“The more information available through Web and email, the greater the tendency to print documents,” said Graham Walshe, corporate solutions group leader for Brother in Asia Pacific and executive chairman at Brother International (NZ) Limited.
According to Walshe, the natural tendency among people when they want to study a document is to print it. Moreover, he contends that users tend to just keep on printing original companies rather than using a photocopying machine.
“People no longer use the copier as much as they use to,” he said.
Glenn Hocson, assistant general manager at Brother International Philippines, meanwhile, believes it is nearly impossible for local companies to go paperless, at least not within the next five years.
“It’s just human nature that you would want to print a document to better go through it, especially important documents,” he said. “Paper is still the preferred media in the office; (the paperless office) will never happen because people still always need to have a hard copy of important documents.”
According to him, the banking and finance industry spends the most in printing and imaging costs. Next would be schools and government offices, two sectors that still rely on manual paperwork.
With a global trend towards convergence of printing, faxing, and scanning into a single machine, Walshe said this makes “balanced deployment” necessary for today’s companies.
“Asian companies tend to ignore individual productivity and have this tendency to increase output through increased staff,” he said, adding that the challenge now is for these companies to rather start looking into the use of office technology that would increase productivity.
Balanced deployment is measured in terms of usage and workflow process around three main areas: document hard copy (print, fax, copy, scan), associated hardware costs (device, consumables, and maintenance), and IT support costs.
These are then analyzed taking into consideration employee productivity issues, like distance to printing and imaging device, frequency and volume of use, and device features.
The goal of balanced deployment, according to Walshe, is to analyze the respective printing and imaging requirements of the various departments and individuals in the company rather than taking on a one-size-fits-all approach for the entire company.
Printers should therefore be distributed among and within reach of workgroups in order to maximize user productivity, he said.