May 19, 2020

Creating an Efficient and Effective Print Environment by Redefining Managed Print Services

business operations
organizational costs
Managed Printing Services
Bizclik Editor
3 min
Creating an Efficient and Effective Print Environment by Redefining Managed Print Services

Written by Matthew Barnicoat


IT managers can’t get enough of BYOD, cloud computing and everything-as-a-service these days. In fact, they are so busy using these solutions to reduce costs and increase efficiency that they often forget that it’s possible to combat these worries with something as simple as printing.

InfoTrends research shows that organizations spend about three to six per cent of their annual revenues on print-related costs such as copying, faxing and output. These costs can be reduced with managed print services, or MPS, which allows a company to streamline its printing operations by hiring a printing provider to control and optimize the print environment.

But what is MPS, really? The only agreeable definition is that MPS provides consolidated billing, proactive maintenance of equipment and ongoing optimization. Yet, thinking of MPS this way is too simplistic – it’s more than staying on top of toner levels and finding ways to use less paper; it’s about proactively discovering ways to save time and labour and incorporating solutions that make the workforce more productive. So how does it work?

The most important aspect to consider when thinking of MPS is that it is a centrally managed service provided by a printing provider. This means that the print fleet is remotely monitored and any complications that arise are fixed automatically.

In addition to monitoring for any errors, the provider also tracks toner and paper levels, meaning that an organization doesn’t have to worry when it runs out of ink cartridges or letter paper. Even more impressively, printers have become more self-aware so they are able to keep an eye out on their own levels and inform a technician when changes need to be made. Allowing a provider to manage the maintenance process can provide significant cost savings.

Because the entire printing process is monitored, it becomes easy for the provider to offer governance during the print optimization process. For example, it is possible to monitor performance by office, region and location, to tell who in a company is printing the most and how much the fleet is outputting. This allows IT managers to find ways to reduce spending within the printing infrastructure.

The most unique way that MPS can solve printing needs is through the recommendation of software solutions that can streamline printing processes and ease the administrative burden. For example, if a company scans and files similar types of paperwork, the printing provider can recommend a solution that captures the information on the forms automatically, therefore eliminating hours of unnecessary paperwork.

Conducting a print assessment  can ensure the success of MPS in a given company. After asking questions such as “How many devices do you have in your fleet” and “How many pages do you print in a month?” the auditor is able to determine how to meet client needs in order to lower overhead. An entire office, not just the IT department, can run more smoothly with the help of MPS.

Even though MPS is not the latest and most flashy option for reducing cost and increasing efficiency – it makes a difference to the bottom line. IT managers should embrace MPS and not let their print fleet fall to the wayside if they are trying to save money and increase productivity. 


About the Author

Matthew Barnicoat leads Lexmark Canada’s Global Services division, which helps clients manage their print fleets through innovative solutions and services. Lexmark provides a consultative approach to MPS that encompasses fundamentals, optimization and governance in order to improve overall print efficiency and business process improvement. 

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Jun 18, 2021

Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking

3 min
Intelliwave Technologies outlines how it provides data and visibility benefits for APTIM

“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.

We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time  spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.

Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate. 

With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.

There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.

Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture. 

It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.

Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.

On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.

As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.

A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.


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