SMBs need help re-engineering workflows for the digital business age, but who in the channel will capitalize most on these opportunities remains to be seen.
When asked about business priorities, respondents rated growing the business equally with increasing productivity through improved workflow/business processes, both at 47%. Reduced printing costs (42%), improved customer service/response times (39%) and improved security/disaster recovery (34%) follow closely.
A full 61% of SMBs expect that a document workflow solution could generate at least a reasonable improvement in the bottom line. Cost reduction (25%) is the most common factor SMBs consider when deciding which workflows to improve, followed by impact on improved productivity (21%) and impact on security (15%).
A full 81% of all organizations report that they plan to improve some of their current document workflow processes in the next 12 months; 29% expect an IT reseller to conduct that assessment, 22% will rely on an office equipment dealer, and one in five will carry out the assessment in-house.
When it comes to acquiring workflow automation technology, office equipment dealers dominate at 47%, followed by vendors at 37% and resellers at 26%.
Just over a quarter (28%) report they are well-advanced with respect to implementing their plans to digitize paper processes, 37% have just started to digitize paper processes and 12% plan to embark on process change in the next 12 months.
By the end of 2017, 23% of SMBs envision that mobile devices will be completely integrated with their workflow processes. Today, 66% of SMBs say they currently include mobile printing in their mobility initiatives, while 27% plan to within the next year.
A total of 42% of SMBs taking part in the survey have a managed print service (MPS) contract in place while 40% plan to put a contract in place within the next 12 months. Less than one in five of the SMBs taking part said MPS had no benefit at all.
The top benefits of a MPS contract include reduced costs (48%), reduced paper consumption (47%), improved tracking of print costs (42%) and improved document workflow (41%).
When asked about preferred channels for MPS, 56% cited IT resellers, 36% office equipment dealers and 33% manufacturers.
Just under half (48%) of all SMBs surveyed buy their printing devices from the local print reseller/office equipment dealer. Outsourced IT services provider is the second preference with 38% overall. Only 13% of SMBs buy from the local office superstore/retailer/online. A full 65% say they spend more than $1,000 per month for printing including hardware/toner and service but excluding paper.
56% of all SMBs include printers and/or multifunction printers in their security strategy. A full 57% find value in having a printing security assessment from an office equipment dealer and 65% expect their office equipment dealer to be able to explain how their offerings support or enhance the SMB’s information security.
Systems integration (47%), MPS (46%), software development skills (45%) and post-sales and consulting support (43%) top the list.