Managing a fleet of printers can take a significant amount of work—especially since printer management is rarely centralized. Typically, IT oversees printer maintenance and security. Office management may be in charge of assigning rights to print to various machines and measuring volumes. And the purchasing team takes care of ordering and stocking ink, paper, and other supplies.
When multiple departments and professionals are involved in managing your printer fleet, it can be challenging to get to the real numbers and the real issues that are holding your printers back from maximum uptime and productivity. One InfoTrends study concluded that organizations can reduce costs by 30% using managed print services. Here’s a closer look at what organizations considering managed print services need to know.
What’s Driving the Investment in Printer Management
According to IDC, 45% of printers that ship by 2021 will be part of a printing-as-a-service contract. What’s driving this sea change? Many IT departments are focused on keeping pace with the fast-changing technological landscape, and printers can seem like a legacy technology that’s not part of the digital transformation many organizations are looking for.
In reality, they’re a critical component of everyday workflows. Networked printers can represent an easy way to operationalize those plans, by ensuring that these critical devices—which scan, print, copy, and more—fit seamlessly into all your businesses workflows.
Getting Better Data on Multi-Touch Management
For many organizations, the first challenge to overcome in the process is a lack of concrete data. How much are you spending on supplies or having inventory sitting around in closets? Are your printers breaking down regularly? Are staff members trying to print critical documents, only to find key printers are down for maintenance and dissembled while they’re being serviced? With so many departments and individuals involved at any one time, it’s simply hard to know. Managed print services can help you get a better handle on your data so you can make choices that are optimized for your business.
Data Collection: The First Step in Managed Print Services
When your organization first considers managed print services, your managed print partner should begin with a data collection step. Over the course of a month or so, technology will be used to gather information on a range of areas to develop full visibility into how you’re using your printing suite. The types of data collected may include:
- The number of print devices, as well as the makes and models of those devices currently in your environment
- Device utilization
- Device status
- Page volumes
- Percentage of mono and color print jobs
- Supply usage
- Technical issues
- Cyber security issues
With this information, you’ll be in the right position to clearly assess your needs and evaluate the bottom line and productivity benefits for a proposed solution.
With the right insights, a managed print services partner will be able to “right-size” a custom solution for your needs. You won’t have to spend money on supplies you don’t need or machines that exceed the capacity of your printing goals. At the same time, you won’t underestimate your needs and find yourself battling overwhelmed machines or missing supplies. Instead, the management of your printing fleet will become a seamless, streamlined, and data-driven workflow that serves your organization without draining critical resources.
Organizations are becoming more data driven and efficient in everything they do. With the insights and information managed print services can provide, it’s possible to lower costs, increase uptime, and capture the full benefits of your print fleet while also reducing the level of effort your team spends managing printers.