I’ll be the first to admit that I despise change in area of life.
Whether it’s moving into a new house, starting a new diet or something more menial like switching cell phone providers – change is almost always uncomfortable and requires effort. It can be unpleasant and difficult.
However, inside our minds, this perceived effort and discomfort that come along with any change is often greatly overestimated. At some point in our lives, I'm sure we have all felt that an obstacle standing in the way of change was too much to overcome, so we kept things just as they were, or put off making a change until "tomorrow".
As a result of repeating this behavior, inertia can eventually creep into our lives, as roots grow deeper and deeper into the soil of our daily habits. Routines help prevent the unexpected and can quell our anxieties – but the wrong routines & daily practices can leave you mired in the momentum of mediocrity in both personal and business environments.
The issue with standing pat and avoiding change is that the only constant in life is change.
In this world that is consistently evolving, improving and finding more efficient ways to get things done...staying still can leave you a sitting duck – an easy target for your competition.
Now I am not saying that you should change things just for the sake of it. Don’t run outside and paint your shed just because you have some red paint laying around, or switch insurance providers just because you drove by a billboard with their ad on it.
I'm not advocating meaningless alterations to your life. I'm encouraging you to summon the intellectual courage it takes to examine the aspects of your daily routines that could benefit from a change of direction.
The first step in creating a positive change in your life is often a sobering self analysis and reflection on why we have been participating in these habitual behaviors and then asking ourselves – is this action being repeated with a priority on comfort or improvement?
Finding a way to be comfortable while feeling uncomfortable is extremely difficult, but also essential, to achieving meaningful progress in area of life... from boardrooms to basketball courts.
No living organism (including a business) ever stays the same for long, despite your best efforts. Companies and individuals alike will either be in a state of digressing or growing at any given moment in time – if you are not focused on improving, you will get worse.
We can examine at this natural phenomenon from the perspective of a business owner for a moment, as I imagine many of the readers of this post will be doing so from their workplace. If you take a quick glance over the financial history of your company, I doubt the gross profit of your business ever changed by 0% in any given year over year period. Your business most likely became either a less profitable or more profitable entity over any given 12-month period, never staying the exact same year after year.
Profitability is the bloodline of any business. Even if your greater purpose for operating the business is much more significant than money, you will not be able to give back to others what you do not already have yourself.
Money equals freedom – Freedom to build your business into the exact vision you hold onto in your minds’ eye, while also giving back to the causes you care most about.
So, I guess the big question at this point is – if you are being completely real with yourself, are there any areas of your business that you are taking a stagnant attitude towards,therefore accepting digression & decreased profitability in this area?
If you are having trouble pinpointing an exact area of your business that matches the above description, I can offer a humble suggestion:
The amount of money your company spends annually on printing expenses.
“Printing expenses” relates to the amount of money your company shells out year after year on items such as toner cartridges, new hardware, & service repair fees.
If you probe a little deeper, "printing expenses" can also mean the amount of money your company spends on IT professionals to diagnose printing related issues, the amount spent on administrative staff required to spend time organizing a stock room full of toner or even the very real cost of an inefficient deployment of your hardware throughout your floor plan.
I almost fell asleep just writing the last three paragraphs, so I can’t imagine reading them was any more exhilarating.
That’s why printers & copiers consistently drain significant amounts of money from the bottom line of businesses across a variety of industries:
It is so easy to fall into a routine of what is comfortable and accept a “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude towards an area of your business that can seem so unimportant and dull at first glance... okay, maybe at second glance too.
As we discussed earlier in this article, change often requires effort and is uncomfortable in its very nature. Examining the printing expenses within your company with the goal of creating a positive change is no different. It requires work.
For example, the beginning stage of a basic analysis of the current printing behavior & expenditure in your company could involve the following basic steps:
Create a list of all printing devices in your company
Organize the devices separately by department and physical location. Finally, map out the devices using floor plans of each location to search for redundancies.
· Calculate the “cost per page” for every individual printing device
Very similar to a fuel mileage rating for a car. Some printers sip on toner efficiently, others chug it down mercilessly. The latter can be a huge drain on your profits if its left to its own accord.
· Uncover your Total Cost of Operation for all the printing devices in your company.
For every piece of printing hardware in your company, multiply the cost per page by the number of pages being printed on that device per month. Along with any service bills & IT expenses, this will give you an educated estimate on what it costs your company to operate that device monthly. The number might surprise you.
(Cost Per Page x Pages Printed) +
Service Bills & IT Expenses =
Total Cost of Operation
Of course, gathering the information is only half of the battle. What actions you take with the power provided by this data will determine whether the changes made are meaningless or profitable.
That’s where partnering with a Managed Print Services provider can help you out. The best ones will do a lot more than simply gather and interpret data. After gathering the necessary information, a great Managed Print Services provider will present you with a custom-tailored solution that will not only lower your printing expenses significantly but will also increase the efficiency of your daily operations.
A Managed Print Services partner can also help your business protect itself from being exposed to threats you may not even know exist, like the growing issue of security attacks on network connected copiers:
In my extremely biased opinion, Datarite should crack the list of Managed Print Services providers you reach out to you if you are interested in making a positive change in your printing environment & beginning down the path to higher profitability.
We will do all the grunt work free of charge, so you really don’t have much to lose by jumping in for a free assessment of your printing costs. Not to mention, Datarite has some unique advantages over our competition that allow us to save our customers much more money over the long run…
Like what? Well, we may have to save that for my next article, as I think this one has stretched long enough – so if you are interested in learning more about how our team at Datarite can help your company become more profitable and efficient, please feel free to reach out by any of the following methods:
Steven Croft, Senior Managed Print Consultant:
Social Media: @stevecroftsales
Address: 30 Troop Avenue, Dartmouth, B3B 1Z1 (Burnside Industrial Park)