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Friday, August 22, 2008

Three Months of Managed Print Studies - A Summary

Aug, 2008 -

Interesting observations and conclusions.

My weeks have been filled with lots of “windshield time” traveling from client to client surveying output fleets and provide business analysis. 

To date, these examinations encompass over 1800 machines and thousands of users.

Without getting into details here are some interesting points derived from looking at ALL the studies as one-

The Numbers:

  • The number of printers to copiers has been 8.2:1. In only one case, the ratio was 3.8:1.
  • In a fleet of nearly 1,000 machines, the average monthly volume is 4,809 images/month/machine.
  • Average Cost Per Copy, using equipment cost only, is 0.021919 for copiers
  • Average Cost Per Copy, when combining copiers with printers is 0.0409
The Purchase or Lease:

  • Most lease terms are 60 months with a sub-majority of leases having “strange” terms; 44 months, 42 months, etc.
  • Lease details are unknown. It is difficult to obtain original leases and often, multiple lease agreements with unique termination dates exist.
  • Although my numbers do not reflect laser printers, as a normal business practice, the laser printer fleet has been purchased and the copiers leased.
Organizational Impact – The copiers are either “invisible” or perceived as a negative influence

  • In nearly every organization, the output devices, to the end user, have become “transparent”. They perform effortlessly and without failure.
  • Common through all organizations is the interest level regarding change – positive interest. Indeed, when interviewed, most users are quite happy with their existing system, yet they express positive feedback when presented with the option of getting new equipment. This is expected; people like “new stuff”. But when delving deeper, the expected level of satisfaction relating to the copier is not high. The “bar” is set low. As an example, end users become familiar with “Broken Again” sign taped to the ADF. Or employees accept the fact that one of their peers is proudly known as the “copier guy” – the one who can always fix jams, avoiding placing a service call with the copier company.
Examples can go on and on – the underlying theme is - People don’t expect much from the copier; they do expect to have jams, the do expect to have challenges with copiers, with printing, with losing output, with having the unit down for days at a time.

Equipment Miss-Match, lease end, invoicing and meter reads
  • There is no surprise that once actual volumes are compared to the recommended volume bands of each machine, clients’ experience shock, awe and then general frustration at having paid for capacity they never utilized.
  • Add to this the ultimate frustration of trying to terminate a lease, even at lease end, and the complete experience is a nightmare.
  • Invoicing, incorrect meter reads, service call management all contribute to a disdain for clients’ current position – all this beyond the costs.
Please note, that these are my personal observations on a small pool of studies. My opinions are based on my interpretation of the data and interviews.

Also, HP studies revealed years ago what I am finding today – for every copier, there are 8 printing devices and average monthly output per device is less than 10,000 images.

No surprises for me, plenty for the client – and now we get to see how responsive to change some will be – stay tuned.

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  1. Greg, marvelous... I must say these figures are even more stark than I had estimated... They are on target with many gut feelings, but this is quantitative proof of what everyone is saying. Albeit a small study, it is an interesting sample.

  2. Yes...just a sample.

    I figure this time next year, I should have a very good look at what is going on...


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