When it comes to business priorities these days, three areas consistently rank at the top of the list: reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving productivity. Organizations of all sizes are consistently looking for ways to streamline operations and take cost out of the environment. Yet, when it comes to office printing, many businesses are still operating in the dark.
Historically, print has been viewed as a necessary but unmeasured expense – a critical business function but not necessarily an integral business process. That is changing somewhat, but studies continue to show that most organizations remain unaware of how many printers they own, let alone how much is spent on office printing.
Studies estimate that the average office worker prints more than 10,000 pages per year, which works out to about two cases of paper per employee.
Meanwhile, the number of pages printed unnecessarily is on the rise. Why are office workers generating so many wasted prints? There are numerous reasons but most involve irresponsible user behavior: mistakenly printing more than one needed copy; printing entire documents when a specific page is all that is needed; orphaned print jobs – pages that are never retrieved from the printer; and the list goes on. Interestingly, most office workers simply are unaware of the amount of waste generated and for the need to print more responsibly.
The hard costs of printing are fairly easy to identify and manage, but recovering costs associated with wasteful or unnecessary printing is much more challenging.
One way for businesses to deal with wasteful printing is through the implementation of rules-based printing procedures. Through intelligent print management software, administrators can restrict access to certain printing devices, set mandatory limits based on document type, direct print jobs to specific printers or MFPs, even establish print quotas for individual employees or by department. One organization successfully saved over $500,000 by improving print management processes.
To learn how much your organization could save, please use our print management cost savings calculator.
Promote better print management practices
Implemented properly, rules-based printing procedures are an effective tool for helping organizations reduce wasteful printing and control output costs. But use caution when evaluating specific programs and features. When print policies are strictly enforced with no consideration to existing workflow they can cause significant disruption to worker productivity. In some cases, employees will actually waste significant time and effort simply to avoid certain restrictive print policies in order to do their job effectively.
To mitigate these risks, look for print management solutions that encourage better print behavior, rather than mandate it as a cost-savings utility. The result will be a more comfortable working environment, and a workforce that is equipped with the information needed to make proper decisions regarding responsible printing behavior.