How often does the discussion about improving office efficiency include printer and copier software solutions? My best guess would be never, or rarely. Even among IT professionals, copiers and printers can seem like a commodity, hardly as exciting as a new application or new enterprise project.
But what if I told you that some of those software solutions could increase your ROI? What if the conversation centered on improving workflow processes and the security of the information in your organization?
Most copier and printer software that comes with your devices is pretty basic. It makes the device print, scan, copy and fax, but not much else. With different software in place, it could manage your copier and printer in ways that improve productivity, increase efficiency and reduce costs.
1. Enabling Secure Printing
With software such as Papercut and other secure printing applications, you can make your printers more secure and more cost-effective. First, there’s security. Our work with CentraCare in St. Cloud, Minnesota, helped them implement Papercut. This allows medical staff to print confidential documents—staying HIPAA compliant—by sending it to the printer and releasing the document when the staff person scans their ID badge when they are actually at the printer. That means no sensitive patient information is mistakenly left in an output tray.
Secure printing also helps with those on your team who go a little print happy—you know, the guy who prints out his 35-slide PowerPoint presentation in color for everyone at the meeting. A print management tool like Papercut can help you control costly color printouts by metering individual employee access.
2. Supporting Intelligent Workflows
What if your copiers and printers were smart enough to make sure important documents were routed to the right people? Some copiers can make sure the invoice you just copied also gets routed to accounting, the business
There are two workflow scenarios that we meet with clients about. In the first scenario, it’s a small or new business that has no experience with workflows. In this situation, our business analysts figure out how things currently work at the organization and together we can setup a workflow that has your servers talking to your printers/copiers and vice
In the second scenario, we're working with larger, more established organizations that already have workflows in place. In this case, it's important to make sure the software you are considering will work with your existing workflows. That can be particularly tricky with some proprietary applications. Again, our business analysts and IT folks will take a look at what you’ve got and make the software solution work for you.
3. Streamlining End Users
Setting up the copier and printer software for secure printing and workflows is oftentimes the easy part. Getting the end users to actually work with it can be more difficult. To ensure effective adoption, it's beneficial to have a high-level decision maker to champion the change. Then, it helps to recruit early adopters in each department to start using the new solutions and encourage their co-workers by example.
Making good software decisions for your printers and copiers can be complicated. When it’s done right, a business can see efficiency and cost savings in a matter of weeks—and watch it continue to grow over months or years.