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Friday, July 31, 2015

Why You Need a Print Policy

...with Print Policy design and execution...
There's a movement, on the provider, not the customer side, pushing the relevancy of print metrics to your business analytics.  For instance, some are twisting print volumes and the number of devices into relevant, actionable information.  As if knowing how many color prints were duplexed between Monday and Thursday, in July of 2013, has any impact on EBITDA.

In an even more ludicrous folly, experts in the industry are aligning usage figures with business intelligence (BI).  

Wait, what?

For providers of managed print services, knowing the turbulent usage patterns will help manage the decrease in print.

But end-users don't care all that much and CIOs care even less. 

I put forth this idea: before entertaining the idea of 'business intelligence' based on print history, consider a Print Policy.

Every organization looking to optimize or manage the costs associated with creating, moving, and presenting information in the form of a document, should first invest in developing a strategic Print Policy.

The Policy should:
  1. Document all internal processes associated with the support of information in the form of documents
  2. Put in place  practices that support the organization's mission
  3. Carry the approval of Executive/C-Level leadership
  4. Be a 'living document'
Developing an internal Print Policy is daunting requiring input and support from multiple layers and departments.  Seeking assistance from outside the organization is a good idea. Yet trusting a firm that sells devices intent on printing, seems counter-intuitive.

I recommend working with your IT firm.  If your IT partner is a big-box, commodity-based entity or lacks basic expertise in the print and copy niche, feel free to reach out to me and I will try to connect you with a good match.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Designing a Print Policy Supporting the Organization’s Goals and Mission Statement. Step One: Who are you?


The definition of a Print Policy

“A Print Policy is the documented outline of procedures, illustrating the organization’s current output-related decision-making processes. This policy is endorsed at the highest level of executive management, contains milestones, and supports the organization’s business goals.”

Step One
A majority of organizations do not put in place a formal Print Policy. The process is complicated but the payoff is worth the effort. The first step with most projects of significance is the most important. So what should you do when starting a Print Policy project?

Every journey begins with a step. In designing a print policy, the first step is understanding who you are, what you do, and why you do it. “Knew” thy self.

Why does your organization exist?
This is not a trivial step. Building a program that supports the goals of the organization, adds to the relevancy of the project in a universal manner. This is important. As end users begin to hear about change, they will ask, “Why?”. Once your project goals match the organization’s, presenting the ‘why’ is easier and understood by all.

For example, if your mission includes, “…improve the health of the community….” crafting a message to explain how your print program improves the “…health of the community…” is clarifying.

All you need is a few people around the table, a clean whiteboard, and the company’s mission statement. That’s all. Started by asking, “How is this print project going to help us show we are contributing to the health of the community?”

Don’t overthink. Give it 40 minutes and settle upon a project value proposition statement. The statement is your talisman, a touchstone in the project. As the project progresses and questions arise, reflect back to the statement for guidance.

This exercise results in a most important deliverable — in a word relevance.

Your IT project is not thought of as a top-down, IT-driven set of corporate rules. But rather a goal the entire organization can aspire to achieve, with the help of IT.

Today’s turbulent business conditions present an opportunity for IT.

The right set of circumstances exists for IT to contribute to the health of the company and establish relevance with a concise and relevant Print Policy.

It all starts with "Who Are You..."

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Claytronics, Programmable Matter - Forget 3D printing.

Re-post, 7/20/2012.

3D printing has absolutely nothing to do with printing - it has everything to do with manufacturing.

But 3D Printing is just the tip of the spear. Much like the first connected vending machine, back in 1999, 3D printing will be remembered as a triviality, less than the Stanley Steamer - forgotten.

Why? 3D printing uses "reductive" or "additive" modeling which is useful, but not all that sophisticated. Once a model is "carved out" or "glued together", it remains just that, a model. More complex models can be assembled in this manner; shoes, jewelry, gears, and machinery. Not bad...but there's more.

If one could combine nano-technology, with autonomous computers - let's call them 'Catoms' - and let's say there are millions of these tiny little 'bots each physically connected and universally tasked to move and act in unison - now that would be something.

Well, strap in all you shape-changing wanna be's, the future of everything is upon us, again.

It's not print, it's not printing. It's closer, once again, to the HoloDeck and Replicator of Trek.

A couch that can turn into a chair...

A tablet that can becomes a PC...

A semi-truck that can transform into a ...

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Greg Walters, Incorporated