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Your Printer Has Something to Tell You

Your printers, scanners and copiers have a lot to contribute to your digital transformation initiatives – if you can get the right insights from them. These five steps should help.

Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about the printers, scanners and copiers that share our office space. And why would we? Often, they just feel like part of the furniture. 

But don’t underestimate the potential of your print environment when it comes to digital transformation. Your devices have come a long way in the past few years, and they’re now capable of contributing to every part of your business, including:

  • Security

  • Customer experience

  • Digital workplace

  • Innovation

  • Productivity

  • Sustainability

  • Compliance

So how do you get your devices involved in your digital transformation? It’s simple: by gathering data from them about the way they’re used, and turning that data into insights that show you how you could reduce costs, improve productivity and operate a more sustainable business.

Here are five steps to getting the right insights from your print environment to drive meaningful transformation:

People working in an office with printers

1. Look at How You’re Using Your Devices Today

As any good change consultant will tell you, transformation starts with understanding how things look today. Analysing your current print environment will give you a baseline from which to plan and implement cost-saving initiatives that will also make your users’ work lives easier.

Not sure where to start? Xerox® Managed Print Services (MPS) offers a detailed assessment to help you uncover the potential for digital transformation in your document workflows. See how an assessment works.

2. Transform Data into Insight with Dashboards and Visualisation Tools

Gathering data from your print environment is useless unless your people can organise it and see it in context. Doing all this manually can be a nightmare, so check out what your MPS provider has to offer in terms of dashboards and automated visualisation tools.

Not only will they help your people understand the data you’re putting in front of them, but visual tools also help you absorb information faster and become more agile at putting that information to work across your business. Knowing you have an overused printer slowing people down is good. But you don’t want to have to spend a week crunching data to find that out.

3. Focus on What Matters Most

Every connected device has a tonne of stuff to tell you, and your printers are no exception. The question is, is it something you really need to know, and can you act on it?

Your print environment can reveal huge amounts about how documents are handled in your business, but the key is to focus on where you can make the most impact. Does every user need to print in colour, for example, or could you make savings there? And does every document really need to be printed at all, or are there better ways of using, sharing and storing information?

Focus on the areas that you can improve – and where the improvement can be measured – and target those first.

Person looking at graphs on mobile devices

4. Use Data to Guide Constant, Incremental Improvements

Analysing your print environment isn’t just good for guiding one-off transformational improvements (like the ones these companies made). It’s an ongoing source of insight into document workflow, user behaviour and information risk across your organisation. Using that insight to improve a little here and there can create an unstoppable flow of continuous improvement.

As time goes on, you’ll maintain a lean and cost-efficient document approach that will ensure your digital transformation never stops delivering.

5. Work with An Experienced Partner

When it comes to the flood of data available from connected output devices, it’s smart to let your MPS partner carry the load. They’ll make sure the right data gets captured, measured, monitored and reported. MPS experts have developed sophisticated automation to capture all sorts of data – from information about users and documents, to security and efficiency (and so much more).

And even if you cover all that yourself, there are still the matters of configuration, integration, support, security and backup. Instead of changing your whole infrastructure to support this, doesn’t it make sense to ask your MPS provider to help?

(And when the Internet of Things inevitably takes over your life, you’ll already know a few things about dealing with a diverse network of intelligent connected devices.)

Need more data on data? Read this article to learn more about using analytics to achieve your business goals.

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