Even before the coronavirus pandemic caused widespread disruption through supply chains across the globe, manufacturers were targeting cost control as a prime way to increase competitiveness. Controlling costs can help reduce expenses in any of three areas — materials, labor, and overhead. For manufacturers, repairs to office equipment are considered selling, general, and administrative expenses (SG&A) under current accounting guidelines, and printer supplies and purchases can be included in overhead.
It is not surprising that legacy infrastructure and software can cost more money than state-of-the-art examples, but the cost benefits of a leading-edge print infrastructure can run much deeper. In fact, many companies look to securing their print infrastructure to not only increase performance and productivity, but also to provide a more secure environment. For manufacturers that might be considered about breaches of proprietary data, this is a critical point.
However, before you reconfigure your print environment, it is essential to understand how your current infrastructure is functioning, identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and put a plan in place for a cost-effective changeout.
The Power of Print Assessments for Cost Control
You could simply task your admin or IT staff with an overhaul of your print environment. Or you could leverage the power of IT experts trained in assessing various print scenarios to provide an environment that will fine-tune performance and control costs. Print assessments are essential for cost control. Without first assessing your print needs and challenges appropriately, you may actually overspend on equipment or services you don’t need.
What Manufacturers Need from Their Print Environments
Manufacturing businesses have specific print needs that might be more costly than a typical business. In manufacturing, sharing information is critically important and can affect all aspects of operations. For example, some manufacturers require high-resolution color prints for quality control and assurance processes or high volumes of operation manuals, documentation, invoices, and bills of lading. Any — or all — of these processes can be streamlined to reduce waste and reduce costs. For those documents that contain sensitive or proprietary information, a print environment that offers access control and pull printing would be important.
How Print Assessments Can Target Costs
A robust print assessment is crucial to cost control. During an assessment, a print expert will determine the current state of your print infrastructure, including ages, models, and types of print devices. Then, your print needs will be assessed in relation to this infrastructure. For example, if you have a wide-format printer that is only used for 1% of your output, you may be paying more for maintenance and supply of a device that you don’t really need. However, if you have a need for high-volume black-and-white output and you only have a desktop printer, you may be hindering performance and increasing the cost of labor. In this case, investing in a production-level machine may actually save you money in the long run.
Additionally, a print assessment can pinpoint security vulnerabilities and implement changes that can protect data better and offer a higher level of compliance. Processes for print control such as pull printing — where prints are not released from the device until the authorized user is at the machine — can help reduce the possibility of lost or stolen data as well as waste. Setting up your print environment with inherent cost-cutting tools such as automated duplexing or draft mode can significantly reduce costs associated with supplies such as paper, ink, and toner. Finally, managing your print environment to include routine maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair by knowledgeable technicians for a single monthly fee can reduce the incidence of “surprise” costs and keep machine downtime to a minimum.
Call Blue Technologies for an Expert Assessment Today
Print costs are an often-overlooked part of manufacturing expenses. And if you don’t have an expert in print management on your in-house IT staff, you may be missing out on significant savings.
At Blue Technologies, we have a team of print management professionals that can expertly analyze your current infrastructure. After studying your specific needs, goals, and challenges, our team can design a high-functioning print environment using leading-edge technologies that will improve your output while minimizing expenses — often with a cost improvement of 20% to 40%.
Don’t miss out on a simple, effective way to cut costs. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant and get a print assessment scheduled today.