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Printed pages are increasingly driven by the Internet and email. Research from the Gartner Group (The Hidden Gold Mine , Gartner Research Note, DF-13-2054 by J. Lundy, 19 March 2001) , indicates that by this year (2003), 87 percent of all copiers and printers will be digital. By 2004, 70% of all information will be digital. The impacts of the information explosion will have an enormous financial impact on organizations of all sizes. (outdated info, we are now in 2004)

Do you know your company’s print volume and document cost? Chances are you don’t.

According to the Gartner Group, it could be as much as 15% of your company’s annual revenue. Output equipment fleets (copiers, printers, fax machines and scanners) are one of the most overlooked and under-managed assets in many enterprises.

Purchasing a photocopier is something that is usually done only every four or five years. Over that time, technology advances mean that the range of machines you are familiar with may have been superseded. As a consequence, it can be a challenging time for the non-expert to select the "right" copier for their organization.

Unfortunately, there is no simple formula to determine the optimum time when a photocopier should be changed over for a newer machine. However, as a rough guide, it is recommended that a machine should be kept for approximately four years and no longer than five years. This does not preclude machines being kept in service for longer periods - in some respects it can depend on the amount of service (copies) it has done, its reliability, present operating cost and its suitability to meet current needs.

There are a number of factors that ought to be reviewed when you consider changing over your photocopier. The main ones are:

Cost considerations

Review the total operationing cost of your photocopier. This not only includes the day-to-day copy charge costs but also the rental or capital component of keeping a copier in service. The following issues need to be considered:

  • What is the current operating cost of the machine?
  • Would it be cheaper to keep the current one in service or invest in a newer machine?
  • Is there any incumbent charge associated with your present machine? (ie. outstanding rental or commitment to the end of term, payout figure if you terminate a contract early?).
  • If the changeover of a copier resulted in a higher operational cost would the additional features, generally inherent in a newer model, be worth the extra expense?
  • Would changing over to a digital machine, with the added flexibility to connect this to a network, result in the lowering of secondary overhead costs by improving productivity? (ie. reduced labour costs or economies gained by the redirection of prints to a copier).

Age and Reliability Issues

As machines get older they inherently get less reliable. Therefore, even if the machine is presently working reliably, it may be worth planning now for a future changeover. Questions to be addressed are:

  • What is the age of the current machine - if approaching five years will the copy charge cost increase? (Traditional analogue copiers are generally supported by guarantee for up to five years after which the copy charge or servicing cost is inflated. Consequently, it may be more economical to change to a new machine at the end of the guarantee period. Further, as copiers are electro-mechanical machines their reliability can drop-off after the first 4 to 5 years.)
  • Is it starting to become unreliable with increasing number of paper jams, breakdowns and need for constant calls by a service technician?
  • How many copies has it done? Obviously, the greater the copy volume, the more the parts are likely to have worn.

Convergix can help you assess the actual situation, evaluate your needs, identify your requirements, sort out what is available on the market, go for tenders, and choose the optimal solution at the best value for the money. Thus:

We will help your organization bring internal teams together to:

  • develop a short and long-term strategy to dramatically reduce
  • document printing costs
  • rightsize your equipment fleet
  • analyze your true costs via a “cost-per-page” model
  • improve work flow and efficiency
  • manage your assets to your best productivity and cost advantage.

We are on-hand today to evaluate your current print environment by organization or workgroup:

  • determine what printers are in place today
  • locate your printers
  • determine printer volume for each printer
  • calculate total cost of ownership including the cost of the asset, the service contract, supplies, labor costs, and other soft costs
  • evaluate your print application requirements and end user needs
  • evaluate current work flow patterns.

From this assessment, we will chart a strategy with you to improve your print infrastructure:

  • consolidate your output fleet to eliminate redundancy and reduce equipment real estate
  • rightsize your current output fleet including trade-up, trade-down, salvage and redeployment
  • integrate new technologies such as multifunction printers
  • improve workflow efficiency
  • calculate actual costs and deliver a “cost-per-page” analysis
  • develop a cost-effective procurement strategy
  • manage devices against product lifecycle model
  • provide print device management through a standard Web browser
  • provide end user and print network management training

 

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