Reducing Storage with an Enterprise Print Management System

Posted by Bob Loblaw on Mon, Aug 18, 2014

Reducing Storage with an Enterprise Print Management System

All organizations are drowning in paper. Office space is expensive, averaging $23.23 per square foot, and much of that office space is consumed by file cabinets, storage boxes filled with old files, and the paper supplies needed to generate more paperwork. In fact, the average office takes up about 200 square feet for central filing space, but sorting and filing all that paper doesn’t make it any easier to locate the documents you need, when you need them. All that space can be reclaimed with the help of enterprise print management.

Consider how much space and staff time is taken up by office paperwork. Paper files are printed and then stored in file cabinets for reference later, all of which takes up precious staff time and office space. Over time, those files age and they are probably moved from active files, to inactive files, and ultimately to storage boxes that are stored in a back room somewhere, just in case those files are needed in the future. Each step of this paper shuffling requires personnel to manually sort through the files, organize them, and then reorganize them.

Enterprise print management solves these problems by giving you the means to centralize paper processing and digitize business-critical office paperwork. For example, if you were to convert every sheet of paper in a file cabinet example to a digital image it would take up less than 1 gigabyte of disk space. That means you could eliminate an entire file room of paper with a few disk drives.

So let's consider the various ways the enterprise print services can save office storage space.

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Consolidating Print Services Saves Space

Enterprise print management encompasses more than just printing and digital document conversion. Enterprise print services let you better organize the paper output of your entire organization, consolidating office printing in one place. This means all the office printers, multifunction devices, copiers, scanners, fax machines, etc., are centrally located to serve the entire office.

Consolidating print services alone saves you space. It frees up space taken up by departmental printers and paper storage. It also eliminates a lot of wasted paper. When you consider that the average office worker generates more than 10,000 sheets of paper per year and most of those printouts are unnecessary or thrown away, implementing enterprise print services will cut down on unnecessary paper, which also reduces the amount of space required to store that paper.

Implementing enterprise print services also makes it easier to streamline and control document processing and workflow, including digitizing important or sensitive business documents. Scanning office paperwork is just another printing process and once the paperwork is digitized it’s easier to manage and archive.

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The Advantages of Digitizing Paper Documents

Scanning documents to convert it to digital form makes it easier and more cost-effective to share as part of business operations. PDF reports and presentations can be sent via email to coworkers or even clients and customers without having to generate paper copies. And sending digital images is more cost effective and much more immediate than sending around paper.

And once paperwork has been converted to digital form it is much easier to secure and manage. Sensitive files can be stored in password-protected directories so they can only be accessed by authorized uses. Or scanned documents can be encrypted so they can be safely shared over public networks.

Security is one of the biggest advantages of using enterprise print management. Not only is it easier to control distribution and access to digital files, having a secure digital copy of business-critical documents means you can create a secure archive. Documents can be stored off-site on a secure server or even in the cloud. That way the data is always available but it doesn’t require any office space. It’s also protected so you don’t have to worry about locking away sensitive paper documents to protect them from fire or flood; disaster recovery is built in.

In addition to saving space, digitizing office paperwork makes document recovery easy as well. A Delphi Group study says that 15 percent of office paperwork is lost or misfiled and workers spend 30 percent of their time looking for misplaced documents. With digital archiving every piece of paper is accounted for. Stored documents are searchable so paperwork is never misplaced. In highly regulated industries such as financial services or health care maintaining a digital document archive can be a real advantage. Not only do you save the space required to maintain paper files but digitally archived documents can readily be retrieved through eDiscovery for regulatory compliance or in the event of an audit. Quickly producing the necessary paperwork for regulatory compliance can save millions of dollars in regulatory fines.

And then there are the savings from using digital data storage. The cost of data storage continues to drop. Disk drives are less expensive and, technologies such as network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SANs) are making data storage easier to scale and easier to manage. And the advent of cloud storage is making digital archiving even more affordable. As the cost of office space increases, digital storage costs continue to decrease making digitizing office paperwork as part of enterprise print management increasingly attractive.

So what’s your reason for not embracing enterprise print management? For resellers enterprise print services offer a new way to help customers save money at the same time it expands possibilities for new services and solutions that can be added to the enterprise. For companies looking to gain control over the ever-growing flood of office paperwork, enterprise print management is the ideal solution to help them regain control.

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Source: IngramMicro Imaging (Follow on Twitter)

Topics: Document Management Solutions, Paperless Office, Paperless Filing, Managed Print Services, ECM