Removing inefficiencies in office printing solutions

Many organisations could achieve better bottom-line results by eliminating inefficiencies from office printing solutions but aren’t sure how to begin.

Many companies sense that they could save money on things like office printing but they’re not necessarily sure where the inefficiencies are in their processes or solutions. Saving time can often have almost the same impact on the bottom line as saving on direct costs, so businesses should review their solutions and processes and streamline them wherever possible.

Businesses can reduce costs and improve productivity by choosing the right platform to manage business processes and functions, and it doesn’t have to be a convoluted or expensive process.

We have identified three key ways to reduce inefficiencies in office solutions:

1. Reduce print services costs

For such a simple and ubiquitous office process, printing can harbour innumerable hidden costs and inefficiencies. For example, employees print jobs they never pick up, re-print documents because of minor errors, print documents in colour unnecessarily, or print multi-page documents as a sheaf of single pages instead of using the printer’s duplex function.

Furthermore, different printers are more suitable for different functions yet many offices either have too many printers or the wrong kinds of printers in place. Often, certain employees have printers on their desk because they routinely print sensitive or confidential documents.

Importantly, most organisations have no way of knowing who is printing what and when, let alone the true cost of all that printing. Besides the paper, toner and wear, and tear on the printers, there is also the cost of IT support for printers.

Implementing a managed print services (MPS) strategy that includes strong governance can help strip unnecessary costs and inefficiency from printer networks. For example, mandating that employees print in black and white, and use duplexing capabilities, can reduce both paper and toner costs. Reducing or right-sizing the printer fleet can reduce maintenance and running costs. And leveraging print-roaming capabilities can minimise waste while maximising document security, so fewer staff members require their own personal printer.

2. Improve workflows for employee productivity

Many businesses are already undergoing digital transformations to streamline workflows and reduce data entry and errors. Despite digitising many processes, too many organisations still rely on manual intervention to execute those processes. This leads to more errors and less time for staff to focus on value-add activities.

Solutions that include robust document capture capabilities, customised delivery to pre-defined locations and notifications can help employees get data into internal systems or to others in the organisation with minimal manual intervention. This can dramatically reduce the amount of time staff spend on manual and repetitive tasks, freeing them up to focus on the tasks that contribute to organisational success.

3. Improve document security

Leaving sensitive documents on the printer leaves them vulnerable to prying eyes but many organisations still let employees print these kinds of documents to shared printers. Alternatively, other organisations invest in personal printers for employees that routinely print confidential documents. One approach compromises security while the other increases costs. Neither approach is optimal.

Businesses can improve document security and add efficiency to processes by putting a print management solution in place that: tracks activity performed by multi-function devices for auditability; lets people print to any device securely by requiring a unique employee code to release printouts; and supports secure printing from mobile devices. This eliminates unauthorised printing as well as ensuring no documents are left in the printer tray.

By taking a few relatively simple steps, businesses can save money and time, while letting employees access the print facilities they need. This combines to improve the bottom line for any organisation.

Adam O’Neill, Managing Director, Y Soft Australia

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