Oce Business Services Guides Businesses on How to Improve Cost Effectiveness of Fleet Management in an Economic Downturn

NEW YORK, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The downturn in global finance and trade is projected to challenge enterprises well into 2009. Companies are looking for cost-effective strategies to meet these challenges and be ready to benefit from an eventual upturn. According to industry analysts, outsourcing represents one such strategy, particularly in the document process management arena. Oce Business Services is recommending document management strategies - whether managed internally or outsourced - that can help reduce spending and increase efficiency during a downturn.

One strategy, optimizing the printer, copier and fax fleet, can provide significant cost savings. Industry research indicates that companies spend between two and three percent of their annual revenues on document-related issues. According to Gartner, by better managing their office printing and copying, these companies can reduce their document output spending and copying by up to 30 percent ("Q&A for Overcoming Obstacles in Managing Office Printing," Ken Weilerstein, March 2008). That means a two billion dollar company spending an estimated $60 million a year in document output can potentially realize up to $18 million in savings.

Oce offers the following fleet management strategies that can help organizations drive down costs while increasing efficiency.

Standardize Models

An organization can waste money by deploying more printers than it actually needs, compounded by too many makes and models, which can run into the hundreds, each with its own drivers, cartridges, contracts, and supplies. Significant savings can be achieved by standardizing machines to a few models. A company can still benefit from this strategy even if, in order to standardize, it has to pay to have existing contracts amended. Either way, the company will spend - to support machines it's not using or to initiate new contracts. At least after re-negotiating and standardizing, the company could have a new fleet that offers the latest technology, is better aligned with its business needs, and even returns a net savings over time.

Reduce Desktop Printers

Given the current economic climate, now is a good time to make the business case for reducing the use of personal printers and moving document output to workgroup MFPs (multifunction peripherals that combine print/copy/scan/fax capability into one machine that is shared by employees). Although inexpensive to purchase, desktop printers can have double or triple the supply costs of workgroup MFPs. Many companies are in a position to initiate this strategy relatively quickly by changing their policy of supporting desktop printers and helping employees migrate to the existing, shared MFP environment. The main challenge is one of modifying employee behavior. Companies can meet this challenge by clearly communicating the business reasons for the new policy and making it as easy as possible for employees to transition to the MFPs.

Condense Print Volume

Another way to lower costs is to reduce the volume of printed pages by leveraging special features of MFP technology. One of these features is user authentication. As many as one in 10 documents that are sent to the printer are not collected or printed again before collection to correct user errors. Companies can reduce ad hoc print costs by up to 10 percent by implementing a user authentication system. With this system, documents are not automatically printed but sent to a password protected mailbox. This feature can reduce printed pages because employees often don't need to print every document they send to the MFP. (For example, a document was updated so the employee only needs to print out the updated version, not the previous one.) Additionally, most business documents don't need to be printed only on one page and in color. A company can decrease paper use by up to 50 percent by making duplex printing (printing on both sides of the page) the default setting. Since color prints can cost three to five times more than black and white, companies can save by also defaulting to black and white printing.

Review Contracts

Many companies have "evergreen" (automatically renewable) contracts for document output devices that they have forgotten about and may no longer need. A fleet inventory can help remedy this situation. The inventory can be implemented internally, if the company has the expertise and tools, or by a document process management services provider. This basically entails using a USB key with a special program to take a "snapshot" of all devices on the network. Once a list of all of the devices is compiled, the company can review the contracts for each machine and determine those with evergreen contracts that are being utilized effectively and those that aren't. Contracts for machines in the latter category can be allowed to expire, thus saving money on the lease as well as services and supplies.

About Oce Business Services

Oce Business Services is a leading international provider of document process outsourcing services and technology to businesses and the public sector. We improve and manage non-core yet critical document processes to enable organizations to reduce costs, increase efficiency, mitigate risk and improve operational performance. Our solutions span the document lifecycle, from creation through disposal, including business records, eDiscovery, imaging, print and mail management. Proprietary service delivery methodologies apply Six Sigma(R) to improve results. To learn more, visit http://www.obs-innovation.com.

About Oce

Oce is a leading international provider of digital document management technology and services. Oce employs around 24,000 people, with 2007 revenues of approximately $4.6 billion, and operates in more than 90 countries. For more information about Oce, visit http://www.oceusa.com. Outside the U.S. consult http://www.oce.com.

Web site: http://www.obs-innovation.com/

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