Are You Terrified of Your Printers? You Should Be.

October 29, 2020 | Advanced Office

It’s the spooky season now, and as the shadows lengthen and the full moon rises, we find fear emerging from every creaking door and rustling leaf.  But there is something else that may be causing a chill to run up your spine; that fleet of printers lurking in the various corners of your office space.

We forget they are there, sitting on desks or credenzas, sometimes atop rarely visited filing cabinets.  They may be connected by USB to a single workstation, or hanging out in the recesses of the network, a few may even be used via the wifi to print from phones and laptops.  A lot of these units are infrequently used, and many have little to no management from a company level.  But they can be bloodsuckers if you’re not careful.

On average you can expect to see five desktop printers for every MFD, or copier, that is on the floor.  Many of those copiers are on a per copy maintenance plan with service and supplies included, allowing you to see exactly how much usage is costing you on a monthly or quarterly basis.  But on the printers, which again are up to five times as numerous, supplies are purchased as needed and through a litany of different channels.  It could be done on a company credit card or reimbursed on an expense account.  Someone may pay an hourly labor rate for service or just buy a whole new printer when it starts acting up.  Current estimates are that 90% of business do not track their printing expenses, and these expenses can be as much as 15% of most small business revenue.  That’s an incredibly large amount of the bottom line that very few people seem to spend any real time concerning themselves with.

It’s possible you wave off this concern, after all, you wonder, why in the days of wanning printing is it worth exploring a print management program for an activity that is slowly trending down.  Don’t be deceived; according to a recent International Data Corporation study of current print attitudes and benefits, a majority of all age demographics agreed that printing was still an essential activity within the scope of their job responsibilities.  The same study found that those 18-55 years old found the physical presence of a paper-based document elicits a better response from the receiver.  So, while society has certainly become more eco-conscious about waste production, the consensus among most workers is that printing is by no means becoming a thing of the past for modern business.  In fact, it could be argued, that what IS being printed is of even more value to the company.  Since it’s not going anywhere, it’s probably time we understood what it was really costing us.

Managed Print Service program looks to simplify and add better oversight to the expenses that are hitting your budget.  First, by putting all of your devices into one program with a single vendor, you’re eliminating the multitude of vendors providing supplies and services for your units.  Second, by going on to a per click charge, like your copier fleet, you’re able to see the monthly, quarterly and annual impact of each unit.  This gives way to the third benefit of being able to identify those units that are unevenly hitting the bottom line.  Your MPS representative can help you identify if your fleet is too expansive and consolidate the number of printers to be more efficient, replace any models that are overly expensive to run with more economical units, source alternative supply options that are more budget friendly and even automate your toner shipments so you’re not needing to dedicate space and resources to storing supplies you don’t need yet.  By partnering with a reputable Print Management company, you can make things easier, more efficient and less costly for your employees and your organization as a whole.

Now that you’re on the hunt for a company to partner with, there are things you’ll want to consider carefully.  Are they partnered with the OEM brands that manufactured your equipment like HP or Lexmark?  You want to be sure their technicians are properly trained on your equipment.  How’s they’re response time for service?  If you have to wait a day to get your equipment fixed, it’s not that much of a help to your staff.  What’s they’re lead time in supply shipments?  If you’re out of toner, you can’t afford to wait for a shipment from other state to get there.  And do they offer a Data Collection Agent to automatically pull reads and automate toner? Adding all these printers to a cost per copy agreement helps with service and supply support, but you need to turn in meters every month for them to bill.  If you have to do these manually, you’re not really improving efficiency in the long run.  Finally, what are their environmental impact strategies?  You want to make sure you’re partnering with someone who is doing whatever they can to help reduce your companies carbon footprint.

MPS may be something you’ve considered already, and it may be something completely foreign to you.  But regardless, it’s worth looking into in order to improve your companies bottom line and improve your organizations efficiency.  Don’t let your printer fleet scare you anymore, there’s enough out there these days to focus your anxiety on.