Businesses are constantly searching for ways to reduce costs while increasing profits. Regardless of the specific strategies adopted by individual organizations, generally, the mainstay approach taken to achieve this goal is to streamline production and enhance operational efficiency, obviously without sacrificing quality of service.

This is one of the many of reasons why so many companies are eager to transition processes to digital platforms. There is no arguing that the Internet of Things has provided businesses with a wide range of benefits that help improve performance and automate workflow. Some have even been able to cut employee spend by delegating the job functions of human beings to robotic systems.

However, the rapid acceleration of computerized platforms has also created a number of challenges for organizations. For example, a company is exposed to more security threats and vulnerabilities when it moves operations entirely online. Hacks can lead to loss of business and result in hefty litigation fees.

Reducing costs and improving production
What too many firms are failing to realize is that there is another way to increase efficiency, improve customer service and reduce costs, one that has much less to do with electronic platforms and more to do with paper materials: working with a managed print service provider.

Regardless of the industry, the majority of organizations still use and even rely on paper-based products. From print ads and notepads to transaction forms and insurance documents, these tangible items are a necessary component of corporations today. Unfortunately, many firms are so intent on looking for cost-savings opportunities on digital systems that they overlook the advantageous opportunity available to them to save on printing.

A report published by Quocirca found revealed that "The managed print services market continues to gain momentum as enterprises seek to tackle escalating print costs and drive greater business efficiency."

Furthermore, the source said that 51 percent of organizations are either using MPS or are planning to this year. And while this statistic certainly underscores the obvious value in partnering with a printing service provider that can manage all a company's needs, it still leaves a significant portion of businesses that have yet to realize the value in doing so.

Print providers can eliminate any and all of the delays, complications and expenses associated with handling and maintaining the necessary machines, equipment and devices. But the advantages of outsourcing this aspect of business extend far beyond bringing in a third party to deal with printers.

Better security
As we mentioned before, there are a growing number of disruptions threatening companies today, thanks, in large part, to the increased connectivity and accessibility the rapid proliferation of digital devices has produced. Working with a MPS provider that specializes in document security will reduce the chances of a fraudulent behavior. Not only can this save companies from having to deal with loss of business from reputational damage, but it will also minimize the risk of having to pay court fees. Perhaps this is why, in the Quocirca survey, 75 percent of participants said that security is a leading factor in printing services.

Enhanced workflow production
The less time workers have to spend on menial tasks, the more valuable their job functions become. Plus, being able to place new and repeat orders, monitor real-time inventory levels and get advance shipping notifications, all online and on the go, makes it easier for companies to ensure they are delivering excellent and consistent service to their customers. Partnering with a managed print service provider allows businesses to increase the level of visibility and insight into operations, thus reducing the margin for error and the risk of unnecessary expenses.

Inbound Logistics highlighted some of the ways in which better visibility throughout supply chains can lead to opportunities for cost-savings. For example, the source pointed out, it gives managers more control and it offers a way for them to identify and resolve problems before they become disruptive.

Increased flexibility
To guarantee that they are always able to satisfy the needs and exceed the expectations of customers, companies must feel confident that they have direct access to the tools and solutions required to handle a diverse array of requests. And the right managed print service provider will be able to give them that sense of security.

Businesses will be able to leverage a robust selection of printing materials, paper products, features and processes to fulfill custom orders and complete special projects as needed. While this strategy makes it simple and seamless to streamline the production of exact repeat purchases, it also makes it easy to do the same for unique or one-time orders. With MPS, companies won't have to waste time or money outsourcing an individual job to an additional provider.

There are many ways for businesses today to use digital platforms and systems to reduce costs and enhance operational efficiency. But, in the ever-evolving world of technology, it is important to also remember the essential value of paper-based products and consider how the procurement of these goods can be improved.