10 Reasons Why a Print Assessment Is a MUST for Every Organization

     

A managed print assessment will help you get your printers and copiers under control.

It seems like everyone wants to offer you a “free assessment” these days. But assessments aren’t all bad—especially when it comes to the copiers and printers in your office. They are the lifeblood of your operations, and chances are you haven’t given them a second thought since you put them in place.

“So what?” I can hear you thinking.

Here are 10 reasons that will turn that “so what?” into a “what a great idea!”

1. Your printer fleet costs more than you think.

In the business world, most offices are inefficient because of poor business processes and placement of their copiers. The same can be said about underutilized devices whose monthly volumes are not in line with your employees actual use simply because people get in the habit of using copiers that are close to their workspace.

2. You don’t understand your current print environment.

In many companies, managing printing devices is split between an office administrator and an IT professional. With management split, disconnects happen. One generally assumes that the other is “taking care of things”—such as tracking print volumes. In reality, neither person has a grip on the overall print environment.

Most assessments begin with a scan of your network output devices, which then reports back status and supply levels, meter readings, page counts, and more. All useful information to give you a comprehensive view of your print environment that can take some of the burden off of your IT and office managers so they can focus on more important things. Assessment tools can also monitor service alerts and provide detailed reporting on your fleet’s service history.

3. Local desktop printers are convenient, but costly and hard to track. 

While you may have a monthly support agreement that includes supplies and repairs for your copier fleet, many organizations continue to see the cost of print rise. Why? They still have a large number of desktop devices that are not even on their network. An assessment can help identify all of your expenses office-wide so costs are more predictable – and will count devices NOT on the network too.

4. You have multiple vendors and suppliers whose contracts are up for renewal in the 12-18 months.

If you have a potpourri of service providers for your copiers, managing these relationships can be like a juggling act. If your contracts are close to renewal in the next year or so, now is the perfect time to assess your print environment. If there are any inefficiencies, an assessment can help uncover them so you are ready to make an informed decision, or better yet, pare down to a single partner.  

5. Your company has recently merged or down-sized.

When your company grows or contracts, your print needs will change. Mergers always tout cost-saving benefits. A print assessment can help to make that happy talk a reality by providing suggestions for a unified print strategy across the newly combined companies.

6. You have multiple office locations and/or buying styles.

For larger organizations, with a mobile workforce or satellite office, print needs can vary widely. Rather than have everyone on their own island – and making their own purchasing decisions – a print assessment can help identify everyone’s needs, and make recommendations for ways to save with collective purchasing power.

7. You don’t know how your paper documents are used.

Many organizations have no clue how the documents their employees print are being used each day. How often do your employees pre-print meeting agendas only to arrive at the board room to find a stack of the same documents already printed out? What happens to those pages? Do you need to even print agendas? Evaluating your paper-intensive business processes can lead to more efficient use of your printing devices.

8. You’ve recently changed the way you document something for your customers.

Over time the way you do business may change requiring you print or scan documents for your customers. While a new process may speed up the way you deliver customer service, an assessment can confirm just how much this new process may be costing you on the back end. Best practice calls for an honest print assessment every quarter to stay on track.

9. Your print infrastructure is not in sync with your staff’s day-to-day needs.

Similar to reason six, if your teams aren’t all working in one location, they don’t all have the same access to your printer fleet. What may work for one person in the office, may not work out in the field, resulting in employees having to take matters into their own hands to accomplish the same printing task (did someone say expense report?). Ensuring that everyone has open access to the same types of print devices and finishing options for that last minute presentation also protects the quality of your output, not to mention the integrity of your brand. A print assessment can identify how to include mobile printing into your print infrastructure.

10. You are in the finance or healthcare fields and security and compliance are critical.

From the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to mandates from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA), strict regulations govern how companies protect and share persona information. Ensure that confidential documents are staying just that—private and secure. You can read about copier hard drive security here.

Like we’ve said before, you can have the most comprehensive printer fleet you can buy, but if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Instead, manage your investment strategically. Pay only for what you need, not what you think you need. 

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About The Author

Dave Quint, president and CEO of Advanced Systems Inc. and immediate past president of BTA Mid-America. Dave has worked with copiers, MFPs, scanners, and document workflow software since joining Advanced Systems as a sales associate in 1989. His favorite part of the job -- “there is no greater joy than to see the positive impact these solutions have in our client’s businesses.’