Print rooms are expensive, they often distract from a company’s core business activities, and they often don’t meet the needs and expectations of the employees who are supposed to benefit from them. While print still fills an important but selective role in business communications, print rooms – dedicated space, equipment and sometimes staff for the purpose of producing printed documents in a business – are being recognized by top performing companies less as an efficient, convenient and local benefit, and more as a needless, and often expensive burden. Typically, it’s when the mix of service, equipment and costs aren’t aligned with overall business goals. We’ll cover three of the reasons why.
- Cost analysis
When top companies review the hard and soft costs of maintaining onsite print centers, the financials rarely support keeping it “as is.” Most print centers in the past were built to offer fast access to print, but over time, copier / printer manufacturers added more labor and hardware under the guise of “added value,” but in reality, just added line items to their invoices. Combined with large capital leases and fixed overhead costs, print centers have often ballooned into a significant annual expense just to get some copies made…it’s insane. Cost conscious organizations are scaling down print centers to “urgent services only” and outsourcing remaining work to a professional print shop nearby. Other companies have shut down their print centers entirely, taking the stance that, if it’s truly urgent, employees can use convenience copiers in the office or send a file to the local professional printer. Either one of these solutions yield huge savings.
- Focus on core business
Top companies want clients and investors to know they are dedicated to their core business and their financial results. By converting or eliminating inefficient internal print centers they immediately remove the burdens of managing print center equipment, service contracts, lease contracts, employee management, and more. Moving non-urgent onsite print work to a professional print shop frees up resources for their core business and significantly reduces a traditional cost of doing business that often runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for large enterprises.
- Quality and employee satisfaction
It’s mind-blowing to consider how printer manufacturers convinced companies that they should have a professional print centers inside their business to save money, when what they really wanted to do was sell more equipment, supplies and service for copiers that break down! Ensuring that employees have adequate print capacity, print quality, and convenience are rarely reasons why architects, energy companies, health care providers and others go into business, and the best of them know it. Top companies evaluate how to hit employee expectations for printed documents – often by outsourcing to experts and eliminating print rooms – and spend the rest of their time on their core business. Once basic needs are met, outsourcing printing almost always frees up cash and resources and delivers higher quality services to employees.
To put this in context, consider a company that has two 5-person print centers, with one on each coast to support their needs. By reducing the employee count to one person in each center to ensure coverage during business hours, eliminating hardware leases and service costs by 80%, and building a dedicated relationship with a professional print shop with locations across the country to handle the rest, it can push as much as $850,000 of cash to the bottom line, eliminates distractions and refocuses resources on the core business, and often improves employee satisfaction by engaging experts who can bridge gaps and attend to special needs.
As you might imagine, this example is just one we can point to that’s based in reality and began with a simple but comprehensive analysis of current conditions and costs.
Watch this short video showing the cons of in-house print rooms:
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