Pain … Errrr … Print Management

30-Nov-2015 8:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

by Ann Priede

Have you ever listened to those TV commercials for new prescription drugs that include a laundry list of side effects so severe that you wonder if it’s worth taking the prescription to begin with?

I was recently thinking about why companies decide to adopt a managed print strategy and how they manage the conversion – which often results in some unpleasantness for end users – and this analogy struck me as very appropriate. First, unmanaged print is much like an illness in that it deprives a company from operating at its best. Second, knowing about the side effects of the prescription – in this case managed print – ahead of time helps to alleviate the discomfort that may result from taking the medicine. Which leads me to change management.

Change – even positive change – is often a bitter pill to swallow. People develop comfortable habits and routines and are loath to change them without good reason. It’s a classic case of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), and a well-planned comprehensive change management campaign helps employees at all levels understand why the change is coming, how it will be implemented, and why it’s beneficial. 

  • Common reasons for change include reducing costs, increasing productivity, and enhancing security.
  • Implementation methods range from supplementing existing equipment to a wholesale replacement of the entire fleet and can include services and staffing along with hardware and supplies. 
  • Benefits must be relevant to employees, which may dictate a variety of messages – cost savings for managers, better workflows for staff, less waste for environmentally-conscious employees.

A change management campaign can consist of a variety of approaches, including the use of printed posters, corporate newsletters, email, pop-up messages, company Intranet, and change advocates or specialists. The proper use of change management can ward off and perhaps eradicate common side effects of implementing print management, such as:

  • Printer hoarding: users hide their personal printers to avoid having to walk down the hall to retrieve their output;
  • Printer envy: users want what their coworker has, regardless of what they actually need;
  • Printer cloning: users insist they need a like-for-like replacement, even if they don’t use many of the features of their existing device; and
  • Printer gluttony: users continue to purchase printers outside the managed print agreement.

Ongoing change management is essential to prevent users from relapsing into old habits and routines. With regular application and communication to end users, you can keep them pain free so that they can enjoy their printing and imaging lives to the fullest.

Ann Priede is Operations Manager at Canon Solutions America and co-chair of the Managed Print Service Association (MPSA) Marketing Communications Committee. Priede has more than 25 years of experience in the imaging industry and has covered technology and services for prominent market research firms Lyra Research and Photizo Group. Prior to being an industry analyst and consultant, Priede held a number of positions in product marketing and product development for Konica Minolta. Contact her at

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