It’s all good to manage print costs and have a strategy for going digital, however can you answer the question of why your people still print and what are they printing? We have found that understanding this can actually uncover areas of inefficiencies within your business.
Typically, businesses identify areas of inefficiencies by means of manual processes or escalations within a department or from clients, due to tasks being missed or not attended to. This is a top-down approach where the business would then identify the inefficient process and reach out to consultancies or technology firms to assist with the automation or digitization of this process.
In our experience, we’ve found that the evolving world of managed print service (MPS), provides rich data for greater insights to user behaviour within a business.
This is rather a bottom-up approach to digitization – and here is why it works:
1. Paper Usually Indicates Inefficiencies or Business Risk – Understand the Why
Identification of high volume / paper intensive areas could expose a high inefficiency in a particular department within the business, which typically poses a business risk. Understanding why this department prints the volumes they do, why they print it in the first place, and what it enables them to do provides amazing insights to the business for optimization, automation and digitization, eventually moving to a paperless environment.
We have seen this scenario over and over – the business implements a new workflow technology that is extremely expensive, only to find that the implementation doesn’t work, it’s not adopted by users and the inefficiencies still remain. If the business spent time within the department to properly document the process, including the key stakeholders involved, applications used, reason for paper importance, etc. the implementation would’ve been rolled out much smoother and the users would’ve adopted it more willingly. Which brings us to the next important point…2. Change Management, Change Management, Change Management and then Technology
When new technology is introduced to a business, user adoption is of utmost importance. If the users don’t buy into the product, software or application being introduced, user adoption becomes a massive hurdle.
Our findings indicate that most of the time, if the users were involved with the mapping of the processes, identification of the inefficiencies and part of the solution brainstorming, user adoption becomes a lot easier, which makes the change management efforts a lot less cumbersome.
It’s also important to review technologies that are currently in use, as the solution to the inefficiency might lie within your control. We all know it – users don’t always work in the smartest ways! Therefore, assess these key elements, to match the appropriate solution:
- Key processes within the department or area
- Key steps within these processes
- Key stakeholders involved in each step
- Key applications that these stakeholders use in each step
- Paper use that becomes an input or output for the steps started or completed
From here, the solution might lie in digital signature software, SharePoint developments or even something as simple as a PDF merger!
Results from our assessments show that high volume areas within a business are typically Finance, HR and Training. Considering that the Finance team ensures that the money comes in and the important people are paid, it is key that they run as efficiently as possible. Jeanne Wild writes in Accounting Web, that companies who use an AR management software, recognize benefits such as as:
- 20 % reduction in Days Sales Outstanding
- 25 % reduction in past-due receivables
- 15 - 25 % reduction in bad-debt reserves
- ROI in as little as two months
This is an example of a beneficial technology to be deployed, however it’s absolutely key to understand the process, deliverables, current statistics and stakeholders involved to measure how successful this will be in terms of the ROI available.
Time – If we had the time to spend on these discovery projects, we’d all be flying by now! Business Process Optimisation is such an important task in any business, but we don’t have the time to spend on investigating and implementing it. If you are not able to allocate this responsibility to people within the business, we would strongly recommend that you reach out to partners that would be able to assist in this process.
We have therefore made Process Decompositions part of our MPS offering as we strongly believe that this is critical to any business that is serious about reducing print or evolving to digital processes. We therefore do the discovery and the solution matching on your behalf as to provide you with all the relevant info, business and applicable ROI’s, allowing you to make an informed decision!