The first, and probably the most critical, phase of an MPS engagement is an accurate and comprehensive assessment of the current status of an organization’s print, document infrastructure and workflows, and the formulation of a detailed design for the future, optimized state.
A robust assessment and design methodology is a primary component of MPS service delivery excellence. In fact, this assessment process may be repeated as organizations progress to higher levels of print and document management maturity. Print and document management maturity refers to a progression from optimizing devices; to optimizing documents (how they are created, managed, and used); to optimizing document intensive workflows – which may mean not printing at all.
The assessment must include several components:
- Detailed device inventory – Including personal desktop devices as well as networked printers and MFPs. This data is usually collected via an automated “agent” over a period of time, as well as via an onsite survey. The analysis must include total cost of ownership (TCO) data for each device.
- End user requirements – This includes end user workflow, output requirements, and accessibility as well as requirements for particular enterprise departments and functions (e.g. maintaining confidentiality of human resources documents).
- Business processes – The MPS provider will evaluate document-intensive business processes, particularly those that appear to be highly manual and/or could benefit from re-engineering.
In order to successfully complete the assessment, the provider must have a good understanding of an organization’s objectives and business. In addition, technology may play a key role here. In some cases (e.g. tracking device information) the vendor may deploy technology that is relatively commoditized, however, as the organization progresses to higher levels of maturity, innovative technologies may be deployed to drive employee productivity and to streamline business processes.
At the end of 2015, IDC conducted a survey of large organizations in the U.S. and Western Europe that had carried out successful MPS initiatives. Respondents had been engaged with their MPS provider for a minimum of three years. We asked survey participants about the factors during the assessment phase that contributed to the overall success of the engagement. Several key themes emerged:
- Security – 40% of respondents said that the assessment phase was successful because the vendor considered their document security requirements.
- Breadth – 38% of survey participants indicated that technology was deployed to effectively, efficiently and accurately profile current state. The assessment included centralized print facilities and/or external print spend (37% of respondents) and was comprehensive enough to represent all facilities and geographies (35%).
- Workflow - 37% of respondents said that the assessment phase was successful because the vendor considered end user document workflow, productivity and location.
Consider the vendor’s assessment process prior to MPS deployment. What were the most important factors contributing to the success of your MPS contract?
(% of respondents)
Interestingly, when we asked respondents what challenges they faced during the assessment phase, security was not at the top of the list, indicating that many vendors do a good job in the security arena. Most challenges were related to factors related to workflow, or lack of a comprehensive assessment.
Over a quarter of respondents noted that a primary challenge was that their vendor did not consider manual processes that could be automated; 25% said that the vendor did not consider end user document workflow, productivity and location; and 21% said that the vendor did not evaluate paper-intensive workflows that could be transitioned to digital.
In terms of the assessment itself, 24% noted that the vendor did not accurately profile the current state, and 23% noted that the assessment was not representative of all facilities and/or geographies.
What were the biggest challenges that you faced during the assessment phase of your MPS contract?
(% of respondents)
Once the assessment is complete, the provider must develop the future state design. The design must consider both current and future total cost of ownership (TCO) for all devices. Of course, it must also factor in the end user and business process requirements discovered during the assessment, as well as the culture for change. Ideally, the provider will present your organization with several alternative scenarios, each including detailed TCO, cost saving and ROI analyses. You and the provider can then collaborate to complete the design that best meets your organizational objectives and best fits your corporate culture.