Who is responsible for overseeing the care and maintenance of your retail print environment? How do you know your devices receive the attention they need to run and the maintenance to keep them running efficiently? Your printers, copiers and scanners are essential at your individual retail locations. Without them, productivity would plummet. If your company is not auditing print devices on a regular basis, your printers are most likely not performing at optimal levels.
WHAT IS A MANAGED PRINT ASSESSMENT AND WHAT DATA DOES IT PROVIDE?
A managed print assessment, also known as an audit or analysis, reviews the usage data on all the devices within your print environment. A print assessment collects basic data, such as which users have access to which printers and how often each is used. The assessment can also collect data about the type of projects being run, such as color vs. black and white prints.
A print assessment determines the paper size and job size of each project being run and performs a cost analysis of how much each project is costing your business. Last but not least, a print audit also collects data on ink or toner levels in printers and sends out automated reports alerting your IT Department or managed print provider about supply levels.
WHY ARE PRINT ASSESSMENTS IMPORTANT FOR RETAIL?
The top three reasons are: visibility, usage statistics and productivity. Managed print assessment data allows your company to know what’s going on at the individual store level and throughout their entire retail print environment. Because retail chains often span multiple states and regions, collecting a clear picture of usage can be difficult. For those companies requiring secure documents and data, print assessments help ensure data is secure.
The visibility a print assessment provides retail chains allows corporate to understand what’s happening at the store level. Print assessments uncover the cost of printing within your entire network, and calculate the true cost to the entire organization. It allows corporate to better understand workflow and costs, making cost control measures trackable.
2. Usage Statistics
Usages statistics let you know which printers are meeting high volume demand and which printers are best suited to handle higher capacity printing. With this information you can position existing machines so that the most capable devices are in locations with the highest demand. Strategically positioning print devices can significantly extend their usefulness.
It is near impossible for brick and mortar retail chains to be successful without a functioning print environment. Inventory, shipping, receiving and customer service all require printing. With print audit data, you’ll know where delays are happening and why, how machines are being used, and more. With this information you will be able to manage printer access, streamline workflow and avoid print delays.
WHAT MANAGED PRINT SERVICES CAN DO FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION
Under Managed Print Services, we capture your current data – not the data from a comparable business or industry. In order to make the best use of your print audit data, consider the assistance of a Managed Print Services (MPS) provider. Identifying and analyzing printer usage is valuable, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. Making effective changes based upon that data requires a print strategy, especially when your retail print environment is spread out.
With a capable and experienced MPS provider, your company can build an effective print strategy. A good four step process for creating a managed print strategy includes:
Through these steps, you and your MPS provider can assess current usage, discuss goals, plan future changes, measure ongoing success and manage the long term viability of your retail print environment.
A Managed Print Services provider can guide your company through this process, implement hardware and print assessment software and keep your printers functioning. Take the first step toward creating a print strategy by requesting a free print technology assessment.