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The Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of Document Management

Sep 5, 2017 8:56:21 AM / by

For many organizations of all sizes, effective management of documents within their business is a daunting challenge and often a more serious problem than most realize. Until an organization commits itself to creating a plan to manage and measure their overall document management strategy, this issue continues to manifest into an exponentially larger problem.

 A proven methodology that helps businesses and organizations manage their document output and can often show a Return on Investment immediately by simply attacking this problem by answering the “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How” as it relates to document output.  


Let me show you:



You must be able to identify “who” is printing within an organization. Once you are able to identify the end users that are printing, you can begin to identify personal habits and tendencies and compare them to others within the organization based upon their role. Doing so can enable you to put practices in place to direct usage more strategically.



Once you know “who” is printing, you can then begin to find out “what” they are printing. Is it business related or not? Is it something that even needs to be printed? You may be surprised by your findings.



Paper output is obviously still needed in today’s business world but it is critically important that it is printed “where” it is the most cost effective. Not all printers, copiers, and Multi-Functional Products are created equal. Businesses and organizations need to make sure that printing is occurring on a machine that has a low cost of operation. A great rule of thumb – if a printer/copier/MFP is cheap to buy, it is expensive to run and if a printer/copier/MFP is expensive to buy, it is cheap to run. So finding that break even point is critically important and organizations must be sure to create environments that are efficient and cost effective for their end users.



Knowing “when” paper output is created within a business or organization occurs is very important. Many traditional copier companies will ask “how much yearly volume do you do?” and will then simply divide it by 12 months and then recommend a machine that they think will work. This strategy is flawed as it is only a portion of the information that is needed. We must also know “when” printing occurs. For example, a minor league baseball team may produce over 300,000 copies/prints per year but it is important to take that information and break it down to another level. How much of that volume occurs in the October through February time frame? In this case, less than 10% of their printing is produced. How much of that volume occurs from March through September? The reality is that almost 90% of their annual volume occurs during that 7 month period! And when printing of fliers or promotional pieces is needed, they need to be produced QUICKLY. Thus a much faster and durable machine is needed and perhaps even redundancy of equipment is required for long term success.



This might be the most important question of all to be answered yet traditional copier companies will NEVER work with their clients to ask it, let alone answer it. At Phillip Office Solutions, our partnership is predicated on helping our clients securely manage information – whether it is on paper or not. Being able to know “why” something is printed can be a clue to uncovering a potentially larger problem which could lead us to identifying an inefficient procedure or workflow that if addressed would likely have a dramatically positive impact on the bottom line. This question simply cannot be ignored – ever.



Knowing “how” output is being created is a logical question that needs to be answered. Are documents being produced in color that do not need to be? If so, “how” would you ever know? “How” are documents being produced like client proposals, brochures, and marketing pieces? “How” many of them are being produced? Knowing “how” documents are being produced within your business or organization will allow for sound business decisions that will save money and enable your staff to be more flexible, nimble, and productive.


If you are responsible for the printing and copying costs for your organization and you cannot easily and accurately answer the questions of the “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of Document Management” and substantiate it with indisputable and quantifiable data, you are likely partnered with a company that does not share the same goals as you do.

Matt Floyd

Written by Matt Floyd

Matt Floyd is the Director of Document Management Sales at Phillips Office Solutions. Matt has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Elizabethtown College and is a Certified Document Imaging Architect (CDIA+). With over 18 years’ experience in the Document Management field, Matt has helped create successful output management strategies for countless organizations in the Eastern & Central Pennsylvania regions

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