Information is your most valuable business asset. Documents are imprinted with data. From print to digital, they flow across every level of your organisation.
Information is passed to staff. It is passed to customers. The tide of documents continues to ever rise; how they reach their desired destination ever-evolving.
Like a carefully constructed line of dominos flicked over by a curious kid, the knock-on effect is this: businesses are spending too much time and resources managing their documents.
Angele Boyd, industry analyst at IDC, calculates that on average:
- Companies part ways with 1 million managing documents for every 10 million in revenue
- Around 40-60% of all IT help desk enquiries are print-related
Hair-raising, we know. Thankfully, this needn’t be the case. There is a range of simple tricks your business can implement to give your documents less ebb and more flow.
And, like the Masked Magician unveiling how he made the elephant in the room disappear, we’re going to tell you how to conjure up document control. Check out these 7 tips to document management.
1. Automate document-intensive workflows
Each process in your business is underpinned by the flow of content, data and paper. Awareness of document workflows is at an all-time high. Yet uncertainty persists regarding managing the plethora of documents that need processing.
Dependency on paper-intensive, manual workflows creates pitfalls.
Repetitive tasks such as filing invoices, processing claims and slotting files into the right folders should therefore be automated. Knowledge of these manual workflows means you can automate them as pre-set digital workflows using your multifunction printers.
The road to automation is simple:
- Set up an App on your MFP
- Use this App to re-route documents to the folders and repositories your users need
The end result? You’ve just transformed manual processes into a quick, one-step job.
2. Put your head in the clouds
Like the Bryan Adams’ song Cloud Number Nine, the time has come to reach for the skies. Now, we don’t literally mean putting your head in the clouds when it comes to document workflows. Quite the opposite. It’s about awakening your business to the time and cost-saving benefits of secure, cloud repositories.
Right now, where do you store large graphics? Heavy files? When you share these files, do you do so via email or systems such as Dropbox? This is all very well and good. But in today’s brave new world of technology, should it really take users 15 steps to share, download then print a big file? The answer, of course, is a resounding ‘NO”.
With a cloud repository system built around your business’s daily needs and processes, users can:
Access and print large files without going through the rigmarole of downloading, emailing or passing a thumb drive around
Getting there is simple. All you have to do is set up your multi-function printers to directly scan and print documents to and from Apps such as Dropbox. This reduces your process step count, freeing up valuable email server space.
3. Become a troubleshooting sniper
The office multifunction printer: you can’t live with it, you can’t live without it. When it refuses to work – as so often it does – staff frustrations boil to the surface. The temperature in the office rises; a closed-window policy to ensure staff don’t throw the device through it, not helping.
The IT team traipses backwards and forwards trying to fix the problem. With remote troubleshooting this needn’t be the case. Today’s multi-function printers are smart. In fact, they are Einstein smart. Why? Because the remote admin interface enables you to pick off the problems remotely.
4. Proactive print supply care package
Over the lifespan of your printer, supplies such as toner and paper typically cost 2-4 times more than your hardware. This is down to a few factors. It’s likely that multiple people are buying toner cartridges for different printer models. And, when they do so, they engage different suppliers. Cupboards overflow with excess supplies, valuable space also taken up.
The solution is a simple one. Taking a proactive approach to the supply procurement process triggers reduction in spend, storage, time and waste. Simply configure your printers to automatically send an email alert to a specific person when they are running low on toner. This rationalises the buying process.
5. The colour of money
So here’s something you already know: colour printing is way more expensive than printing in black and white. Of course, some output needs to be in colour. Even so, does that mean all your materials should roll off the printer looking like a Disney technicolor movie? Nope.
As with chocolate, it’s all about moderation. Introduce user-controls and permissions to your multi-function printers. You could, for instance, limit colour printing to:
- Specific members of your team
- Document types
- Times of day
6. Flip the coin: double-sided printing
Just as a coin has two sides, so does a piece of paper. Switching to double-sided printing is therefore an easy way to make big cost and consumption savings. Unlike rocket science, this one is simple mathematics: double-sided printing means you’ll cut usage by 50%.
7. Push and pull printing
Valuable information flows across all rungs of your organisation. Keeping it safe is therefore essential. Even so, figures suggest that 90% of businesses have incurred security breaches due to unsecured printing. In many cases, this was because sensitive documents had been left for prying eyes to see in a printer tray.
Security concerns aside, this is also wasteful. Pull printing (or print-on-demand) brings next level control to multifunction printers. It ensures the device only releases the document when the individual who sent the job to print is there to validate it with a PIN code or card swipe.
Where do we go from here?
These 7 simple tips will get your documents riding the workflow tide with the precision of an Olympic surfer. RDT can help you crank up even bigger improvements and cost savings of up to 50% a year with a free print and document MOT.
And, whilst you’re at it, download your free guide to printer fleet optimisation for more business insights and tips.