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Ten ways to reduce the impact of paper on your business (Emanuele Gnani/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Ten ways to reduce the impact of paper on your business (Emanuele Gnani/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The Top Tens

Ten ways to reduce the impact of paper on your business Add to ...

In a typical large enterprise, employees print, copy, fax and scan whether in the office, at home, or on the road. Then there’s bulk and professional printing carried out by external commercial printers. Add to the mix increasing complexity: the machines in use have become complex networked devices, part of the IT infrastructure -- whether they’re formally managed by the IT department or not. As a result, most organizations aren’t managing this complex environment effectively across the enterprise.

Here`s a list of 10 ways to reduce the impact of paper on the environment, productivity and your company`s bottom line:

1. Communication. The more people know, the more they can adjust their own behaviour. Send your users factoids about reducing print, the benefits of cutting down fewer trees and reducing energy consumption.

2. Scan, scan, scan. Why reprint a document to share when you can scan it via email to your colleague at no cost?

3. Consolidate print related supply chain. Decentralization of your supply chain can uncover hidden costs – it’s surprising how quickly they can add up.

4. Charge back all print-related costs to the owning departments or users. When there are cost centres involved, people have skin in the game. Track and charge back to departments based on usage. People may think twice about printing a presentation they can review online.

5. Look beyond buying technology. Investigate a Managed Print Services strategy. Having a robust managed print services strategy can yield significant additional cost savings beyond technology savings alone. Look for an industry leader with experience in your market segment.

6. Partner/supplier accountability. Choose a market leader who has a strong reputation and tool set. After all, it’s not a one-time event but rather a journey together. Ensure you have the proper technology, solution and services support to execute, measure and manage your solution.

7. Develop a plan to measure your print related output and costs. You will need to consider factors such as technology, service costs, consumables, help desk, energy consumption and labour expenses to develop a true cost of your print operation.

8. Design for your needs and your bottom line. It’s all about balance. You have your financial metrics. The business needs to operate. Keep the needs of your users in mind when designing a print environment that is more cost effective. Ensure key stakeholders are involved in the design principles. It promotes more buy in up front and less headaches down the road.

9. What you measure, you can target to improve. Set realistic goals and measure them on a regular basis to track progress. Industry benchmarks in combination with your current costs measurement are helpful tools to create your baseline.

10. Change should transform not disrupt your environment.

As the saying goes, “it’s an evolution, not a revolution.” A thoughtful change management program with strong communication and a realistic implementation plan will ensure your success.

Jim Muzyka is the senior vice president and general manager of Xerox Services (XS) for Xerox Canada, responsible for a portfolio of leading managed print services (MPS), communication and marketing services (CMS) and specialized business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions. Jim is a regular contributor to the Bridge to Digital, a blog dedicated to helping companies re-imagine and re-engineer the way work gets done.

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