Improve Your Business Printing Processes – Identify a Key Operator

By: Marco
April 17, 2023

You know the old saying — when everyone is in charge of something, no one is. 

Printing environments are notoriously frustrating and chaotic, but that’s because they’re not given the same level of care and consideration that other critical business systems and tools are given. 

Identifying a key operator, whether your business is large or small, will help create a more organized process for business printing. 

Who Makes a Good Key Operator for Print?


A key operator may be a current employee who has the time and ability to handle printing needs; often, this is an administrative person with some technical ability. In larger organizations, an entirely new staff member may need to be hired to manage a larger fleet of printing equipment.

Key Operator Primary Responsibilities

Your key operator should be fully trained on all printing equipment within your business so that they can perform the following tasks: 

  • If supply ordering isn’t automated, order ink, toner, and finishing supplies (like staples) as needed
  • Replace ink and toner cartridges
  • Replenish finishing materials like staples
  • If needed, monitor toner waste
  • If needed, dispose of and replace full waste boxes
  • Recycle cartridges
  • Resolve paper jams and other minor issues
  • Escalate issues to a technician when needed, schedule and facilitate repair appointments
  • Make sure equipment is properly maintained according to manufacturer instructions
  • Be in attendance when maintenance personnel is repairing equipment
  • Field questions about where every printing device is located within your organization as well as its features and capabilities
  • Review invoices, service history, and usage reports related to printing equipment
  • Provide training for other staff members as needed

Secondary Business Printing Responsibilities

In addition to the primary responsibilities outlined above, in order to optimize your print fleet, performing a thorough print assessment can help you with the following: 

  • Make recommendations regarding equipment replacement or location as needed
  • Identify opportunities for cost savings and waste reduction, including eliminating unnecessary devices
  • Identify where your print environment may contain security risks (like confidential documents left unattended in the print tray) and make recommendations to mitigate those risks

Don’t Have a Key Operator at Your Business?

Having one go-to person who understands your print environment can boost productivity throughout your office. But as you can see, it’s no small job. If you’re struggling to find someone who can handle this additional workload without it hindering their productivity, you’re one of the lucky ones. 

Managed Print Services (MPS) providers will often offer complimentary print assessments; once you know where your print costs are coming from — and you get expert tips on print security, equipment reduction, and the like — those secondary responsibilities can be much easier. 

If the primary workload is still too heavy for an existing staff member, you could hire a specialist for the job. But hiring and onboarding are expensive. Outsourcing the management of your print fleet adds world-class expertise on demand, and the service is at least partially offset by what it will save you. We find we’re able to save clients up to 30% on their print costs, and print security services are offered at no additional charge. Of course, not all providers are the same. Check out our recent blog to learn more. 

 Learn Why Print Services Are Not All the Same 

Topics: Copiers & Printers