For our evaluation of print management software, we have approached our study from the three core criteria which define the scope of these solutions: 1) device management, 2) cost management, and 3) output management.
The printing technology in use across all businesses is of great interest to Finance, IT, and Marketing departments alike. At a time when every organisation is seeking to reduce print costs, improve efficiency, and enhance network and print security, customers are realising that managed print services are, truly, the best way forward.
In this article we look at why organisations are jeopardising their productivity and success by depending on dated (even obsolete) office printers, also referred to a multifunctional devices or printers, (MFD or MFP), and why older devices can hinder productivity. Particularly, we explore how managed print services forms a strategically important important approach and how it enables not just reduced costs also delivers a meaningful business modernisation plan.
How managed print service benefits a business
Managed print services reduces the costs and complexity of managing printers. With more employees working remotely or in a hybrid fashion (part home, part in the workplace), IT departments are struggling to manage their print fleets.
Your Finance Director wants to reduce costs, and with good reason. Deployment of the most elementary print management software will prove that your print fleet represents some of the most under-utilised technology, despite being capable of transforming workplace productivity.
The perspective is different when you query the needs of sales and marketing departments. They’re communicating with your clients and prospects, and they know how printed documents impact how every customer perceives your business.
1. Minimise Downtime
Consider when your MFD isn’t functioning, your employees are not just frustrated, they’re also unable to accomplish their task efficiently. It’s often not just your process which suffers, but your customer too. What of the replacement components you’ve ordered during that downtime? Maintain your equipment, certainly, but avoid squandering cash on obsolete systems.
The most sought after print technologies
Knowing when to replace your MFD is a critical component of your business’s managed print solutions (MPS). Whether you call them copiers, or multifunction devices, that are efficient and simple to use are critical for streamlining production and providing fast customer service.
Frequently, it is your workplace equipment’s inadequate usefulness that requires updating. Investing in a new multifunctional device can also be a way to address changing corporate requirements. Among the most sought-after technologies offered by managed print service providers are the following:
- Intrusion detection for printer security,
- IT help desk support and printer technical support,
- Printing on-the-go from Apple or Android devices.
When an upgrade is overdue
If your machines are prone to paper jams, take an excessive amount of time to print, or offer subpar output, it is definitely time to upgrade. According to usage and upkeep, modern MFDs last five years, but when you invest in higher performance technology you gain access to the latest productivity technology. An of this is how Xerox offer their embedded Workflow Central software platform which gives employees the solutions they require to manage their time and resources productively.
2. Additional Features
Similarly to how you update your smartphone to gain access to new features, you should do the same with your printer. Many modern printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) are Wi-Fi enabled and can connect to mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, enabling you to utilise mobile print capabilities and print from virtually anywhere.
Support Google Drive, Dropbox, and Office 365
As with smartphones, today’s multifunction printers include apps which enable you to print from, or scan to, your favourite cloud-based services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Office 365, translate documents into multiple languages, convert hard copy documents to audio files, and much more! Led by the innovations Xerox and their ConnectKey business app library, we’re seeing a total shift in how such functionality and features become part of everyday work.
3. Investing in a new printer can boost productivity
How much downtime does your office endure as a result of printer malfunctions? How much time will your colleagues be required to wait for documents taking an unreasonable amount of time to print? Printing is frequently the final step in the office workflow. If your business’s printer equipment is a bottleneck, investing in a new printer might boost office productivity and employee morale.
It’s infuriating when office staff are forced to troubleshoot printer issues or transfer print tasks to equipment situated outside their immediate vicinity. New multi-functional printers can be installed in each office division or bigger units can act as a copy/printer centre for the entire organisation.
4. Connectivity and security
Investing in a managed print service ensures you can manage your entire fleet centrally while realising the benefits of software solutions which connect your staff to the
The networking of office equipment, which includes managed print solutions, is one of the most important productivity gains. Modern machines can communicate with cloud storage services, mobile devices used outside the workplace, the internet, and your company’s area-wide network.
Shared network printers will significantly lower your office’s overall operating and maintenance expenditures. Additionally, you save money on printer materials by training all employees to utilise your shared print and copy centre.
5. Boost print security
Cybersecurity is a hot topic! The risk of a system breach is ever-present but many businesses are unaware that printers provide a point of entry for unscrupulous persons looking for a thrill or to steal valuable data about clients and workers. To assist in securing your business’s data, managed print solutions may contain the following:
- Secure connection between the printer and the data,
- Limiting access to your company’s personnel,
- Disabling automated protocols such as FTP,
- Ensuring that internal settings are properly configured.
Not only does ageing technology degrade performance, but it also puts you at risk of a security breach. Upgrading your print devices results in increased security â€” for example, each Xerox MFP is equipped with a holistic four-point approach to print device security, offering complete protection for all system components and points of vulnerability.
With managed print services, your users can gain follow-me printing, which sends the work to the correct printer and holds it until the user comes to collect. They then identify themselves via a passcode or fob. Making your documents secure is a legal duty, and this is a key feature companies are using to further lower their risk of a data breach.
6. New office technology gives your company a competitive advantage
Your personnel should be able to do all documentation tasks with a single piece of equipment. This includes document copying, printing, scanning, faxing, and sharing through cloud storage. This kind of adaptability may significantly improve your office process and aid in the growth of your organisation.
If you’ve been hesitant to incorporate photographs and other graphics into printed materials, updated technology now enables a simpler method and superior outcomes without slowing down the printing process.
7. Growing businesses require more documentation
A developing firm will require a significant amount of printed documentation â€” regardless of its industry. A sluggish printer or one that runs out of toners or other consumables frequently is inefficient.
If it’s time to replace all or just part of your entire fleet, you should also consider collaborating with an established Managed Print Services (MPS) solutions provider to benefit from the latest technology advancements, enterprise-wide connectivity. You will find that the costs of their services are more than offset by a rationalisation of the number of devices you’re paying for every quarter.
8. Printing requirements evolve
Over the previous year, the worldwide pandemic has brought several changes, including alterations to the traditional job. While some organisations have begun to return to traditional office space, others have opted for a hybrid or full-time virtual workplace. When considering the future of your organisation, it’s critical to consider how your printing requirements have changed.
With more individuals working online, it’s possible that your printing volumes have fallen; on the other hand, if workers have been printing from personal devices at home, they may have developed a habit of printing more, resulting in an increase in your total print volumes.
Consider if it makes sense to upgrade to a larger device or one capable of handling higher volume, or to downsize to a smaller unit to accommodate decreasing production.
Whether you work from home or the office, you may discover that you suddenly require a more capable gadget. Upgrading your single-function printer to a multifunction printer (MFP) combines the functions of a copier, network printer, scanner, and fax machine. Why not save space, boost security, and support the environment while giving your staff the features they can use into the future?
Another possibility is that your printing requirements have changed fundamentally: you may have previously outsourced print jobs and projects that you are now contemplating bringing in-house to accomplish, whether for cost or other reasons. To bring these operations in-house, you may need to update to a device that has finishing features such as stapling, hole punching, or booklet creation if your existing equipment is lacking.
9. Impress the next customer
Streaks on pages, distorted lines, and less-than-sharp pictures are all symptoms that your printer is in desperate need of maintenance or that it’s time to update. Today’s next generation office colour printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) deliver great colour quality at a price comparable to that of specialised print shops.
There is also a move for businesses to embrace ESG, Environment, Social, and Governance as part of an overall sustainability drive. By selecting EPEAT and Energy Star rated machines, you will reduce the energy required to power them, and see further benefits from the modern ultra-fine toners which are made without petroleum products. Communicating these benefits to every customer enhances your reputation.
10. Enhance productivity, efficiency, and sustainability
This is a huge hidden expense associated with using obsolete equipment. Newer technologies are significantly more energy efficient. Remember, these are power hungry devices which are plugged in, and always turned on.
Along with enhancing print quality, upgrading to a contemporary office printer or all-in-one printer enables you to print, copy, and scan more pages per minute, resulting in improved performance and productivity from your device.
Additionally, newer models are considerably more efficient, with toner cartridges delivering more pages per cartridge and drum units, waste cartridges, and maintenance kits engineered to deliver increased production. Upgrading your multifunction printers offers several environmental benefits, as noted above.
Since 2010, for example, Xerox printers and multifunction printers have gained 100 percent ENERGY STAR and EPEAT certifications. Additionally, managed print services assist firms in increasing productivity, increasing energy efficiency, and reducing material consumption and waste associated with printing by optimising their print environment and operations.
Selecting a managed print services provider checklist
Your quest to identify an ideal manage print services partner will be made easier with this 14-point checklist from Advanced UK:
- Can they support your printers wherever they are located, such as at your office and the homes of your employees?
- Do they have enough reviews from customers that you can be certain of their credentials? Checking their Google reviews for an overall rating of 4.5 or higher is an excellent first step.
- Search their website to establish if they have experience with the leading print management software tools which will enable you to monitor your print usage. This data will ensure you will update your print fleet with the devices you need, and will usually reduce them in number.
- Do their costs include clear breakdowns as to what you will pay for the equipment rental and the additional ‘cost per click’ charges?
- Does their managed print services business model include annual reviews to optimise your fleet, so giving your further opportunity to reduce costs?
- Do their MFPs have the modern features your staff can use for printing and scanning efficiently? Research their technologies and create a checklist of the additional productivity apps and match these against your business processes.
- Take into account their ability to attend your site promptly, and also investigate their remote call assist rates. The more your MPS provider can perform remote fixes, the better for your business.
- It’s vital to check how they will cope with a mixed fleet of machines. Customers will often have to progress to a fully managed service fleet over time.
- Do they have a system to manage your consumables resources efficiently? Just-in-time deliveries of toners and other parts saves you from purchasing stock you might never use.
- Service and support is often the key reason from moving to managed print services, but don’t overlook the importance of your network security. Research how their printers can assure you of inbuilt intrusion detection, document deletion, and how your IT team will manage updates.
- Can new features and firmware updates be deployed centrally?
- Does the functionality of the proposed printers create a user-friendly experience for your company, and does your provider have the internal resources to create customised applications?
- Can they demonstrate that the proposed service will lead to reduced costs over the lifespan of the contract?
- Does their managed print services agreement provide for toner and consumables recycling for free, and does this include all devices, and not just those they have sold?
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