If it’s been awhile since you updated your office equipment, you could be surprised at the difference a new printer could make to your team’s productivity. In the old days, printers often formed bottlenecks that stopped employees in their tracks. Printers took a long time to complete jobs, got jammed pretty regularly, and were mostly seen as dumb appliances that inevitably cost time and money to use and manage.
Modern printers have so many features that can turn your office into a powerhouse of productivity. Instead of just a cost centre, printers can actually contribute to your ability to manage information more effectively, reduce costs, and complete jobs more efficiently.
A multifunction printer (MFP) combines a printer, copier, scanner, and fax machine. By combining this functionality into one device, it saves time, money, and space.
There are seven ways your office printer could dramatically boost your team’s productivity:
Modern printers are increasingly user friendly with a touchscreen and buttons that are intuitive to use and often mimic the apps people are used to using on their phones and tablets. This means users don’t need to be trained before getting started; even complex print jobs can be completed easily and correctly. This means people aren’t wasting time trying to figure out how to get the printouts they need. Instead, they can get on with their core activities with the printer acting as an enabler instead of a roadblock.
Using a modern printer’s scanning functionality means you can reduce paper waste and spend less time shuffling paper back and forth. With optical character recognition (OCR), the scanned documents are searchable, so it’s easy to find them again. With workflows in place, you can ensure scanned documents are sent directly to recipients via email or to predetermined files on computers, servers, or in the cloud. All of this automation means your staff no longer have to waste time managing documents.
For businesses that print a lot of high-quality documents, it used to make sense to outsource a lot of this work to professional printers. Doing so would reduce the strain on in-house printers and ensure a higher-quality output. However, modern printers are more capable and can deliver the professional-looking documents that many businesses need. This means businesses can print more in-house and outsource only when absolutely necessary, reducing costs.
This also means the team can spend longer on creating the perfect document because they don’t have to build in extra time for the outsourced company to print their job. When they know they can just hit the print button as soon as the document is ready, they can keep working on it until the last minute.
Your printouts don’t always need to be of a professional quality. If you’re printing documents for internal use, especially to check drafts, for example, then you may choose to print in black and white and double-sided. This saves on ink or toner and paper. Then, you can switch the settings for a more professional output for the final draft.
Information security is a significant issue for businesses of all sizes. One, often overlooked, area of information security is the printer. When people print out sensitive documents then leave them on the printer, anyone can look at them or even steal them. By requiring users to enter a code or swipe a card at the device before the print job will be released, your modern printer can overcome this security issue.
This has the added bonus of dramatically reducing waste by preventing people from printing documents, forgetting about them, then reprinting them. If someone sends a document to print then doesn’t go to the printer to retrieve the printout, it simply won’t be printed. This can save you significantly in terms of wasted paper, toner or ink.
Some printers offer mobile connectivity. For teams that are constantly on the go, this saves an enormous amount of time. Rather than having to sit down at an office computer, retrieve the document, then send it to print, you can just print the document directly from your mobile device.
When your team prints similar documents regularly, you can save time by setting these jobs up in your printer to happen automatically. Whether it’s changing paper sizes, stapling, using different types of paper, or printing in colour versus black and white, being able to automatically adjust these settings means your staff can get jobs done faster. They can then spend their time on more valuable activities that contribute to business growth.