Why Should Your Business Get a Print Assessment?

By: Marco
November 28, 2022

All organizations looking to save money and reduce waste should seriously consider a print assessment. However, with rising prices and shipping delays, burning through an unnecessary amount of paper, toner, and ink is going to have an even bigger impact on your monthly budget. 

In a “normal” time, unmanaged print costs can make up 1 – 3% of an organization’s total revenue, yet 90% of companies fail to track their printing expenses. Considering inflation, your print costs for the year are likely to be higher. 

What Is a Print Environment Assessment?

A print assessment is an overview of your printing equipment, how your staff is using that equipment, and where you can reduce costs without sacrificing productivity. 

However, not all Managed Print Services (MPS) providers are the same, and some print assessments are more comprehensive than others. For example, at Marco, we will also identify any security risks associated with your current print environment.

What Questions Will Your Provider Ask During an Office Print Assessment?

Every organization has different printing needs, including how much they need to print and the type of documents they must generate. A good provider should take the time to get to know your company, your needs, your goals, and any regulations you need to comply with before they recommend ways to cut costs. 

You should expect questions about which departments or staff members use which devices, what special documents you may need to produce, any specialized paper needs, and what additional capabilities — like faxing and scanning — are necessary for different departments.

What Will Your Office Equipment Printing Assessment Uncover?

Here’s a wild statistic: 90% of companies don't know how many printers they have. If your office hasn’t had a print assessment in quite some time (or ever), it can provide some other shocking information. 

Here are the insights you can expect from a typical printing assessment: 

  • How much you’re actually spending each month
  • Where you can easily save money without hurting productivity
  • The number of devices you have
  • The number of devices you actually need
  • How your staff is using your devices
  • If print jobs are frequently left in the print tray or immediately discarded
  • Any unauthorized use of office supplies and equipment 
  • Inefficient printing habits, like staff members printing emails as reminders
  • If various departments are using equipment that’s suited to their needs
  • The health of your print fleet, including if some devices should be decommissioned

At Marco, we will also take the time to uncover any security vulnerabilities in your fleet. Believe it or not, 40% of IT security professionals admit they don’t always change default admin passwords. If you’re not sure that all of your print devices have been updated with unique passwords, or that their firmware and drivers are up to date, your print security deserves some attention. 

4 Reasons You Should Get a Print Assessment 

If you don’t know what isn’t working, you can’t fix it. But besides the obvious, here are the biggest reasons a print assessment is an important step for any organization. 

1. You’ll Save Money

Our Managed Print Services (MPS) team typically saves our clients up to 30% on print-related expenses. The first step is always a thorough print assessment, where we identify ways your organization can trim costs through updating or trimming your fleet, enacting and enforcing print policies, adding print management software, and making better use of your existing equipment.

2. You’ll Reduce Paper Waste

You’d think we’d waste less paper now that we can do more business in the cloud, but paper waste is still a huge problem. A Xerox study found that nearly half of all printed documents are thrown away within 24 hours, and 30% are never picked up from the printer at all. Smart printing policies and software can significantly curb wasteful printing, and so can removing personal printers whenever possible. 

3. You’ll Boost Security

When you take stock of your print fleet, you may uncover a few surprises, like equipment that may still be functioning but isn’t equipped with modern cybersecurity features. Generally speaking, printers that are over seven years old don’t owe you anything, and they may end up costing you more than they’re worth

Plus, wherever there are unclaimed print jobs there is also the risk that sensitive employee or customer data may fall into the wrong hands. In addition to helping prevent cybersecurity incidents, getting better print policies and tools can help you avoid HR nightmares. 

4. You’ll Reduce Disruptions

Are some of your printers about to quit on you? Depending on your organization and the department they’re serving, that may not be a big deal, or it could grind your productivity to a halt. If you don’t keep tabs on your equipment, it’s also probably not getting the maintenance it needs. 

A print assessment can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it. 

Can You Do Your Own Print Assessment?

You can absolutely conduct a print assessment yourself! This blog outlines all of the basic steps and includes some print expenses — like outsourced print jobs — that are especially easy to forget about. 

However, here’s a fair warning: in addition to taking stock of your equipment, you’ll need to understand your overall print costs, including energy consumption, maintenance, and the like. Depending on the size of your fleet, a good print assessment can take quite some time. Then you’ll have to research what to do with the information you find. If you’re not an expert on printers or print security, this could also take quite a bit of time. 

Doing It Yourself vs. Using an MPS Provider

Since one of the biggest reasons to conduct a thorough print assessment is to save money, a do-it-yourself solution sometimes makes sense. However, your savings will likely depend on the accuracy and depth of your data. 

One of the best parts of a professional print assessment is that it is ultimately useful for solving problems multiple departments have been dealing with for years. Your staff will benefit from a print environment that causes fewer disruptions. Your HR department and IT staff will love the boost to security, and your IT staff will also love a print environment that doesn’t require frequent troubleshooting. Combine all of that with cost savings, and it’s a hard solution not to like. 

If you only have a few printers and you have the time to do some research into print security and print management solutions, a self-directed assessment can do some good. But if your print environment is complex or your time is best spent elsewhere, it’s probably best to hire an expert. Just know what you’re getting — if your provider doesn’t include print security, you’ll be responsible for that portion of the work. 

Marco’s been offering Managed Print Services since 2005. In addition to including print security services as part of our regular offering, we’ve recently upgraded our print software to provide better analytics and diagnostic capabilities regardless of manufacturer. If you’d like to gain an incredible amount of insight into your fleet and how it could be working smarter for you, let us know!

Talk to a Managed Print Specialist

Topics: Copiers & Printers