Manufacturers can invest in growth by saving money

With manufacturers looking to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), it’s often difficult to know where to start and which investments will return the highest and quickest ROI. Each business has different priorities, balance sheets, markets, and USPs, so there is not a “standard” approach to 4IR’s implementation.

Close-up of Eyeglasses on Desk_Issarapong Suya_GettyImages-728872683

4IR is fundamentally about doing more with less, and whilst industrial machinery, sensors, robotic process automation and smarter working, to name but a few, all bring huge improvements to efficiency, the initial outlay can be prohibitive. So how do you increase efficiency and reduce your costs at the same time, in a manageable and accomplished way?

It’s easy to see why manufacturers are looking to reduce their spend on back office processes, with 61% looking specifically to save money on print. Not only does reducing print bring cost savings in terms of the paper, electricity, service and initial outlay on printers, but removing paper where you can brings many other benefits: Yours and your customers data is more secure, your green credentials increase, customer service improves, you’ll attract and retain staff by allowing them to work in a modern and focused way, and you will give yourself more money and time to invest in growth.

1Savanata research commissioned by Canon UK (Lt.), 2018

info graphic 61% of manufacturers will be spending less on print in 2 years' time

Despite the long-awaited shift towards paperless processes finally taking hold, modern working practices often still require the use of the humble document. A document is the format that allows humans to interact with data. There are few people that can extract the salient information from a data stream and decide what to do next. Whilst people are in business the document will be, but they don’t need to be printed.

Whilst colour print can help you grow your business (innovative packaging, internal and external branding, direct mail marketing, collaboration during design etc.) black and white documents often don’t need to be printed, as many processes and legally compliant documents can be digitised. Whether that’s at creation, transmission, receipt or process.

Female helicopter pilot_at work selecting tools_medium close up_business

To make quick wins on increasing efficiency and cutting cost, consider a managed print service to reduce the number of print devices on your network whilst introducing printing rules. But also consider scanning technologies and document management to simplify and automate the movement and storage of documents.

John Kirven
Market Business Developer