions about where paper still adds value and where the business process is a candidate for paperless digital transformation

  • Is this piece of paper only being used to transfer information from one application to another?
  • What kind of digitalization efforts have happened in the business as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Which workflows have digitized on their own?
  • Where has e-signature been adopted?
  • Is this use of paper non-negotiable (e.g. an ER triage that requires a small printer for forms; the need for bank tellers to provide receipts to customers)?
  • Do we have compliance obligations that require us to retain a paper process?
  • What is getting printed? Who is printing the most? Identify if there are recurring system-generated reports being printed daily/weekly/quarterly that are adding to the volume. Are reports going directly from staff mailboxes to a recycling bin?
  • Does our print financial model incentivize the transformation of business processes, or does it reinforce old habits?
  • What services, software, and solutions for document management and business process analysis does our managed print services vendor offer? Can we involve the vendor in the business transformation conversation by including an innovation clause in the next contract (re)negotiation to push the vendor to offer proposals for projects that reduce print?

Develop short-term and long-term print reduction strategies

Short-term strategies

  • Consolidate the number of printers you have.
  • Determine whether to outsource printing to a managed services provider and make the move.
  • Enable print roaming and IT verification.
  • Require user-queued print jobs to be authenticated at a printer to prevent print jobs that are lost or not picked up.
  • Set up user quotas.
  • Provide usage records to business managers so they can understand the true cost of printing.
  • User quotas may create initial pushback, but they lead users to ask themselves whether a particular print job is necessary.
  • Renegotiate print service contracts.
  • Revisit contracts and shop around to ensure pricing is competitive.
  • Leverage size and centralization by consolidating to a single vendor, and use the printing needs of the entire enterprise to decrease pricing and limit future contractual obligations.
  • Train users on self-support.
  • Train users to remedy paper jams and move paper in and out of paper trays.

Long-term strategies

  • Promote a paperless culture by convincing employees of its benefits (greater cost savings, better security, easier access, centralized repository, greener).
  • Educate users to use print area wisely.
  • Develop campaigns to promote black and white printing or a paperless culture.

Info-Tech Insight:

One-time consolidation initiatives leave money on the table. The extra savings results from changes in printing culture and end-user behavior.

Examine current printing behavior and habits

It's natural for printer usage and printing costs to vary based on office, department, and type of employee. Certain jobs simply require more printing than others.

However, the printing culture within your organization likely also varies based on

  • office
  • department
  • type of employee

Examine the printing behaviors of your employees based on these factors and determine whether their printing behavior aligns with the nature of their job.

Excessive printing costs attributed to departments or groups of employees that don't require much printing for their jobs could indicate poor printing culture and potentially more employee pushback.

Examine current printing behavior and habits, and identify candidates for elimination

  1. Go to Tab 3 of your Printer Reduction Tool ("Usage Dashboard Refresh"). Right-click each table and press "Refresh."
  2. Go to Tab 4 of your Printer Reduction Tool ("Usage Dashboard") to understand the following:
    1. Average printer utilization by department
    2. Pages printed per month by department
    3. Cost per user by department
  3. Take note of the outliers and expensive departments.
  4. Review printer inventory and printer use rates on Tab 5.
  5. Decide which printers are candidates for elimination and which require more research.
  6. If already working in a managed print services model, review the vendor's recommendations for printer elimination and consolidation.
  7. Mark printers that could be eliminated or consolidated.

Input

Output
  • Discussion
  • Understanding of expensive departments and other outliers

Materials

Participants

  • Printer Reduction Tool
  • IT director/ business operations
  • Business managers

Administer end-user survey

Understand end-user printing requirements and current printer performance through an end-user survey

  1. Customize Info-Tech's End-User Print Requirements Survey to help you understand your users' needs and the current performance of your printer fleet.
  2. Send the survey to all printer users in the organization.
  3. Collect the surveys and aggregate the requirements of users in each department.
  4. Record the survey results in the "Survey Results" tab.

Input

Output
  • End-user feedback
  • Identification of outliers and expensive departments

Materials

Participants

  • End-User Print Requirements Survey template
  • IT director
  • IT staff
  • Rest of organization

Download the End-User Print Requirements Survey

Info-Tech Insight:

Use an end-user printer satisfaction survey before and after any reduction efforts or vendor implementation, both as a requirement-gathering user input and to measure/manage the vendor.

Identify your current requirements

Collect all the surveys and aggregate user requirements. Input the requirements into your Printer Reduction Tool.

Discussion activity:

  • Review the requirements for each department and discuss:
  • What is this device being used for (e.g. internal documents, external documents, high-quality graphics/color)?
  • Based on its use case, what kinds of features are needed (e.g. color printing, scanning to email, stapling)?
  • Is this the right type of device for its purpose? Do we need this device, or can it be eliminated?
  • Based on its use case, what kinds of security features are needed (e.g. secure print release)?
  • Are there any compliance requirements that need to be satisfied (e.g. PCI, ITAR, HIPAA)?
  • Based on its use case, what's the criticality of uptime?
  • What is this device's place in the organization's workflow? What are its dependencies?
  • With which systems is the device compatible? Is it compatible with the newer operating system versions? If not, determine whether the device is a refresh candidate.

Input

Output
  • Survey results and department requirements
  • List of current requirements

Materials

Participants

  • N/A
  • IT director
  • IT staff

Identify your future requirements

Prepare your printer fleet for future needs to avoid premature printer refreshes.

Discussion activity:

  • Review the current requirements for each department's printers and discuss whether the requirements will meet the department's printing needs over the next 10 years.
  • What is this device going to be used for in the next 10 years?
  • Will use of this device be reduced by plans to increase workflow digitization?
  • Based on its use case, what kinds of features are needed?
  • Is this the right type of device for its purpose?
  • Based on its use case, what kinds of security features are needed?
  • Based on its use case, what is the criticality of uptime?
  • Is this device's place in the organization's workflow going to change? What are its dependencies?
  • Reassess your current requirements and make any changes necessary to accommodate for future requirements.

Input

Output
  • Discussion
  • List of future requirements

Materials

Participants

  • N/A
  • IT director
  • IT staff

Examine requirements specific to your industry and workflow

Some common examples of industries with specific printing requirements:

  • Healthcare
    • Ability to comply with HIPAA requirements
    • High availability and reliability with on-demand support and quick response times
    • Built-in accounting software for billing purposes
    • Barcode printing for hospital wristbands
    • Fax requirements
  • Manufacturing
    • Barcoding technology
    • Ability to meet regulations such as FDA requirements for the pharmaceutical industry
    • Ability to integrate with ERP systems
  • Education
    • Password protection for sensitive student information
    • Test grading solutions
    • Paper tests for accessibility needs

Phase 2

Vendor Selection, Evaluation, Acquisition

Strategy & planning

Vendor selection, evaluation, acquisition

Implementation & Operation

1.1 Create project charter and assign roles

1.2 Assess current state

1.3 Gather requirements

2.1 Understand managed print services model

2.2 Create RFP materials

2.3 Leverage print management software

3.1 Modify printer policies

3.2 Measure project success

3.3 Training & adoption

3.4 Plan communication

3.5 Prepare for continuous improvement

Re-Envision Enterprise Printing

  • This phase will walk you through the following activities:
  • Define managed print services RFP requirement questions
  • Create managed print services RFP and scoring tool
  • Score the RFP responses

This phase involves the following participants:

  • IT director/CIO
  • Business operations manager
  • Project manager

Change your financial model

The managed print services industry allows you to use a pay-as-you-go approach and right-size your print spend to the organization's needs.

Avoid being locked into a long lease where the organization pays a fixed monthly fee whether the printer runs or not.

Instead, treat enterprise printing as a service, like the soda pop machine in the break room, where the vendor is paid when the device is used. If the vending machine is broken, the vendor is not paid until the technician restores it to operability. Printers can work the same way.

By moving to a per click/page financial model, the vendor installs and supports the devices and is paid whenever a user prints. Though the organization pays more on a per-click/page basis compared to a lease, the vendor is incentivized to right-size the printer footprint to the organization, and the organization saves on monthly recurring lease costs and maintenance costs.

Right-size commitments: If the organization remains on a lease instead of pay-per-click model, it should right-size the commitment if printing drops below a certain volume. In the agreement, include a business downturn clause that allows the organization to right-size and protect itself in the event of negative growth.

Understand the managed print services model and its cost savings

Outsourcing print services can monitor and balance your printers and optimize your fleet for efficiency. Managed print services are most appropriate for:

  • Organizations engaging in high-volume, high-quality print jobs with growing levels of output.
  • Organizations with many customer-facing print jobs.

There are three main managed printing service models. Sometimes, an easy switch from a level pay model to a pay-per-click model can result in substantial savings:

Level Pay

  • Flat rate per month based on estimates.
  • Attempts to flatten IT's budgeting so printing costs are consistent every month or every year (for budgeting purposes). At the end of the year, the amount of supplies used is added up and compared with the initial estimates and adjusted accordingly.
  • The customer pays the same predictable fee each month every year, even if you don't meet the maximum print quantity for the pay. Increased upcharge for quantities exceeding maximum print quantity.

Base Plus Click

  • Fixed base payment (lease or rental) + pay-per-sheet for services.
  • In addition to the monthly recurring base cost, you pay for what you use. This contract may be executed with or without a minimum monthly page commitment. Page count through remote monitoring technologies is typically required.

Pay Per Click

  • Payment is solely based on printing usage.
  • Printing costs will likely be the lowest with this option, but also the most variable.
  • This option requires a minimum monthly page commitment and/or minimum term.

Info-Tech Insight:

Vendors typically do not like the pay-per-click option and will steer businesses away from it. However, this option holds the vendor accountable for the availability and reliability of your printers, and Info-Tech generally recommends this option.

Compare financials of each managed print services option

Your printing costs with a pay-per-click model are most reflective of your actual printer usage. Level pay tends to be more expensive, where you need to pay for overages but don't benefit from printing less than the maximum allocated.

See the below cost comparison example with level pay set at a maximum of 120,000 impressions per month. In the level pay model, the organization was paying for 120,000 sheets in the month it only used 60,000 impressions, whereas it would have been able to pay just for the 60,000 sheets in the pay-per-click model.

This image contains tables with the column headings: Impressions per month; Total Cost; Average Cost per Impression; for each of the following categories: Level Pay; Base Plus Click; Pay Per Click

Financial comparison case study

This organization compared estimated costs over a 36-month period for the base-plus-click and pay-per-page models for Toshiba E Studio 3515 AC Digital Color Systems.

Base-plus-click model

Monthly recurring cost

Avg. impressions per month

Monthly cost

Monthly cost

"Net pay per click"

Cost over 36-month period

A fixed lease cost each month, with an additional per click/page charge

$924.00

12,000 (B&W)

$0.02 (B&W)

$1,164.00 (B&W)

$0.097 (B&W)

$41,904 (B&W)

5,500 (Color)

$0.09 (Color)

$495.00 (Color)

$0.090 (Color)

$17,820 (Color)

Base-plus-click model

Monthly recurring cost

Avg. impressions per month

Monthly cost

Monthly cost

"Net pay per click"

Cost over 36-month period

No monthly lease cost, only per-image charges

0.00

12,000 (B&W)

$0.06 (B&W)

$720.00 (B&W)

$0.060 (B&W)

$25,920 (B&W)

5,500 (Color)

$0.12 (Color)

$660.00 (Color)

$0.120 (Color)

$23,760 (Color)

Results

Though the per-image cost for each image is lower in the base-plus-click model, the added monthly recurring costs for the lease means the "net pay per click" is higher.

Overall, the pay-per-page estimate saved $10,044 over a 36-month period for this device.

Bake continuing innovation into your requirements

Once you are in the operation phase, you will need to monitor and analyze trends in company printing in order to make recommendations for the future and to identify areas for possible savings and/or asset optimization.

Avoid a scenario where the vendor drops the printer in your environment and returns only for repairs. Engage the vendor in this continuous innovation work:

In the managed services agreement, include a proviso for continuous innovation where the vendor has a contractual obligation to continually look at the business process flow and bring yearly proposals to show innovation (e.g. cost reductions; opportunities to reduce print, which allows the vendor to propose document management services and record keeping services). Leverage vendors who are building up capabilities to transform business processes to help with the heavy lifting.

Establish a vision for the relationship that goes beyond devices and toner. The vendor can make a commitment to continuous management and constant improvement, instead of installing the devices and leaving. Ideally, this produces a mutually beneficial situation: The client asks the vendor to sell them ways to mature and innovate the business processes, while the vendor retains the business and potentially sells new services. In order to retain your business, the vendor must continue to learn and know about your business.

The metric of success for your organization is the simple reduction in printed copies overall. The vendor success metric would be proposals that may combine hardware, software, and services that provide cost-effective reductions in print through document management and workflow processes. The vendors should be keen to build this into the relationship since the services delivery has a higher margin for them.

Sample requirement wording:

"Continuing innovation: The contractor initiates at least one (1) project each year of the contract that shows leadership and innovation in solutions and services for print, document management, and electronic recordkeeping. Bidders must describe a sample project in their response, planning for an annual investment of approximately 50 consulting hours and $10,000 in hardware and/or software."

Reward the vendor for performance instead of "punishing" them for service failures

Problem: Printer downtime and poor service is causing friction with your managed service provider (MSP).

MSPs often offer clients credit requests (service credits) for their service failures, which are applied to the previous month's monthly recurring charge. They are applied to the last month's MRC (monthly reoccurring charges) at the end of term and then the vendor pays out the residual.

However, while common, service credits are not always perceived to be a strong incentive for the provider to continually focus on improvement of mean time to respond or mean time to repair.

Solution: Turn your vendor into a true partner by including an "earn back" condition in the contract.

  • Engage the vendor as a true partner within a relationship based upon service credits.
  • Suggest that the vendor include a minor change to the non-performance processes within the final agreement: the vendor implements an "earn back" condition in the agreement.
  • Where a bank of service credits exists because of non-performance, if the provider exceeds the SLA performance metrics for a number of consecutive months (two is common), then a given number of prior credits received by the client are returned to the provider as a reward for improved performance.
  • This can be a useful mechanism to drive improved performance.

Leverage enterprise print management software

Printers are commoditized and can come and go, but print management software enables the governance, compliance, savings and visibility necessary for the transformation

  • Printer management solutions range from tools bundled with ink-jet printers that track consumables' status, to software suites that track data for thousands of print devices.
  • Typically, these solutions arrive in enterprises as part of larger managed services printing engagements, bundled with hardware, financing, maintenance, and "services."
  • Bundling print management software means that customers very rarely seek to acquire printing management software alone.
  • Owing to the level of customization (billing, reporting, quotas, accounts, etc.) switching print management software solutions is also rare. The work you put into this software will remain with IT regardless of your hardware.
  • Durability of print management software is also influenced by the hardware- and technology-agnostic nature of the solutions (e.g. swapping one vendor's devices for another does not trigger anything more than a configuration change in print management software.)

Include enterprise print management requirements in the RFP

Ask respondents to describe their managed services capabilities and an optional on-premises, financed solution with these high-level capabilities.

Select the appropriate type of print management software

Vendor-provided solutions are adequate control for small organizations with simple print environments

  • Suitable for small organizations (<100 users).
  • Software included with print devices can pool print jobs, secure access, and centralize job administration.
  • Dealing with complex sales channels for third-party vendors is likely a waste of resources.

SMBs with greater print control needs can leverage mid-level solutions to manage behavior

  • Suitable for mid-size organizations (<500 users).
  • Mid-level software can track costs, generate reports, and centralize management.
  • Solutions start at $500 but require additional per-device costs.

Full control solutions will only attract large organizations with a mature print strategy

  • Full control solutions tend to be suitable for large organizations (>500 users) with complex print environments and advanced needs.
  • Full control software allows for absolute enforcement of printing policies and full control of printing.
  • Expect to spend thousands for a tailored solution that will save time and guide cost savings.

Enterprise print management software features

The feature set for these tools is long and comprehensive. The feature list below is not exhaustive, as specific tools may have additional product capabilities.

Print Management Software Features

Hardware-neutral support of all major printer types and operating systems (e.g. direct IP to any IPP-enabled printer along with typical endpoint devices) Tracking of all printing activity by user, client account, printer, and document metadata
Secure print on demand (Secure print controls: User Authenticated Print Release, Pull Printing) Granular print cost/charging, allowing costs to be assigned on a per-printer basis with advanced options to charge different amounts based on document type (e.g. color, grayscale or duplex), page size, user or group
Managed and secured mobile printing (iOS/Android), BYOD, and guest printing DaaS/VDI print support
Printer installation discovery/enablement, device inventory/management Auditing/reporting, print audit trail using document attributes to manage costs/savings, enforce security and compliance with regulations and policies
Monitoring print devices, print queues, provide notification of conditions Watermarking and/or timestamping to ensure integrity and confidentially/classification of printed documents some solutions support micro font adding print date, time, user id and other metadata values discreetly to a page preventing data leakage
Active Directory integration or synchronization with LDAP user accounts Per-user quotas or group account budgets
Ability to govern default print settings policies (B&W, double-sided, no color, etc.)

Get to the managed print services RFP quicker

Jumpstart your requirements process using these tools and exercises

Vendor Assessment Questions

Use Info-Tech's catalog of commonly used questions and requirements in successful acquisition processes for managed print services. Ask the right questions to secure an agreement that meets your needs. If you are already in a contract with managed print services, take the opportunity of contract renewal to improve the contract and service.

RFP Template and "Schedule 1" Attachment

Add your finalized assessment questions into this table, which you will attach to your RFP. The vendor answers questions in this "Schedule 1" attachment and returns it to you.

RFP Scoring Tool

Aggregate the RFP responses into this scoring tool to identify the frontrunners and candidates for elimination. Since the vendors are asked to respond in a standard format, it is easier to bring together all the responses to create a complete view of your options.

Define RFP requirement questions

Include the right requirements for your organization, and avoid leaving out important requirements that might have been overlooked.

  1. Download the Managed Print Services Vendor Assessment Questions tool. Use this document as a "shopping list" to jumpstart an initial draft of the RFP and, more importantly, scoring requirements.
  2. Review the questions in the context of your near- and long-term printer outsourcing needs. Consider your environment, your requirements, and goals. Include other viewpoints from the RACI chart from Phase 1.
  3. Place an 'X' in the first column to retain the question. Edit the wording of the question if required, based on your organizational needs.
  4. Use the second column to indicate which section of the RFP to include the question in.

Input

Output
  • Requirements from Phase 1.3
  • Completed list of requirement questions

Materials

Participants

  • Managed Print Services Vendor Assessment Questions tool
  • IT director/business operations
  • Other roles from the RACI chart completed in Phase 1

Download the Managed Print Services Vendor Assessment Questions tool

Create RFP scoring tool and RFP

  1. Enter the requirements questions into the scoring tool on Tabs 2 and 4.
  2. Tab 2: Create scoring column for each vendor. You will paste in their responses here.
  3. Edit Tabs 3 and 4 so they align with what you want the vendor to see. Copy and paste Tab 3 and Tab 4 into a new document, which will serve as a "Schedule 1" attachment to the RFP package the vendor receives.
  4. Complete the RFP template. Describe your current state and current printer hardware (documented in the earlier current-state assessment). Explain the rules of how to respond and how to fill out the Schedule 1 document. Instruct each vendor to fill in their responses to each question along with any notes, and to reply with a zip file that includes the completed RFP package along with any marketing material needed to support their response.
  5. Send a copy of the RFP and Schedule 1 to each vendor under consideration.

Input

Output
  • Completed list of requirement questions from previous activity
  • RFP Scoring tool
  • Completed RFP and schedule 1 attachment

Materials

Participants

  • Managed Print Services RFP Vendor Proposal Scoring Tool
  • Managed Print Services RFP
  • IT director/business operations

Download the Managed Print Services RFP Vendor Proposal Scoring Tool

Download the Managed Print Services RFP template

Score RFP responses

  1. When the responses are returned, copy and paste each vendor's results from Schedule 1 into Tab 2 of the main scoring tool.
  2. Evaluate each RFP response against the RFP criteria based on the scoring scale.
  3. Send the completed scoring tool to the CIO.
  4. Set up a meeting to discuss the scores and generate shortlist of vendors.
  5. Conduct further interviews with shortlisted vendors for due diligence, pricing, and negotiation discussions.
  6. Once a vendor is selected, review the SLAs and contract and develop a transition plan.

Input

Output
  • Completed Managed Print Services RFP Vendor Proposal Scoring Tool
  • Shortlist or final decision on vendor

Materials

Participants

  • N/A
  • IT director/business operations

Info-Tech Insight:

The responses from the low-scoring vendors still have value: these providers will likely provide ideas that you can then leverage with your frontrunner, even if their overall proposal did not score highly.

Phase 3

Implementation & Operation

Strategy & planning

Vendor selection, evaluation, acquisition

Implementation & Operation

1.1 Create project charter and assign roles

1.2 Assess current state

1.3 Gather requirements

2.1 Understand managed print services model

2.2 Create RFP materials

2.3 Leverage print management software

3.1 Modify printer policies

3.2 Measure project success

3.3 Training & adoption

3.4 Plan communication

3.5 Prepare for continuous improvement

Re-Envision Enterprise Printing

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Update your enterprise printer policies
  • Readminister end-user survey to measure project success

This phase involves the following participants:

  • IT director/CIO
  • Business operations manager
  • Project manager

Modify your printer policies

Review and modify Info-Tech's Printer Policy Template to support your print reduction goals

Consider that your goal is to achieve printer reduction. Discuss with your team how strict it needs to be to truly reset behavior with printers. Many organizations struggle with policy enforcement. Firm language in the policy may be required to achieve this goal. For example,

  • IT only supports the printers acquired through the managed print service. Personal desktop printers are not supported by IT. Expense statements will not be accepted for non-supported printers.
  • Create a procurement policy where all device requests need justification and approval by department managers and IT. Have a debate over what the extreme exceptions would be. Legitimate exceptions must go through a review and approval process.
  • Restrict color printing to external or customer-facing use cases.
  • Encourage digital or electronic solutions in lieu of hard copies (e.g. e-signatures and approval workflows; scanning; use of integrated enterprise applications like SharePoint).
This is a screenshot of the Printer Policy Page Template

Download the Printer Policy template

Readminister the end-user survey

You have already run this survey during the requirements-gathering phase. Run it again to measure success.

The survey was run once prior to the changes being implemented to establish a baseline of user satisfaction and to gain insights into additional requirements.

Several months after the initial rollout (90 days is typical to let the dust settle), resurvey the end users and publish or report to the administration success metrics (the current costs vs. the actual costs prior to the change).

User satisfaction survey can be used to manage the vendor, especially if the users are less happy after the vendor touched their environment. Use this feedback to hold the provider to account for improvement.

Input

Output
  • Previous survey results
  • Changes to baseline satisfaction metrics

Materials

Participants

  • End-user survey from Phase 1
  • IT director
  • IT staff
  • Rest of organization

Measure project success

Revisit the pre-project metrics and goals and compare with your current metrics

  • Identify printers to consolidate or eliminate.
  • Update asset management system (enter software and hardware serial numbers or identification tags into configuration management system).
  • Reallocate/install printers across the organization.
  • Develop ongoing printer usage and cost reports for each department.
  • Review the end-user survey and compare against baseline.
  • Operate, validate, and distribute usage metrics/chargeback to stakeholders.
  • Audit and report on environmental performance and sustainability performance to internal and external bodies, as required.
  • Write and manage knowledgebase articles.
  • Monitor and analyze trends in company printing in order to make recommendations for the future and to identify areas for possible savings and/or asset optimization.

Metrics could include

  • User satisfaction
  • Print services net promoter model
  • Total printing costs
  • Printer availability (uptime)
  • Printer reliability (mean time between failures)
  • Total number of reported incidents
  • Mean time for vendor to respond and repair

Support training and adoption

Train users on self-support

Prepare troubleshooting guides and step-by-step visual aid posters for the print areas that guide users to print, release, and find their print jobs and fix common incidents on their own. These may include:

  • The name of this printer location and the names of the others on that floor.
  • How to enter a PIN to release a print job.
  • How to fix a paper jam.
  • How to empty the paper tray.
  • How to log a service ticket if all other steps are exhausted.

Educate users to use print area wisely

  • Inform users what to do if other print jobs appear to be left behind in the printer area.
  • Display guidelines on printer location alternatives in case of a long line.
  • Display suggestions on maximum recommended time to spend on a job in the event other users are waiting.

Develop campaign to promote paperless culture

Ensure business leadership and end users remain committed to thinking before they print.

  • Help your users avoid backsliding by soliciting feedback on the new printer areas.
  • Ensure timely escalation of service tickets to the vendor.
  • Support efforts by the business to seek out business process modernization opportunities whenever possible.

Plan persuasive communication strategies

Identify cost-saving opportunities and minimize complaints through persuasive communication

Solicit the input of end users through surveys and review comments.

Common complaints Response

Consider the input of end users when making elimination and consolidation decisions and communicate IT's justification for each end user's argument to keep their desktop printers.

"I don't trust network storage. I want physical copies." Explain the security and benefits of content management systems.
"I use my desktop a lot. I need it." Explain the cost benefits of printing on cheaper network MFPs, especially if they print in large quantities.
"I don't use it a lot, so it's not costly." It's a waste of money to maintain and power underused devices.
"I need security and confidentiality." MFPs have biometric and password-release functions, which add an increased layer of security.
"I need to be able to print from home." Print drivers and networked home printers can be insecure devices and attack vectors.
"I don't have time to wait." Print jobs in queue can be released when users are at the device.
"I don't want to walk that far." Tell the end user how many feet the device will be within (e.g. 50 feet). It is not usually very far.

Implement a continual improvement plan to achieve long-term enterprise print goals

Implement a continual improvement plan for enterprise printing:

  • Develop a vendor management plan:
    • In order to govern SLAs and manage the vendor, ensure that you can track printer-related tickets even if the device is now supported by managed print services.
    • Ensure that printer service tickets sent from the device to the vendor are also reconciled in your ITSM tool. Require the MSP to e-bond the ticket created within their own device and ticketing system back to you so you can track it in your own ITSM tool.
    • Every two months, validate service credits that can be returned to the vendor for exceeding SLA performance metrics.
    • Monitor the impact of their digital transformation strategies. Develop a cadence to review the vendor's suggestions for innovation opportunities.
  • Operate, validate, and distribute usage and experience metrics/chargeback to stakeholders.
  • Monitor and analyze trends in company printing.
This is a graph which demonstrates the process of continual improvement through Standardization. It depicts a graph with Time as the X axis, and Quality Management as the Y axis. A grey circle with the words: ACT; PLAN; CHECK; DO, moving from the lower left part of the graph to the upper right, showing that standardization improves Quality Management.

Summary of Accomplishment

Problem Solved

You have now re-envisioned your enterprise print environment by documenting your current printer inventory and current cost and usage. You also have hard inventory and usage data benchmarks that you can use to measure the success of future initiatives around digitalization, going paperless, and reducing print cost.

You have also developed a plan to go to market and become a consumer of managed print services, rather than a provider yourself. You have established a reusable RFP and requirements framework to engage a managed print services vendor who will work with you to support your continuous improvement plans.

Return to the deliverables and advice in this blueprint to reinforce the organization's message to end users on when, where, and how to print. Ideally, this project has helped you go beyond a printer refresh – but rather served as a means to change the printing culture at your organization.

If you would like additional support, have our analysts guide you through other phases as part of an Info-Tech workshop.

Contact your account representative for more information

workshops@infotech.com
1-888-670-8889

Bibliography

Fernandes, Louella. "Quocirca Managed Services Print Market, 2021." Quocirca, 25 Mar. 2021. Accessed 12 Oct. 2021.

McInnes, Angela. "No More Photocopies, No More Ink: Thames Valley Schools Run Out of Toner." CBC, 21 Oct. 2021. Web.

"Paper and Paperboard: Material-Specific Data." EPA, 15 Dec. 2020. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

State of Washington, House of Representatives. "State Agencies – Paper Conservation and Recycling." 61st Legislature, Substitute House Bill 2287, Passed 20 April 2009.

Sugihara, Azusa. "Pandemic Shreds Office Paper Demand as Global Telework Unfolds." Nikkei Asia, 18 July 2020. Accessed 29 Sept. 2021.

"Paper Reduction." University of Washington, n.d. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

"What is MPS?" University of Washington, n.d. Accessed 16 Mar. 2022.

Research contributors

Jarrod Brumm
Senior Digital Transformation Consultant

Jacques Lirette
President, Ditech Testing

3 anonymous contributors

Info-Tech Research Group Experts

Allison Kinnaird, Research Director & Research Lead
Frank Trovato, Research Director

Don’t settle for printer consolidation; seek the elimination of print.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

MEMBER RATING

8.0/10
Overall Impact

$9,000
Average $ Saved

2
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 6 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Strategy and planning.
  • Call 1: Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges.
  • Call 2: Review your printer inventory. Understand your current printing costs and usage.

Guided Implementation 2: Vendor selection, evaluation, and acquisition.
  • Call 1: Review requirements. Weigh the benefits of managed print services.
  • Call 2: Review completed scoring tool and RFP.
  • Call 3: Review vendor responses to RFP.

Guided Implementation 3: Implementation and operation.
  • Call 1: Measure project success.

Authors

Darin Stahl

Emily Sugerman

Contributors

  • Jarrod Brumm, Sr. Digital Transformation Consultant
  • Jacques Lirette, President, Ditech Testing
  • 3 anonymous contributors
  • 187 survey participants
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