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Regaining Control: Tracking Pages in the Office

Print Tracking Solutions Offer New Opportunities for Equipment Vendors and End Users in Workgroup Environments
CAP Ventures expects to see an increase in the number of printer management and print tracking solutions coming to the market over the next several months. Specifically, it is anticipated that new products will be introduced that combine and increase the functionality of document management, printer management, and print tracking to benefit equipment vendors as well as end users.

The End Users’ Perspective

It is a well-established fact in the office equipment industry that the majority of IT Managers prefer printer-based technologies over copier-based technologies. As a result, increasing installations of printer-based technologies have caused printed page volumes to migrate to the desktop. This practice has placed IT/IS Managers in an awkward position because they are now tasked with increasing productivity while reducing overall print related costs within the enterprise.

By implementing print tracking solutions, IT managers are given a better understanding of print volumes across the enterprise as well as device utilization. Additionally, IT managers have the ability to proactively manage their operational expenses by establishing “print allowances” by user, department, or workgroup.

Benefits of Implementing Print Tracking Solutions

  • Direct volume to underutilized and/or lower total cost of operating equipment 
  • Increased document management 
  • Reduction in overall operational expenses 
  • Policing the office environment by establishing a pre-determined number of pages, applications, and print technologies that each end user has access to within the enterprise 
  • Establish print “allowances” for end users within the enterprise

The Vendor’s Perspective

Implementing print cost tracking management systems within end users’ environments presents a unique opportunity for vendors to proactively propose new solutions based on the changing needs of the workgroup. However, vendors must convince the end user of the value in implementing print tracking and management solutions. Several challenges must be resolved. 

Challenges Related to Solution-Based Selling

  • Account Managers must be able to demonstrate system efficiency within IT departments
  • Multiple network-based solutions relating to software and hardware must be implemented to address office workgroup devices such as fax machines, copier-based MFPs, and printer-based MFPs 
  • The solution should allow inroads to the CRD environment within the enterprise 
  • Personnel must proactively suggest new solutions as the failure rate of antiquated equipment increases 
  • New solutions based on changing requirements or increased productivity of workgroups should be introduced 
  • Businesses should work to increase loyalty

Increased customer loyalty can be achieved by offering solutions that are based on tracking overall page consumption, workflow, and department specific requirements. If Account Managers establish monthly account reviews with end users, they have a unique opportunity to provide value-added services by suggesting asset repositioning, defining upgrade parameters, and recommending jobs that would benefit end users rather than increasing capital costs.

This document has been abstracted from CAP Ventures white paper entitled “Regaining Control: Tracking Pages in the Office,” which provides a review the emerging trends in print cost management software as they relate to the office workgroup environment. CAP Ventures focuses on the impact of these tools on the overall strategy of managing the cost of documents within an enterprise. For more information about this and other CAP Ventures white papers, contact Alison Hipp at ext. 126.


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2011 InfoTrends