As employees come out of furlough, and we start to make plans for adapting to a post-Covid landscape, what are going to be the key issues in the world of print management and what opportunities might they bring?
A recent article in Computer Weekly made some worrying reading. It stated that over 75% of print industry executives expect the crisis to cause significant ongoing market disruption. Print volumes are already severely down due to most offices being shut, with 70% of print industry respondents reporting a significant decline in print volumes among their customers
However, nearly 80% of print industry executives see the crisis as an opportunity to innovate and introduce new products and services. In addition, the pandemic may spell the end of open-plan offices, which could lead to a shift to more distributed print environments away from centralised print deployments. This could create new requirements from businesses to rationalise their print infrastructure. And as digital transformation efforts are ramped-up, there are pockets of opportunity for those suppliers that can pivot to new cloud and digital workflow service offerings.
It’s clear then that the way we do business is changing. Forever. This means that IT and software-enabled processes make good business sense as we come out of Covid-19, as agile businesses will need to manage costs and adjust to the new normal to survive and thrive.
One area that we’ve been working in, along with our partner Intuitive, is providing dashboards for print management. These dashboards give an immediate visual representation of data that is generated by print management software such as PaperCut MF and YSoft SafeQ. The dashboards are designed to help answer key questions and manage print costs whilst educating users about the environmental impact of their printing.
In the current climate the dashboards can help to identify areas for cost savings quickly. For example, showing the most under-utilised devices to allow for rationalization of the print estate. They also quickly show where there is an over-use of expensive printing in simplex and colour to focus on where print management policies need a review to make cost management more effective.
Post-Covid, it is expected that more employees will remain working from home, even after the pandemic. This will necessitate businesses looking at their process automation to ensure that reliance on paper / printing in the process is removed. No more walking down to a different department with a printed-out document! As organisations look to streamline their processes and implement more automation, print management dashboards can identify blockages in these processes. If there is a high volume of printing or scanning it can indicate a process which isn’t currently fully automated, and where there is scope to implement a new automated process.
In the print channel, the Intuitive Print Management dashboards offer opportunities for some quick successes. The Intuitive dashboards for Print Management can help to add revenue and profit to your deals. They are a simple add-on to the Print Management software that you’re already selling (eg. PaperCut MF or SafeQ). In addition, they can initiate discussions around areas for process automation such as accounts payable.
Perhaps now is the time to get skilled up on the print management dashboards to help you meet your post-Covid sales targets?
Todd is Channel Sales Engagement Manager at ProcessFlows, part of Konica Minolta UK. He is passionate about helping UK&I Print & IT Channel diversify their solutions portfolio in areas such as print management, dashboards, process automation and document management.