Managed print services continue to offer surprising savings benefits to organizations in a wide variety of industries. Often, managed print agreements are initiated to lower internal costs, but it's not unusual for business leaders to find out that there's more to a managed print engagement than they realized. When the benefits trickle down into workflow processes, employee productivity, green initiatives, and even information security, everyone is pleasantly surprised.
Choosing a new printer for your office? Your chances of a bad case of buyer's remorse are pretty high, given how many of us would like to throw our printers into the closest dumpster.
Here's a look at some questions your technology provider will need to help you select the right printers and copiers for your office requirements.
What are your current print volumes?
It may seem obvious, but your print volume is one of the major driving forces behind which type of equipment you should lease or buy. A desktop inkjet printer may be fine for someone who's printing a dozen or so documents a week, and if any of those are photo quality, inkjet may be the preferred option. For high-volume color printing, however, a color digital press is the more practical and affordable choice.
Often when we hear about document management, it's in the context of an office, and often without connecting it to specific industries. This is especially true of 'blue collar' industries like construction. However, construction companies deal with plenty of documents and have need for efficiency, security, and better workflows. Thus, document management is a great fit for the construction industry.
Here's a peek at some of the ways document management works for construction companies.
Construction jobs occur outside of the office, of course, so there is a ton of collaboration and off-site access happening every day. Document management does an excellent job of facilitating those collaborative and remote access events, from allowing for searchable or editable PDFs to easy filing of all the things needed on a particular job.
When copiers need service, it's not always immediately obvious. Just because it hasn't quit working completely and doesn't have smoke rising from it doesn't mean it doesn't need some TLC.
But how do you know when it needs service? Here are a few things to watch for that might indicate it's time for a service call.
It Tells You
If your copier's service indicator comes on, that means something is wrong, even if everything seems okay. We recommend calling a professional when this indicator comes on for two reasons. First, sometimes in-house repairs can make things worse, and ignoring the problem will escalate the issue. Secondly, a service indicator sometimes means that catastropic failure is imminent. While this isn't always -- or even mostly -- the case, it's still worth paying attention to just in case.
There are plenty of services out there that are packaged as a one-size-fits-all for businesses, but Managed Print isn’t one of them.
Instead, managed print is customized to your business needs based on activity, budget, demand, and even the layout of your office. The data collected works to continue improving processes and costs. Here’s a peek at some of the ways managed print gets tailored to your particular needs.
Businesses without managed print tend to have inefficient inventory control measures. In fact, many don’t have any kind of inventory control. The result is too much or too little inventory and no measures in place to combat misuse or loss. With managed print, paper and ink or toner inventory is part of the package, so you’ll know that there’s tighter control of those products.
There’s a lot to love about multifunction printers. MFPs are all-in-one devices that print, scan, fax, and more, but they also offer a range of benefits for any office. In addition to handling workflows and offering up technology like searchable PDFs, you can also leverage your MFP to get a handle on security.
If you’re not using your MFP’s security features, it’s time to take a look at the risks that might be lurking. MFPs offer powerful tools that give you control over your business’ data.
Which of these processes is causing inefficiencies in your office?
- Incoming documents — Each document that shows up in your organization goes through a process to get into the correct workflow or to a specific individual.
For example, when your company brings a new employee on board, HR processes are heavy on documentation. If you're using paper, each document must be created, copied, sorted, and processed for filing. Additionally, the employee may require a personal copy of many of the records relating to not only his role in the company, but benefit enrollment forms, tax forms, and others.
How confident are you that your company's information is secure? With everyone focused on securing their technology, it's easy to forget about the security issue that's been plaguing businesses for years.
When Paper is a Problem
Even if your organization has switched from paper to electronic document management processes, it's likely that copiers and printers are still in use in every department. For one thing, busy workgroups depend on their multifunction copiers to scan and route incoming information to digital workflows. The security issue comes into play when printed documents contain sensitive information, or when someone doesn't understand the importance of security when using their copiers during the scanning process.
Here's where your copiers are most likely to cause your company a security problem.
With the recent advances in print technology, more companies are doing much of their printing in-house. Along with internal printing, companies are taking advantage of user-friendly digital printers to produce marketing materials like catalogs, brochures, direct mail advertising, and wide-format signage.
More access to in-house printing means it's more important than ever to keep a close watch on print spends. The average U.S. company directs 3% of their annual income to print, but most are unaware of their total costs. Printing expenditures are often shuffled to miscellaneous expense categories, and without centralized management, companies can exceed budget parameters in a hurry.
A quick look around your office may reveal a surprising combination of equipment. You may have a desktop inkjet printer (or two or three), a small copier, a document scanner, and an aging fax machine that inconveniently takes up a lot more room that it should. While you may have a need for each of the devices in your equipment fleet, there's a way to get rid of every one of them without missing out on any functions and even gaining several new ones.
The Lowdown on Multifunction Printers
You could continue to stick with a hodgepodge of office equipment, but a little time spent learning how multifunction printers work may convince you to do a little streamlining. Multifunction printers are an ingenious combination of printer, copier, scanner, and fax in one piece of equipment. The benefits are worth further investigation.