Controlling Costs - Overview
As the volume of information flowing through the enterprise increases approximately 50% a year1, there’s no doubt controlling the costs of managing business critical documents is an increasingly formidable challenge.
Yet one of the findings in a recent IDC survey of C-level and IT management showed that many of these executives assumed that their existing document management costs and consequences were insignificant. They didn't realize how much money their organizations were actually spending beyond the highly visible costs of paper, toner, and hardcopy-device hardware.2
Fragmented cost ownership and the distribution and management of various components in the document life cycle across different departments obscured the huge costs, which could be as much as 11% in manufacturing to 15% in healthcare as a percentage of revenue, according to previous IDC research.3
The total management costs over the full lifecycle of business critical documents can be considered in two categories: those that are directly measurable, ‘hard costs’ (e.g. hardware, consumables), and inefficiencies that are less visible and are only measured indirectly (e.g. wasted time spent looking for information).
Though difficult to quantify, it is clear the cost associated with iWorkers’ inefficient access to business information at the right time, in the right form, is far more significant than hardware and consumables.
In addition to cost savings, other business benefits would result from streamlining inefficient business critical document processes.
Companies deploying Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed Document Services (MDS) are leveraging service providers’ knowledge of processes, experienced staff, and investment in leading-edge technology to achieve impressive results:
- 48% to 55% savings in reduced ink and toner consumption, fewer repairs, and reduction in hardware costs4
- 18% to 27% savings through using less paper, reducing IT headcount, streamlining document workflows, and external print procurement5
- 7% to 14% savings from fewer help desk calls, improved paper document storage, and reduced environmental impact6
The savings achieved in directly measureable hard costs, combined with the efficiencies from streamlining document workflows are the kinds of results today’s C-level executives want to show their stakeholders. Companies deploying MPS are experiencing average savings of 25%, and even more in some industries.7 In a broad, cross industry survey of European companies (458 respondents), they estimated that optimizing their existing processes could add 5% in profitability to their bottom line.8
Using services like Ricoh MDS, organizations can better control costs throughout the document lifecycle, avoiding more capital-intensive investments, and evolving static infrastructure to more responsive solutions. Controlled costs through more efficient processes can free resources and time to devote to increasing competitiveness and revenue generating initiatives.
1 IDC, The Digital Universe Decade - Are You Ready? - May 2010, Sponsored by ECM.
2 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling Today's - and Tomorrow's - Information Costs, January 2011.
3 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling Today's - and Tomorrow's - Information Costs, January 2011.
4 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling Today's - and Tomorrow's - Information Costs, January 2011.
5 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling Today's - and Tomorrow's - Information Costs, January 2011.
6 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling Today's - and Tomorrow's - Information Costs, January 2011.
7 IDC Whitepaper sponsored by Ricoh, Managed Print and Document Services for Controlling Today's - and Tomorrow's - Information Costs, January 2011.
8 Ricoh Process Efficiency Index, June 2011, conducted by Coleman Parkes Research
Controlling Costs - Business Outcomes
You’ve had some success in controlling your consumables costs (e.g., paper consumption) in specific locations—but you’d like to extend this control to other locations, and additional document-related costs across the enterprise.
The ability to maximize cost savings across the enterprise begins with a deep understanding of the capabilities, limitations and true costs of your current business critical document processes.
Ricoh MDS Output Analysis Service focuses on visible and hidden costs of your document production environment, your current print performance and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Ricoh MDS Process Analysis looks at your current document intensive processes and all the resources they require, highlighting bottlenecks, waste, production flow, resource usage and other identified areas for cost reduction.
Cost control can also help the environment. Ricoh MDS Environmental Impact Analysis helps uncover the environmental impact and associated costs of your current document-based processes: power consumption, paper consumption and CO2 emissions.
These services provide accurate baselines for designing ways to optimize these processes so they better align with your strategic objectives, and drive measurable and sustained cost savings:
- Ricoh MDS Environmental Sustainability Design for reduced cost and less impact on the environment
- Ricoh MDS Output Solution Design for strategic integration of technology, process, tools and people to improve efficiency and reduce cost in your output environment
- Ricoh Process Solution Design for re-engineering document processes in order to improve organizational efficiency and/or reduce operating expense
You recognize the additional costs of maintaining redundant silos of information throughout the organization—and this creates costly inefficiencies as iWorkers struggle to find information across them. How do you transform these processes to cut out cost and enhance productivity?
To better control costs, you need to re-engineer business critical document processes to better align leadership goals and end-user behaviors. A roadmap for transformation is essential for success.
Ricoh MDS Document Process Optimization service targets specific document processes for re-engineering and/or automating to drive down costs. This includes a roadmap for streamlining processes end-to-end (from input to throughput to output) such as:
- On-demand fulfillment processes for customer communications such as account information, product status, updates and alerts, and general customer communications
- Production and fulfillment of technical documents, usually between business units or corporate enterprises
- Regulatory Compliance document processes designed to help ensure compliance with regulatory requirements
- Financial document processes for the accurate and complete capture, reporting and archiving of financial information, e.g. invoicing, accounts payable, financial statements, and payment of customers and suppliers.
More Efficient IT Staff
Your IT staff spends a disproportionate amount of time responding to print-related questions and incidents and managing the administrative aspects of print operations.
You want your IT staff focused on revenue driving initiatives and enabling the organization to be more competitive. Off loading print-related support and administration allows IT and Help Desk resources to focus on their core competencies. Not only do you better control your IT and Help Desk costs, you enhance end-user satisfaction.
Ricoh MDS Service Desk Integration minimizes the amount of time required by your IT Staff to support your printer fleet infrastructure. Ricoh MDS can serve as a central contact point for the entire printer fleet and handle more efficiently your printer related help desk calls.
Ricoh MDS Multi-Vendor Management reduces your vendor management effort and cost. The service simplifies reporting, escalation activities and Service Level Management through a single point of contact. You can leverage greater spending as you contract with fewer vendors to manage document processes, while better ensuring the level of service.
Ricoh MDS Asset Management reduces cycle time and administrative costs associated with updating, searching for and tracking the location, ownership and leases/depreciations of technology assets.
Meeting the Goal of Continuous Improvement
A key corporate goal for your organization is continuous improvement — but how do you demonstrate improved cost control over time in business critical document processes?
Having a window into the performance of all aspects of business critical document processes is fundamental to continuous improvement, including on-going cost control.
By providing accurate, timely and more complete data, Ricoh MDS Management Information Reporting can help you make sound, defensible business decisions. These reports can be departmental or global, and aligned with local operating company metrics. Management Information Reporting not only gives you full visibility into all the elements of your MDS program, you’ll have proactive data analysis that can also drive Ricoh MDS Optimization Consultancy service.
Ricoh MDS Optimization Consultancy can assess the progress of your cost control initiatives against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) typically identified in the Process Analysis or Process Solution Design stages, and the results can be used to better communicate cost savings to stakeholders.
Finally, Ricoh Consumables Management minimizes device interruptions for increased productivity and cost savings through proactive management of your consumables needs for output devices.
Controlling Costs - Best Practices
Ricoh MDS helps you better control costs throughout the document lifecycle for consistent, long-term savings. Controlled costs through more efficient processes can free resources and time to devote to increasing competitiveness and revenue generating initiatives.
Ricoh is a global leader in Managed Print Services (MPS) and Managed Document Services (MDS). The knowledge and best practices we accumulate in thousands of engagements worldwide become powerful assets in our Ricoh MDS portfolio. Application of this knowledge and these best practices is the engine that drives our continuous improvement efforts.
Here are some of the best practices that focus on controlling costs in business critical document processes:
- Measure Costs against Key Performance Indicators(KPIs)
- Fleet Cost Control
- Minimize Power Costs
- Reduce Consumables Costs
- Redirect Printing to Most Cost Efficient Device
- Cost Effective Asset Management
- Automate Manual Processes
- Shorten Process Cycle Time
- Ensure Employees Adapt to More Cost Effective Processes
Click below for detailed explanations of these best practices:
Measure Costs against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
For each of your current business critical document processes, track both visible and hidden costs and record KPIs. This will help you identify the costs that most need to be controlled and ensure that new cost control measures maintain the performance of your operations.
Fleet Cost Control
Assess usage patterns and optimize device placement — minimize redundant or under-utilized copiers/faxes/printers. Deploy more cost-effective multi-function devices that copy, fax, print and scan wherever possible and limit deployment of single-function devices. Consider Re-manufactured Devices: 90% of the post-consumer material found in the device is retained for the remanufacturing process.
Minimize Power Costs
Power consumption is an important area for cost control. Deploy systems that exceed "Energy Star" and other industry ratings — leverage Quick Startup technology and energy-saving or power-saving modes to increase efficiencies and reduce costs.
Reduce Consumables Costs
High-speed duplex printing, toner saving modes, ‘print selected text’, and even default font selection can have a surprising impact on your paper and toner cartridges. Turn on paper-saving features in hardware/software (i.e., duplex, combined printing, lock printing, scanning, etc.). Leverage Ricoh’s Green Mode technology. Encourage electronic sharing of documents wherever possible and document previewing to prevent un-necessary reprints.
Redirect Printing to Most Cost Efficient Device
Rules-based printing automatically redirects print jobs to the most suitable output device to optimize energy consumption, ensure use of resource-saving features and control access to color output.
Cost Effective Asset Management
Employ consistent and auditable processes that reduce cycle time and administrative costs associated with updating, searching for and tracking the location, ownership and leases/depreciations of technology assets.
Automate Manual Processes
Leverage technology to automate manual processes to reduce the costs of iWorker information inefficiencies. Implement document conversion and electronic document workflows to reduce the costs of hardcopy management throughout the organization. Use scan-to-email technology to distribute documents electronically, and securely store scanned documents on the most cost-effective medium for short or long term use.
Shorten Process Cycle Time
Re-engineer or automate processes to create an efficient and flexible workflow designed to eliminate excess paper and provide for a quicker and easier way to review, route and approve requests.
Ensure Employees Adapt to More Cost Effective Processes
Employee behavior is the single most important factor in realizing cost savings. A formalized training and education program will familiarize your employees with new cost-effective procedures and technologies. A systematic change management program, will help the execution of a business process transformation.
Controlling Costs - How We Solve This
The Ricoh MDS Services Delivery Portfolio offers all the services required to design, construct, maintain, and optimize a highly efficient information infrastructure that is aligned with your need to reduce and control your costs. Examples of Ricoh MDS service offerings are:
- Environmental Impact Analysis and Sustainability Design
- Output & Process Analysis and Solutions Design
- Document Process Optimization
- Management Information Reporting
- Multi-vendor Management
- Asset Management
- Service Desk Integration
- Consumables Management
- Optimization Consulting
The above are among the service offerings that can have the greatest impact on controlling costs, however virtually all services in Ricoh's Services Delivery Portfolio directly impact or support your cost containment initiatives. While every Ricoh Managed Document Services Engagement is unique and tailored to your environment, you can see examples of Ricoh MDS services that address Controlling Costs.