The procurement of output devices (copiers, faxes, printers and scanners) is fast becoming a science in its own right. This commodity group traditionally falls under an organisation’s ‘indirect spend’ category (i.e. non-core business requirements), and as such is often not on the radar of the procurement department. This is partly the case for the reason that “various personnel organisations usually have the authority to procure hardware, software and / or consumables for the output devices spend, and thus the spend will accordingly be spread across many different items in the income statement”, Jannes du Plooy, Chief Executive Officer of Solution WorX, told SmartProcurement in a recent interview.
Furthermore, organisations procure hardware as a commodity because it is easy to evaluate hardware tenders. However, procuring hardware based on individual and collective user and business requirements is far more complicated than merely buying some hardware. These requirements, coupled with sustainable savings through Desktop and Corridor Managed Print Services, is essential if an organisation wants to ensure that they print effectively, efficiently and economically.
In recent times, South Africa has caught up with the international trend of utilising the services of specialised Desktop and Corridor Print Management Services. Du Plooy pointed out that “we, as a specialised service provider, are not in the business of selling hardware or consumables, but rather focus our expertise on managing output and reducing the exuberantly high cost of running print devices. Very few organisations know what their actual cost of printing is and in most cases do not understand the total cost of printing. Hardware vendors have also traditionally dominated the market and prefer that buyers do not know what they are actually paying. We, on the other hand, look after an organisation’s entire fleet of output devices and clearly demonstrate to a client what they are currently spending on document output. This includes all geographies where the organisation operates, thus no printer, copier, scanner or multi-functional device can or must be left out of the equation. Only then will an organisation enjoy the maximum benefit of what we offer”.
When examining the domain of output devices, there is a clear distinction between the concepts of ‘Office Automation’ and ‘Desktop and Corridor Managed Print Services’. The following table sets out the distinctions between these two processes below.
In closing, Du Plooy pointed out that “in our experience most clients have over-invested in hardware and do not need a complete technology refresh, but rather a redeployment of hardware and better utilisation and management of this hardware”.
In our next article on this topic we will investigate why the above trend seems to run rampant in the industry.
Jannes du Plooy can be contacted on the details below:
Telephone: +27 86 170 5907
Cell: +27 83 397 7739