Optimizing a Global Print Environment

By Caroline Basyn  |  Posted 2010-10-15 Print this article Print

Streamlining P&G’s worldwide print operation increased productivity and helped identify hidden opportunities for cost savings.

SUMARY: When Procter & Gamble realized the print environment supporting its approximately 135,000 global employees was both inefficient and costly, the company selected a managed print services provider to support printing at the 200 work sites of the Cincinnati-based consumer goods corporation. Caroline Basyn, director, Global Business Services, explains how P&G adopted a new printing strategy to improve efficiency, save costs, help digitize the company and support its sustainability goals.

Procter & Gamble, which touches the lives of people around the world 4 billion times a day—and prints and copies millions of documents annually—began in early 2008 to investigate the efficiency of its document and print systems. We inventoried 45,000 individual devices—including copiers, printers, scanners and fax machines—and found that, on average, each device supported only four people. In addition, each work site managed its own fleet, and P&G did not have a consistent method to purchase supplies or provide maintenance.

So we began looking for ways to optimize our document and print processes. We knew that managed print services (MPS) could simplify and digitize our global printing infrastructure by consolidating devices and by helping to control how and when documents are printed. It would also identify ways to drive costs out and deliver substantial sustainability benefits. We also wanted a print strategy that would deliver innovative ways for P&G employees to be more productive and more mobile.

In September 2008, we began working with Xerox, which helped us set goals for an MPS implementation. The goals included:

• supporting P&G’s “Give Back 500 Million Minutes” program by reducing the time employees spend on print- and output-related issues;

• implementing strategies to move paper-based processes to the digital realm for ease of movement and use, security improvement, retention and access;

• reducing operational costs by an estimated 20 to 25 percent; and

• cutting print-related power usage by 30 percent and paper consumption by 20 to 30 percent annually.

The MPS approach will soon manage the entire fleet as if it were one printer. Xerox manages documents across our entire global print infrastructure: from the office to the print center to the virtual workplace. This gives us a comprehensive view and control over companywide print spend and other important metrics such as sustainability and productivity statistics.

We consolidated our printer fleet from the original 45,000 to fewer than 10,000, with an average of 15 employees using each device instead of only four. The smaller fleet reduces our maintenance and energy costs, yet with the recommended workflow and process improvements, we’re not sacrificing productivity.

In fact, the new strategy helps our employees be more time-efficient because they spend less time on print-related activities. The process changes free up hundreds of minutes of employee time annually—time that can be spent focusing on the business rather than dealing with documents.

We’re boosting productivity with support for home, virtual and mobile printing. We’re taking the hassle out of working from home or on the road. Virtual workers receive the same support system as those who work in the office. Off-site devices are monitored, and technical assistance is available via phone, e-mail or the Web. Xerox’s Mobile Print solution, the first result of the Xerox and P&G Innovation Council, allows employees to print directly from their smartphones.

Caroline Basyn, director of P&G’s Global Business Services, is responsible for site services and built the strategy for transforming its print services. She has more than 24 years of experience at P&G.

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