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10 Apr 2019
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Four easy ways to recognise when your print management is inefficient

Managing the cost of printing is often the last thing on an office manager or business owner’s mind. After all, printing out documents and other materials is just a cost of doing business, right?

In fact, you could be missing out on significant savings if you’re not paying close attention to your printing costs. And, even if you already have a print management system in place, you might not be getting maximum benefits.

There are four signs that your print environment could be managed better, and that it’s currently costing you money.

1. Cheap printers abound

If you buy your printers ad hoc or as you think you need them, you’re probably losing money. Even cheap printers from office supply stores might not be worth their low purchase prices. This is because they can end up costing you more than they save, especially if you can’t track how much people are printing, how often toner or ink is being replaced, or whether people are printing in colour.

Cheap printers often don’t include environmentally-sustainable or energy-saving features, and will often run through consumables faster than a printer that’s fit for your purposes.

Instead of buying cheap printers by the dozen, your print management provider will recommend a well-considered device strategy in which you get high-quality printers that are cost-efficient to run. This means they’ll last longer and provide more value over their lifespan.

Furthermore, your print management provider can also offer ways to track how much printing is being done by which workers and how much it costs. This lets you get a handle on how much printing is costing you and can help you accurately charge back the cost of that printing to your clients.

2.  Security risk due to unauthorised access

Although your printers might offer the convenience of being internet-connected and wirelessly-enabled, they may expose sensitive data to unauthorised access. This means hackers could potentially gain access to your otherwise well-secured corporate internet just by cracking your printers. And, if your printers store copies of what they’ve printed on their inbuilt hard drives, then that just makes it so much easier for malicious actors to steal information from your business.

To protect your organisation’s sensitive information, you can work with your print management provider to work out the right security measures for you. They can often provide strong security as part of the package at either no cost or very low cost.

3. You’re wasting paper

How can you tell if you’re wasting paper? At the end of the day, there are still unclaimed jobs sitting in printer trays or your recycling bins are full of unwanted printouts. The wastage and expense are worse if these printouts are single sided, and worse again if they’re printed in colour.

Leaving documents on the printer isn’t just wasteful; it’s a potential security risk. Unauthorised people can easily pick up those sheets of paper and read them. They can even photocopy them without your knowledge.

Eliminating wastage is a matter of setting print governance rules that are enforced automatically at the printer itself. This includes setting double-sided, black-and-white printing as the default option for all documents except those that are being presented to clients. Saving your colour, single-sided printouts for client-facing documents can save on both paper and toner or ink.

As well as this, you can eliminate the number of unclaimed documents by adding a pull-print function to your print management environment. This requires users to enter a code or swipe a card at the printer itself before their document will print out. This addresses security issues as well, since it eliminates the risk of unclaimed documents sitting unattended for any period of time.

With this solution in place, your employees will no longer forget about a document they’ve printed. And, given that they’ll need to go to the printer immediately to collect it, this may help them think twice about whether that document needed to be printed in the first place.

4. No one seems to be in charge

When toner runs out or the printer gets jammed, who do your employees call? If it’s the IT department, then you’re in the majority, and it could be costing your company more than just time and money. When your IT department is tied up dealing with printer issues, it’s not focusing on innovation or delivering services effectively.

A managed print services provider can remove this burden from your IT team at a fraction of the cost. The provider will manage everything from toner and ink replacement to maintaining your printers so they’re always ready for work.

And, if your employees just don’t know who to call when something goes wrong, then you could find several people buying supplies as needed, which can see costs spiral out of control.

Konica Minolta can help you solve these challenges and more with a managed print services contract. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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