How to Assess Your Print Output Environment

The UK is the worst in the Europe for document management. Or,mismanagement for a better word. Businesses are looking for ways to print cost effectively, while slacklining in an attempt to lower carbon emissions in accordance with the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. Sure isn’t an easy task to accomplish.

Poor print management is hurting the bottom line of many businesses. If one of those is yours, we’ll guide you onto the best track for an innovative solution.

That is, if you’re a SMB owner with more than a few employees. A small business with very little done in the way of printing will get by with an inkjet printer, and probably get away with monochrome only.

Those with higher print output though, more employees, more electricity consumption, higher cost of consumables, such as toners, ink cartridges, maintenance kits etc. have a higher cost of ownership, yet a far higher significant advantage toward reducing overheads with efficient document management processes.

As a rule of thumb, if your print volume is higher than 1,000 prints per month, an inkjet printer is costing your business money, and hiking your carbon emissions. Either one of those factors should be enough to tell you that laser is the way to go.

Laser colour photocopiers, or even multifunctional peripherals, (MFPs) which combine scan, print, photocopy, and fax together could be the perfect solution for any business to lower overheads and their carbon footprint.

You will only know if it will or not when you ascertain the data you need to analyse your print output environment.

That’s what we aim to help you with in this post. We will keep things to as basic a level as possible without getting too technical that we lose your interest by immersing you into our world of print. As marvelling as we find it, we understand not everyone is fascinated with technology.

Let’s dive into assessing the print output environment for business evaluation

1)      You need to involve your IT Division (without them, you’re not going to gather much data)

You need these guys/ girls aboard for this process because those are the people running your print network. Or, at least they should be. The days for standalone inkjet printers connected to desktops throughout your office are long gone.

If your business is not operating on a shared network, you’re losing money hand over fist! Networks are the primary drivers that enable businesses to lower their cost of print.

It’s simple really.

If you have a team of employees, perhaps sharing a monochrome printer between three to four members of your team, connected through an Ethernet cable or the likes, you have a problem.

If you read our last post about photocopiers in the past, you’ll know the days of paper jams and office workers hanging around a printer waiting for the documents to feed into the paper tray are finished. Anyone who ever worked as an office junior will recall those days vividly.

Thankfully, tech has come a long way to remedy the problems from back in the day.
The point is that you really need to be using shared printers, connecting them through your network, (even wirelessly), and implementing software that encourages your staff to print documents to the most cost efficient device.

A connected network will allow your IT department to gather far more intelligence on your document management via print management software

It’s estimated that 5% of total business revenue in the UK is lost every year to poor document management. Simple things like using print preview in landscape and printing in portrait, or prompting not to print in colour when monochrome would be just as effective.
Print Management software alerts the printer supplier when the units are down and bypasses the need for employees to report it to the IT department, preventing the equipment being out of commission for longer than necessary.

Certainly, in today’s offices, there is far more print productivity taking place in comparison to how the economy was haemorrhaging money back in 2008. Canon has an interesting press release here archived from those days.

To prevent your business going backwards instead of forwards with technology advancements – Involve your IT division in the evaluation process. They will give you key insights into how your business is managing (or mismanaging)your document output.

Every month!

You cannot be short of any information about your print volume and the way it’s used in your business if you’re to stand a fighting chance at getting your print expenditure under control.

2)      You must be thinking of the long-term goal

We mean no offence when we tell you this, but your head needs to be in the right place. The savings are not in the next three months or anywhere close. The savings lie within the duty and life cycle of the photocopier, or MFP.
Copier manufacturers provide duty cycle and lifetime cycle information for each their models. The duty cycle is the capacity the MFP can handle monthly, and the lifetime cycle is, well to state the obvious, it’s the life of the unit before it begins to be affected by performance issues.

Commercial colour photocopiers with laser technology will come at a higher upfront cost than their counterparts, but when you consider the longevity of the photocopiers, and the lower cost of consumables compared to laser printers – it works out much cheaper in the long run.

If you need a unit that does more than copy, opt for the multifunctional units. Each of the modern boxes has a range of technology. (Far too much to cover here, so we’ll save that for another day)

3)      Go deep in your assessment (and make sure management are kept in the loop)

Management must be in the loop with the IT division, because any strategic move to lower overheads naturally needs the approval of upper management.

There’s no point in telling your IT manager that you’re increasing their budget by £4,000 to improve document management. They won’t know what your objectives are other than to reduce company overheads.

You need to look over detailed reports of how many documents are printed monthly, how they are being printed, consider the duty cycle of the copier/printer you’re currently using, the service/repair costs to keep the units operational, and all the costs for consumables that your currently spending on. Remember to factor for shipping costs as well as they aren’t long in racking up.

It all comes back around to the total cost of ownership and that’s what your print output assessment is designed to help you do.

Assess the real cost of printing you’re currently spending and then implement strategies to reduce that cost.

Until you have your print usage data reports from your IT department, you won’t be in a position to know the best cost reduction method for you to deploy across your business.

Businesses with more than one location are at a major disadvantage if they aren’t on a connected shared network. There is technology there that lets you manage an entire fleet of MFPs from a single central unit. Whether you need that or not depends on your monthly print output.

We’ll leave you to collate the data on document management, and then we’ll come back and share some insights into the different technology that exists, what works, what doesn’t for certain situations, and discuss the different print technology that can help lower costs and carbon emissions.
Impatient?

Photocopier tech thrills us because we find it fascinating due to what it makes possible, so if you’re wondering what print technology can do to amp up your document management process, lower your costs, and reduce your carbon footprint, check out some modern and advanced solutions at copylogic.co.uk.
Until next time,

The team at

 

+CopyLogic Limited