Managed Print Invoicing
Invoicing can be a very integral part of managing your printer fleets. With proper invoicing practices, costs that are otherwise overlooked become very easy to see and take into the overall reports.
We help companies manage their print fleet and are experts at finding costs that may be hidden to your company today. We have worked with large enterprise companies and have learned what we need to look for to spot waste and cost clusters.
What things do you need to consider to make your costs transparent? In this article we will cover a few ways that you can strengthen your invoice reporting process, using our own experiences with clients throughout the years, and the basic mistakes we have seen.
The Importance of Invoicing
Why is invoicing so important? It can give you a valuable insight into your inventory, costs, volumes, and other important information. It sounds odd,but in almost all cases your actual invoice is overlooked in the evaluation process by many managed print providers.
To add confusion to that, the people who are looking at making the decision for managed services are not always the ones actually looking at the invoices either. This, of course, convolutes the reports generated during an evaluation, because the provider and the decision makers are unaware of the real printing cost and importance of these invoices.
Hindrances to the Utilization of Invoices:
The main hindrances to collecting and utilizing invoices are:
- Pages of unorganized data
- Inconcise summaries
- Inconsistent formatting
- Not exported to its cell
We have often seen, especially on the copier side, a business with a lot of devices, such as MFP’s, and they have pages and pages of data. Trying to figure out from beginning to end which department is doing the work, thus adding to costs, is very difficult, because the data is not precise enough to show what they have paid for that particular department. That is why it is especially important that you charge back by department. Otherwise, printing costs get out of control and there may be departments doing awesome, but you won’t know where the costs are coming from.
Larger businesses, particularly if they charge back to a general ledger code or a department, or even a school, need an invoice that is able to provide a simple summary page, one that shows how much the department prints and the print costs.
Where is the Printer?
The next issue is whether the information and location of where the device is has a consistent format throughout the printer fleet. Too often we see invoices for a fleet, and the input of the location is entered by many different people using varied formats. Before you even start with managed print services, this would be part of the contract. How devices need to be labeled and summarized to provide transparency into print costs and print volume.
For example, say the floor is at a hospital, and it was on the first floor in the radiology department. Person one could go, “first floor radiology,” while another person would say, “radiology, floor one.” The combinations can get interesting and confusing.
It makes it difficult to look at your printer fleet because of the inconsistencies. When it comes to gathering information when there is no format that can easily be discerned, it becomes incredibly easy to miss things and not know the sources of cost.
The final point is whether you can export, or is the invoice presented to you in a cell format? If you put it in the cell format, you can easily evaluate it on the client side, and see trends very quickly.
We can help!
When we engage a client with managed print services, we make our billing consistent and easily discernable. Our job is to make it easy for you to recognize and understand where your print costs are coming from and what each device and department is doing within your printer fleet.
For us, print management is all about helping you know what your devices are doing through clear reporting and billing, so you can make informed decisions about print policy, consolidation or device management.
Give us a call if you are getting managed print invoices which are not helping you understand the environment and we can help you gain clarity as we work with your team to give you this data in simplified formats.