It’s Not All about Hardware
So, you have the right devices in the right places, but what’s the next step in ensuring you’re printing in the most secure, cost-effective and efficient ways possible?
Simple: It’s time to put your employees’ printing behavior into greater focus.
There’s no doubt that print management software by itself can help your business cut costs associated with document output. However, in a print ecosystem, the relationship between devices and users is symbiotic, like flora and fauna—and print management on top of a managed print services engagement, which regularly saves businesses 30 percent on document imaging expenses, can bring an even higher level of control and transparency.
Color Toner/Ink Doesn’t Grow on Trees
At the highest level, print management is all about who’s printing, how much they’re printing, and what types of files are being printed. No matter if your strategy around hardware is centralized or decentralized, it’s critical to get to the bottom of these questions, then you can get your hands dirty with the nitty-gritty.
For instance, color output. Some people will always print in black, others will switch between color and black, and still others will output any document that has color in color. Fortunately, print management software offers the ability to create policies for a variety of issues, including color usage. Therefore, a company could restrict the bulk of its employees from printing files in color but leave the door open for those who truly need it, such as a marketing department.
30% of employees in the United States still print webpages. –InfoTrends Research
And oftentimes, they do so in color. Print management software gives you the control to limit or prohibit printing off the web and can also enable you to…
- Enforce double-sided output to reduce paper consumption
- Route print jobs to lower-cost devices
Keep Budgets Intact
Building on the above example, administrators could employ another feature of this class of software: quotas. Here, for users who aren’t in a group that truly requires color, they’d be able to print a set amount of color pages per week, month or otherwise, but once the limit is surpassed, those excess pages are billed to their department.
In terms of industry applications, quotas are often implemented in higher education. A college will typically allow students to print, say, $50 worth of pages per semester—anything more than that becomes the responsibility of the individual.
Another Powerful Factor
The flexibility offered in print management software is perhaps best exemplified through pull printing. This feature, in which users must be authenticated at a device’s control panel in order for their jobs to be output, has several benefits. First, because of the security layer, sensitive files—organizational strategy slides, termination letters—won’t be seen as the person will be right there to collect the document when it lands in the output tray. Pull printing can also have an impact on the environment, as it gives users a second chance to decide whether or not they really want to output the document, which can save both toner/ink and paper (i.e., if the file has a glaring error in it, it would be printed and tossed, thus wasting resources). On this front…
Pull printing can reduce paper waste by 14%. –InfoTrends Research
Lastly, there’s employee convenience to consider. With pull printing, users don’t have to output their jobs at a specific piece of hardware—rather, they can pick and choose a device to their desire.
- Print management software is flexible, scalable and customizable
- Via a variety of tools, organizations can conserve supplies and, in turn, lower costs
- Security and environmental friendliness are closely tied to pull printing