Printer fleet management the final enterprise sweet spot

Implementing a document output strategy is one of the few remaining sweet spots in the enterprise where further cost savings can be made, according to Gartner's hardware and systems analyst Martin Gilliland.

Extending the PC refresh cycle and server consolidation are two of the cost-cutting initiatives organizations have tackled in recent years but, Gilliland said, the next target will be getting a printer fleet strategy in place.

"There are very few companies in the world today that have such a strategy in place because the office manager who orders papercup supplies and manages the photocopier is still in charge of this area of the enterprise," he said.

"CIOs and IT managers need to take responsibility for this because our research shows organizations are spending up to 3 per cent of their revenue maintaining these devices."

Over the next three years, Gilliland said, the IT department will take control of the printer fleet away from the office managers and realize recurrent cost savings as high as 30 percent.

Those companies with a detailed fleet management process in place will exceed savings of 20 percent if they apply best practice. Lexmark's vice president of worldwide solutions and services strategy Kevin Goffinet is even more optimistic claiming organizations can realize savings typically between 25 and 65 percent.

"This is an opportunity for IT to have a quick win but they need to take control because currently the ongoing costs for printers are distributed across the organization so operational costs get lost," Goffinet said.

Lexmark Australia enterprise general manager Graham Kittle said most IT departments are distracted by ERP or CRM projects and don't realize the potential benefits to be found in a print management strategy.

At Westmead Children's Hospital in western Sydney Lexmark was able to reduce the number of printers within the organization from 800 to 260 devices after undertaking an assessment, Kittle said

He said the hospital is now saving an estimated $500,000 a year.

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