March 20, 2023
Remote work — love it or hate it, it probably saved your business quite a bit of money in print costs. And if your workers have returned to the office, they’ve probably brought their old, wasteful print habits back with them.
If you’re seeing costs soar, it’s time to optimize your fleet.
What Does It Mean to Optimize Your Print Environment?
Optimizing your print environment isn’t just about reducing costs. It’s also about reducing waste, boosting productivity, and improving data security throughout your print fleet.
6 Steps to Optimal Print Management
- Conduct a print assessment
- Right-size your fleet
- Reduce costs
- Reduce risk
- Forecast costs
- Automate supply ordering
This list sounds simple enough, but many of these steps require a bit more explanation.
1. Conduct a Print Assessment
We’re not gonna lie — this step’s a big one. You’ll need to take a detailed survey of every printing device your company’s using, how it’s being used, how old it is, and what it’s capable of. If you only have a few printing devices and you have some free time on your hands, you might be able to take care of this yourself. You can find a print assessment how-to guide here.
If, however, your print environment is more complicated or your work schedule is already packed, you’ll be happy to know that some managed print providers will offer complimentary print assessments. And yes, Marco is one of them!
2. Right-Size Your Print Fleet
After your assessment is complete, you might discover you don’t actually need all the devices you have. When we work with clients to optimize their fleet, we try to eliminate personal printers whenever possible, as they use up energy, take up space, and encourage wasteful print habits.
What’s a “Good” Fleet Size?
We find that most organizations have one printing device for every four employees. Not every business has the same printing needs, but a more efficient ratio is more like one device for every ten employees.
3. Reduce Costs
In your print assessment, you might have found that devices that specialize in generating beautiful images are being used to churn out massive black-and-white documents, and that some (or all) of your departments have some pretty wasteful habits.
You can address many of these issues by updating your print policies. And to reduce costs even further, consider the money-saving hacks outlined in this print costs blog.
4. Reduce Risk
You can also reduce many common business risks by optimizing your print fleet.
Is one of your printers about to die on you? That’s a big risk to your productivity. If you’ve conducted a thorough print assessment, you’ll know which printing equipment is reaching the end of its useful life and avoid nasty surprises.
It’s always tempting to get more use out of old equipment, but old printers tend to cost you more money than you think. And if you’re still using printing equipment that’s over seven years old, it probably doesn’t have robust security features, so you’re also looking at a cybersecurity risk. Take it from us, that 9-year-old printer doesn’t owe you anything anymore, and you’re better off without it.
Professional printers can be a significant investment. One way to transform this financial risk into a predictable expense is to outsource the management of your print fleet to a third-party print provider.
Of course, not all MPS providers are the same, but at Marco, our clients tend to save up to 30% on their print costs, and we provide print security at no additional charge.
5. Forecast Future Costs
Once you’ve calculated how much your print fleet is costing you and when you’ll have to replace your equipment, you’ll be able to create an accurate timeline of what you’ll need to budget for and when. Or, as we mentioned before, you can push the easy button and go with an MPS provider that will give you a predictable monthly bill.
6. Automate Supply Ordering
Ordering the right supplies takes time, and unless you have one person in charge of ordering them, it’s likely that every now and then, someone orders the wrong ones or pays more than they need to.
Even if you’re not a managed print services client, many providers will help you streamline online supply ordering and help you get the right supplies for less. But MPS providers can also automate supply ordering completely, so the right toner and ink will just arrive when you need it to, thanks to powerful monitoring software.
And sorry (not sorry) for all of the not-so-subtle hints throughout this blog, but there’s a good reason why so many organizations are turning to managed print services…
Managed Print Services = Easy, Ongoing Print Optimization
Unless your fleet is quite small, print optimization is no small feat. Watch this video from Marco to learn why getting Managed Print Services is the best way to achieve ongoing print optimization. After watching it, if you have additional questions about how it can help your organization, let us know!