- Sep 14, 2015
As businesses grow, operational costs do so too. For that reason, there will come a point when you look at your overheads and decide they need lowering. One area of concern is the cost of print. It’s necessary for your business, but unless only used for printing sales and marketing material, there is no R.O.I to measure. Just the operational cost of each MFP.
For that reason, the only thing you can do is whatever you can to reduce your print costs. To do so, print reviews are required. To get one underway, there are five rules that no print review should ever ignore, as it will be detrimental to the print solution implemented.
Follow these five “best practices” to get a thorough print review underway
- Get an aerial perspective
Positioning of multifunctional printers in any office is critical for security, performance and ease of access. Getting the location right needs a print review to have an aerial floor plan that shows the layout of your office, the distance between all offices to the area the printer is located to and how convenient it will be for any member of your team to access the printer.
In traditional office environments, this is straightforward, however, when it comes to the industrial sector, and larger organisations with certain areas off-limits to some staff, a new location could put the devices out of reach for a minority of users.
Walls, cabling, and other machinery that could interfere with some components in an MFP also need considering. You can’t just take any MFP and situate it anywhere you feel it fits with the office décor. It’s not furniture, the units have a purpose and they have an impact on productivity. The site they are located needs considered for optimal performance.
- Substantiate savings with evidence-based data
No print review should ever be solely based on assumptions. There’s no point in viewing a report that tells you that your current MFP has a colour coverage of 9%, because that really won’t mean much to your business. The figure you need to know is your toner yield. That’s dictated by the page coverage because the lower the page coverage is the higher the toner yield.
The more pages you can get out of toner cartridges, the less your cost of consumables will be. Each machine is different as is the documents printed from them. If one is used more for copying documents than it is for printing, you will have a lower page coverage, therefore a higher toner yield. Switch the use to primarily printing and reduced copying and your toner yield will decrease.
Your existing MFPs will need individual analysis of what they are really covering. That requires software installation to monitor the units output and get an accurate cost per copy, and ultimately the toner yield of each MFP.
- Focus on user requirements (not output speed)
With the data substantiated, the print review can then analyse what machines are used for copying, which ones are primarily printing, the units covering colour print more than mono, and which have a scan feature hardly ever used.
One mistake often made is buying a multifunctional printer based solely on the high speed of print, thinking the time a job is sent to print and received by the user will increase productivity. That it will but it will come at a cost. That can be extremely high if you have x amount of features that you’re paying for and you don’t need them.
Every MFP should be tailored to the needs of the company or department using them. That will differ throughout every business and department within it.
- Expect an operational change your business (sometimes huge change)
The simplest way to reduce print costs is to reduce the number of machines you have, which inevitably pushes your user to device ratio higher. You may have one printer for every ten people just now, and want to increase that to have one printer for every 25 people. A 10:1 to 25:1 change to your company will have a huge impact on users. The units will be at different locations and that’s something that also needs considered, which is why the aerial view of your office plan comes in handy.
This brings us back around to substantiating assumptions. It could be that you operate an industrial company with a number of outbuildings, in which case, it would be detrimental to productivity to have staff go from one building to the other to gather their printed documents.
The higher your device to user ratio change is will directly affect the cost savings potential. It’s for that reason that any claims made within a print review, must again be substantiated by explaining how that ratio is going to be achieved.
- Optimise the printer fleet – don’t just focus on reducing hardware
With operational costs attached to each MFP in your business, there will be the temptation to reduce hardware. That will definitely reduce your print costs but it will also be detrimental to your team. Tackling a big change at once will have the largest impact on costs, but for it to work effectively it must be met by your users.
The best approach for either IT managers or anyone undertaking a print review is to consult with the people using the equipment. A huge rollout of a change to equipment used everyday cannot be met with resistance. Bring your team onboard and get their input. Without user input, a print review is only going to speculative at best.
Implementation becomes much easier when users know and are involved in the operational changes to come.
Should a print review of your existing fleet be required, we have experts here to assist. We can help you determine your real cost of print and help you optimise your print fleet for maximum cost savings, and provide a print solution that fits best with your team.
Contact our expert team here, call us on 0208 901 4707, or visit our showroom at 2 The Palmerston Centre, Oxford Road, Harrow.