Managed print services to grow in 2011

22 Dec 2010

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Firms keen to better manage cash flow are beginning to realise the value of managed print services, says MJ Flood’s James Kavanagh.

As much as 4pc of any business’ annual turnover could be lost due to excessive costs associated with printing, says James Kavanagh, branch manager of MJ Flood’s printing group.

Thanks to advances in networking and cloud computing, businesses can now hand over the management of printers, photocopiers, scanners and other printing equipment to specialised players like MJ Flood who can manage their systems – and their costs – remotely.

Evolutions in technology can mean that managed print service providers can be alerted to a problem, even a paper jam, before the end user is even aware there has been a problem in the first place.

I ask Kavanagh why would a business consider outsourcing its print needs. “For various reasons, but when you consider that businesses are looking for strategies in these tough economic times to increase productivity but reduce costs, managed print solutions delivers those aspects in alliance with those strategies.

“Cost savings are a prudent way of obviously keeping a business afloat and possibly reducing the need to reduce headcount, boosting productivity in turn. This is all achieved through technology and the latest technology we have can certainly increase productivity and cut down on print costs.”

Few businesses are aware they need to embark on a managed print strategy. But that changes, says Kavanagh, when firms realise how many different manufacturers’ machines are being used, sheer wastage that is occurring in the workplace and how many different suppliers are being employed.

“It is straight forward, any of these devices are networked, for example, print devices such as printers and scanners , internet fax facilities and so on can be utilised as part of a managed print strategy.

“One of the big advantages of our particular managed print solution is no capital expenditure required of firms to acquire these devices; in actual fact we look to consolidate print fleets and fax fleets and scanners.

“A typical example would be an office that might have a printer, scan station, fax, multiple printers or copiers. Would it be more realistic to consolidate those units into one networked, multifunction device that provides you with all that functionality? You cut down on having multiple vendors, supplies, third-part service providers.

“We provide a backbone monitoring system for our fleet. When you consider that out of most help desk calls, 50pc are attributed to printers in any organisation.

“It would be very prudent to look at a managed print solution where the problems are outsourced effectively. We would actively monitor the print fleet, with software, the units alert us to any difficulties they may have and send information back to us and any requests for consumables, as well.

“We are proactive in that approach. That takes away from the difficulties an IT department may have in addressing problems like printers.”

I ask Kavanagh are Irish firms awake to the opportunities of managed print services. “They certainly are and if not they should be. Between 1pc and 3pc of a company’s revenue is consumed by print management, it would be very prudent to consider this strategy.”

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com