About Document Assessments
Companies are starting to realize that they may need help managing their print environment, and vendors are ready to assist. There are many different types of assessments, and depending on the type of assessment you choose, there may or may not be a fee involved. Increasingly, vendors are conducting assessments without charge, in hopes of learning information that will win his/her firm the greatest number of “clicks” possible.
Generally, a document assessment takes a couple of weeks to a month or more to complete. In some cases, the vendor plugs a USB discovery tool into one of the PCs on a customer’s network in order to automatically discover all the devices on the network and their meter counts. The data is saved on the USB drive and is then removed. The vendor comes back at a later date and once again gets the meter counts in order to get an active gauge of volume.
Some companies conduct more in-depth assessments, installing software that resides on a server behind the firewall in the client environment. This software will remain on the network for 30 to 90 days, allowing the vendor to see how volume fluctuates and if there are peaks on certain days or weeks of the month.
Another common component of a document assessment involves asking the customer a number of questions regarding their workflow and how they manage and utilize their technology. For example, the company may ask the customer about user-to-device ratios, how they purchase supplies and what tools they use to manage their fleet. The company may also ask about the customer’s document management system and workflows. The vendor analyzes the information, makes recommendations and indentifies potential savings.