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Slash waste by taming printer chaos

Stacy Collett | Jan. 19, 2010
Organizations enlisting managed print services find huge savings on paper and energy

Breaking old habits
When a provider shows up and tells employees they'll have to relinquish their personal printing devices, expect a lot of resistance, MPS veterans say. Many providers offer change management experts and tools to help customers with the transition.

At P&G, people in some business units feared that the equipment reduction would hurt their productivity, Basyn says. "Interestingly, as soon as we did the implementation, those same leaders would say the opposite. They don't have to take care of any of the supplies, and the [equipment] is much more reliable. We have uptime of 99.2 percent."

P&G sold MPS to its employees with a combination of hard and soft arguments promoting a centralized operation. "We know the culture is different by person -- some people go with the soft arguments, others with hard arguments," Basyn says. P&G first promoted the overhaul as a "green" sustainability project and then sold it as a cost-saving project. The company also capitalized on the competitive nature of its business units by publicizing how each division was utilizing MPS and how units compared to one another.

Ideally, the MPS provider will also recommend policies that will help ensure that employees don't revert to old habits.

"If you don't have policies and enforce them," Boyd says, "department managers or employees will go out and buy personal devices, and before you know it, you're back to the old state of affairs."

Both P&G and Rent-A-Center consider their MPS providers to be strategic partners.

"The way we measure success with a partner is that once you're in discussion, the word contract never comes to the table," Basyn says. And with Xerox, he adds, there was no quibbling over the project's minutiae: "We're very much on the same page."


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