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The myth of the ‘zero printing’ gives way to smarter printing

Von Chan, Director & General Manager, Business Imaging Solutions (BIS) and Business Solutions Division, Canon Singapore Pte Ltd | June 17, 2014
Predictions were made from as early as 1975 that enterprises would enter an age of what was known as the “Paperless Office”. Contrary to the early predictions, a study by Smithers Pira projected that the global demand for print will grow at an average of 2% per annum from now to 2018.

The Myth of Zero Printing

Predictions were made from as early as 1975 that enterprises would enter an age of what was known as the "Paperless Office". Contrary to the early predictions, a study by Smithers Pira projected that the global demand for print will grow at an average of 2% per annum from now to 2018[1]. Interestingly, at Canon itself, the total print volume for all its customers has grown at an average of 5-10% year on year.

This bears testament to the crucial role print continues to plays in the modern enterprise, specifically how it remains an effective medium for communication. Print is known to have high impact absorption by the target audience, and has the benefit of attention retention. Industries that rely heavily on 'print to communicate' commonly include legal, finance, real estate, and even travel consultancy firms.

Potential pitfalls with self-managing print

While print is empowering, enterprises are often unaware of unnecessary effort and costs incurred, which could otherwise be avoided. Numerous avenues for wastage exist, and hence enterprises need to take proactive steps to firstly, improve on the quality of communication from creation to resulting print, and secondly, explore ways to create a healthier print environment that's centred on customer priorities. 

Engaging specialists to get the job done

On-demand printing can be a challenge when a large number of quality prints are required in a short turnaround time. Apart from attaining strategic advice, consultation, and the necessary equipment, some enterprises opt for a complete outsourcing of the responsibility to ensure a shorter run time from design to final print, without a compromise on quality. These organisations channel their bulk printing and specialised printing to the print room, where the high volume machines can do a better job at a lower cost per print, and are equipped with various finishing options such as sophisticated binding options and covers.

Creating a smarter print environment

The overarching objective in creating a smarter print environment is to reduce the total print volume. The methodology is the establishment of the baseline of print volume and habits in the present day, and to implement change to continuously improve the situation. There are three key areas in solutions to consider in pursuing this goal: 

  • Priority services - Proactive services where through a combination of monitoring systems and trained technicians, uptime of the entire print fleet and the services response time are kept optimum. 
  • Print Management Solution - Software, information and data analytics systems are an integral part of maximizing convenience and security to the user, whilst simultaneously minimizing wastage. For example, software systems can introduce accountability into the print environment and enhances security to protect the enterprise. 
  • Continuous optimisation and right sizing - Through the proactive monitoring and management of the organisation's print fleet, service providers can make the necessary recommendations to optimize and right size the print fleet as their print requirements change during the contracted period. 

 

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