Learn how about the benefits of managed print services (MPS) and how you can enable change and to reduce paper-based workflow bottlenecks.

The primary concern of today’s facilities managers, according to the Building Operating Management’s annual FM Pulse survey, is an ever-increasing workload that they somehow have to get through  with fewer resources. In fact the 2014 study says that 30 percent of the respondents felt the shortage of resources to be their main issue.

Angela Maas asks in her article about the study: “So how can facility managers most efficiently do what needs to be done in the face of shrinking budgets and staff?” She concludes that there is no “single answer to that question, but conversations with facility managers who have grappled with that challenge reveal plenty of opportunities to do more with less”.

However, this requires some assessment of what ‘more’ means in this context, and whether it is operationally possible to achieve what’s needed with fewer resources.

Removing bottlenecks

Tough economic times have added to the pressure, but with every crisis a number of opportunities come along. Residual paper-based workflows, for example, can increase both workload and paper consumption. Workflows that have not yet been digitised can cause process bottlenecks in departments such as accounts payable and accounts receivable, and within activities such as expenses and contract management.

Replication of paper documents and manual data re-entry creates scope for error. Additionally, paper-based processes often lead to lost or misplaced paper documents and when this happens the documents have be recreated from scratch. Time and money is therefore lost in what is essentially an inefficient process.

Residual paper-based workflows are commonly found within the following departments and activities:

  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • Expenses and contract management
  • Post and archiving.

These paper-based workflows and bottlenecks make it hard to keep up with the pace of change in technology. And fragmented work practices – including Bring Your Own Device and shadow IT – can exacerbate these problems. The pace of the working data will not relent any time soon, and facilities managers need to adapt quickly in order to simplify and automate residual paper-based processes by embracing the benefits of managed print services, which will allow them to maintain a competitive pace while reducing complexity.

How to do more with less

Managed print services (MPS) deliver benefits that provide an answer to Angel Maas’s question:

  • MPS providers and internal sponsors can together offer ways of automating traditional paper-based processes in order to free up staff to focus on core business functions.
  • Residual paper-based workflows can be replaced by digital alternatives, and MPS providers can help put together  a clear business case for change, so the organisation isn’t cutting costs for the sake of it.
  • MPS providers provide a value-added approach with a clear understanding of an organisation’s business issues, goals and objectives to which they align the solution in order to allow their client to enjoy the benefits of managed print services.
  • MPS providers can help organisations carry out a detailed assessment of their current processes and bottlenecks, and as a result of this audit, produce the evidence required to enable internally-sponsored change to take place.
  • MPS providers can help to uncover inefficient paper-based processes, opening up the opportunity to digitise or simply reduce the need for printing.

Takeaways:

  • Collaborating with a managed print services provider reduces complexity and dependence on paper-based processes.
  • There are digital alternatives to paper-based workflows, and with the support of change enablers such as your MPS and internal sponsors, processes can become simpler and faster.
  • MPS offers the ability to analyse user data with detailed metrics that highlight user practices and indicate where support may be needed.
  • A value-added approach from the outset will deliver more benefit than short-term cost-cutting.
  • MPS providers bring with them lessons that have be learnt from working with other organisations, helping identify and address an organisation’s pain points.

This blog post was originally published by Xenith Document Systems, a leading provider of innovative document services and solutions. If you liked it, you might be interested in downloading their free e-guide: A best practice guide to procuring value-led Managed Print Services.

About the Author
Justin Milligan, MD of Xenith Document Systems, is a founding UK member of Xerox’s MPS Partner Council and a UK preferred Subject Matter Expert on MPS in the channel.

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