Monday, May 25, 2015

Part 2 of 4: Ergonomics, and how people use their MFPs

As I discussed in the previous post, this series will attempt to make a case for Multi Function Printer (MFP) and other office product dealers to reevaluate how content management offerings can play into their business model and increase their overall profitability. The first step in this is identifying the differences in the technology landscape, as well as the usage of these devices in the modern work environment. These differences can be boiled down into three areas:

  1. Ergonomics and mechanics of sharing a centralized machine. (bottleneck issues)
  2. Technical limitations – compression, image issues, network traffic, and automated extraction
  3. Business compensation models don't allow for consultative sales, both in refining skill sets and in practice  
I've been working in content management since 2003, but until 2008-2009, using electronic communication as a viable and formal method of business transactions was the equivalent of sending a text instead of a thank you note to your grandmother. It was fine for immediate needs, but when it came to constituting a business record, you needed to go for the hard copy.

This meant several things until recently when it came to sharing these types of resources. Because printing documents was largely used for external communications, it trumped the need to scan to email. The official document needed to be printed, and so all of the scans/ emails/etc. were conveniences but took lower priority than the business requirement to print. 

Scans were postponed while other MPF users were creating (printing) the document to which you could affix your "Wet signature".  This high demand and use for the copy machine meant that there were bottlenecks within organizations  The need to print trumped the need to scan every time.

Now, e-communications, including secure email, mortgage documents, and electronic communications in general are accepted as the  de facto  standard of communicating for all but the most high-value transactions. This is a key driver in allowing the MFP practical use as a production (though more commonly ad hoc) device to support scanning operations.

In the next post, we will explore the technical issues behind sharing the copying machine, and how they have changed, and why these changes make a difference in the efficiency with which you can scan. 

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