A young professional woman stands next to an office copier representing output management.

Why Smart Companies Outsource Their Output Management

Does your business still print things? Odds are the answer is yes. Even though every single one of us carries an advanced computer in our pocket—our smartphone—printing remains very common. You still get mail every day. Invoices, contracts, and reports are worked with in paper form regularly. Printing is still very much a part of our world, impacting businesses more than they tend to realize.

Do you carefully track how much your company spends on printing? If so, do you want that number to be lower? Of course, you do, and it is easily attainable with the right solution: if you streamline your printing, you’ll save money. You might also help your business to run a little better. So, how do you accomplish this streamlining?

It’s simple—by taking advantage of output management. It will overhaul your printing environment and find surprising ways to cut costs and boost revenue.

What Is Output Management?

With document output management, your entire printing fleet is managed by a specialized, third-party provider that handles your equipment, its maintenance, and servicing. It can be leveraged to lower your overhead, eliminate inefficiencies, reduce waste, and improve productivity.

Output management comes in packages built around subscriptions. In exchange for a predetermined monthly fee, you can expect the provider to handle everything necessary to outfit and maintain printing resources for your organization. Output managers will optimize your print fleet by replacing, eliminating, or upgrading inefficient, unreliable, or redundant devices. They will track your printing, identifying wasteful or inefficient practices. They’ll monitor your devices, providing routine and preventative maintenance while refilling consumables like toner and ink. They’ll even service any machine of yours when the need arises.

With access to the best technology and trained professionals to manage it, output management enables businesses to improve their document output efficiency and cut IT expenses by removing a labor-intensive segment from in-house responsibilities. Output management unloads the burden of repairing printers from your employees, freeing up your resources to focus on other challenges.

How Does It Benefit Businesses?

If you’re going to invest in a third-party service, it’s a fair question to ask. How does this help your company? Output management has a lot to offer, and a few specific benefits will catch your attention.

The first is productivity. Printing queues are a frequent bottleneck in many offices. Shared printers are cost-effective, but employees often have to wait on each other to finish with print, copy, and scanning tasks. Additionally, managing and maintaining printing equipment is a time sink. You pay for labor to refill ink or toner and perform routine procedures that keep the equipment functional. With output management, all of this is resolved easily. The expert technicians handle all of this for you, keeping your devices in peak condition to reduce downtime. And, as they maintain the equipment, you aren’t paying any of your employees for that time. Instead, your people can focus on what they do best.

Output management also helps with compliance and regulation. A classic example is HIPAA. Healthcare providers are under stringent regulations that dictate how documents are to be handled. An expert output manager will ensure that document integrity is maintained by utilizing security best practices. They will also track and document how everything is processed. This creates a transparent system that protects businesses from unintended regulatory failure.

Of course, the most important benefit for the majority of businesses is that output management can save money. While boosting productivity is usually good for revenue, managing your print environment allows print-related spending to be more efficient. The expertise of the management team optimizes your printing infrastructure, and it is handled at a flat, predictable rate. Best of all, flexible output management is ready to grow and adapt along with your company.

Is Output Management Right for Your Company?

Output management increases productivity, helps with compliance, and saves you money. It’s great for every company, right? While a very large number of businesses benefit from specialized print management, you can run a simple litmus test to see if the services will help your operation.

The first test is the easiest. Do you do any printing? If you have a business that is truly 100-percent digital, then output management is less valuable to you. If the answer is yes, do you have a strategy for managing your printing? The equipment is expensive and needs a lot of attention. Do you have a dedicated person or team for the job? Do you perform scheduled maintenance, refills, and upgrades? If you don’t have a clear strategy for managing your printing fleet, you will inevitably waste money on printing. If nothing else, output management can help you craft that strategy to save time and money.

The last test is simple in concept but not necessarily in execution. Have you audited your company’s printing costs? An audit should track all print-related expenses, the use of your printing resources, and the workflow surrounding printing. If you haven’t tracked all of this information, your first audit will surprise you. For many businesses, unmanaged printers are black holes that take up time and money. When you carefully track just how much your devices are costing you, you’ll understand the value of streamlining your printing with output management.

Managing the printing environment for a company takes a lot of time, work, and money. If you hire a specialist for the job, you can reasonably expect them to do it more effectively and efficiently than what you have managed so far. That leads to positive net returns, and output management becomes a winning investment.

If your Houston business would like to learn more about output management and what you can expect from it, contact Stargel Office Solutions today. We’ll help you get started down the road to more efficient printing and all of the benefits that come with it.