In the business world, printing is essential, there’s no avoiding racking up some costs when it comes to getting a hard copy of some documents. Spending too much on printing is easily avoidable though.
If your company is still utilizing personal printers sitting on the desk of every individual, the time is right to change your printer plan and upgrade. Whilst personal printer prices have dropped since their inception, ink is still a very pricey cost. Using a departmental or organizational printer is a better option and security can be ensured using pull-printing on shared printers.
Second chance to not print
Utilize new technologies such as biometrics in printing, or even utilize a key card system for releasing print jobs. If staff members print the wrong documents, print pages by mistake or realize they no longer need a hard copy of work, they can easily delete the job before releasing it at the printer.
On unmanaged systems, it is estimated that a number in the range of 20% of printed work is forgotten, lost or trashed unread. How many times have you headed over to the printer, only to have to rifle your way through dozens of sheets waiting to be collected? For many mid-sized businesses, this adds up to vast amounts of wasted paper and more importantly, costly ink. This is clearly a huge area in which you can make potential savings. Smart printing systems provide pull-print functionalities so that all documents are either retrieved or not output at all.
Many pieces of work are printed off for one employee’s eyes only, or as a draft working copy to simply be annotated on. As this is the case, not all printouts need to be of optimum quality. Entering print options and selecting a draft print will lead to cut costs when it comes to restocking on ink. If you don’t feel your workforce are capable of making such a small change, then implement a managed print system, which would enable you to override the user’s local settings, and enforce lower quality printing where applicable, saving money in the long run.
Another problem if you aren’t using a managed system is that printers often default to a color job. Obviously, when printing off a simple spreadsheet or Word document, you wouldn’t expect a vast array of colors, however printing off web pages for reference can lead to high costs if they come out in color. When rushed for time, the least of concerns to staff is going through print options and minimizing costs, so having a managed system in place can save you in print costs and the valuable man hours of staff.
Change of mind
Picture the scene, you’ve finished your document, hit print and as soon as the printer whirrs into motion, you spot a glaring error staring back at you. The only option you have is to bin the bad copy and print a fresh, mistake free replacement. With pull print technology, you allow staff to release copies from the printer, which resultantly means any error copies can be deleted before released and less waste is created via discarded incorrect work.
Every office has the prolific email printer. Unless an email is absolutely vital, it more often than not won’t need to be printed. In the digital mobile age we live in, people have easy access to email accounts via smartphones, tablets and netbooks, so now more than ever, emails don’t really need to be printed out. If you don’t monitor print output of staff, you have no idea how much email print-offs could be costing you. Push the idea to employees that they store emails on mobile devices rather than printing, to save the business cash.
Rich Simons is Co-Founder and Managing Partner for EDGE Business Systems. He helps improve efficiencies for medical practices providing analysis, customization and recommendations to create an efficient work environment for all document processes. Feel free to connect at firstname.lastname@example.org.