Thought Leadership: Is printing necessary?
Most companies are strategically focused on digitisation. But what does this really mean? It is not only about digital documents and avoiding printing, but also about finding more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business.
Here are some stats from a study by Laser Resource to get you thinking:
• The average worker prints 34 pages a day; 17% go unused
• 9 out of 10 companies have no idea what they spend on printing usually
• Full-time employees can spend, on average, 20+ minutes looking for a document
• Printing can cost up to 3% of annual revenue (and can also be the third highest expense after payroll and rent
• 65% of documents get thrown away or recycled on the same day they are printed
• 3 out of 4 surveyed respondents experienced serious business risk and/or compliance issues as a direct result of broken document processes
• 23% of help desk calls are print-related and take up 15% of a consultant’s time
In assessing client environments and understanding why people print, the typical responses often include:
• I need a signature on the page
• My business process requires a paper trail
• It is easier to read the document when it is printed
• I may be required to provide proof of document
All these factors have driven us to print out of habit, and not necessarily because the business requires it. Buying an expensive digitisation system is not always the best answer either. Yes, these do drastically improve efficiency, but there is low hanging fruit which can assist in reducing reliance on printing:
• Software applications – using various tools, data analytics drive change in print behaviour
• Automated workflow – business processes are enhanced to drive efficiencies
• Digital signatures – for internal/client facing processes (numerous applications available)
• Dual screens – view on one screen and capture on the next (reduces print and improves efficiency)
• Recycled paper
Technology will curb our reliance on print, no question. The challenge is finding the balance between people, process and technology. Get this right, and you will have a competitive advantage within your space.
By Wayne Fyvie
Sales & Marketing Director
Business Essentials is Africa’s premium networking and business directory.