Knowing Is Important

You would think the message in that title is pretty obvious, and it should be, … but no, not always.  You need to KNOW so you can make informed decisions.  I don’t understand why that basic business principal does not get applied to the printing environment in many organizations.  If you were the boss, would you approve the following scenario?

“Off your team goes to pick a print vendor for hardware, or maybe they wish to be most daring and select a vendor through an elaborate RFP process to take over the entire print environment … a fully outsourced Managed Print Services program.  Wow!  Not to worry.  The results will be a surprise!  I know.  I know.  As the executive of one of these large and successful organizations, … public and private, … you love surprises.  Who doesn’t?  Will you save money or will it cost a fortune?  Will you have all color MFDs or some other hardware configuration mix?  I guess the staff to device ratio and environmental impact will be a surprise as well, but hopefully a good one. “

You will now say how silly that scenario is, which you should, …so why does this happen over and over again?

As independent print consultants we talk to executives about KNOWING and CONTROL.  I believe I have a past blog on the subject.   I see so much of the “decision by NOT knowing” going on that I felt compelled to write about it again!  Knowing your print environment enables intelligent and logical decision making.  Knowing gives you control.  You want and need that control.  If you don’t have it, or you are willing to give up control, the vendors will be only too willing to assume control and ownership … and thus capture the financial rewards for themselves.

Some executives explain to me that their RFP process will generate increased knowledge levels, industry best practices for them to consider and very competitive pricing.  They will acquire the “KNOWING” once they get that data. I have been in the print optimization business for 30 years now and I have yet to see that approach net benefits for the client.

Knowing is important.  You need to know first.  Then you can ask for market input.  You need to know what you spend for print, how many devices you have, what your volumes are and what you really need in order to satisfy the business requirements.   I want to start a “knowing trend”.  That would be fun, and oh so beneficial to the client base we should be serving.  The vendors may not be too excited about selling to well informed customers, but oh well … you can’t please everyone.  So get out there and start “knowing”!!