As more companies make plans to open their office doors to employees again, there’s likely a laundry list of considerations that come to mind to help teams transition into in-person or hybrid work models. While those COVID-19 related precautions will likely be top of mind, this can also be an excellent opportunity to implement cost-saving policies around those more specifically “in-office” activities—like printing—that may not have been as relevant in remote work settings.
Whether your office is just beginning to reopen or has been fully operational for months, a few critical adjustments to how, why, and how often your employees print can make a strikingly substantial difference in total overhead costs. These measures can also help to improve overall efficiency, productivity, and security for your organization.
- Audit print use to set an intelligent print budget. To determine your overall print expenses, an excellent place to start would be to determine essential print needs for your business, keeping in mind what print activity might look like from department to department, or even auditing individual print needs and use. This might require gathering feedback from different teams to determine what may have changed over the past year. Make sure everyone is clear on printing guidelines and what types of tasks require paper.
- Digitize your processes to reduce copying and printing costs. Opting for digital document management eliminates the need to print and file paper documents and allows you to control your company’s information more easily. And in today’s remote working environment, digital files can be shared securely and instantly, reducing the need for printing and copying. Everything, from correspondence and emails to invoices and contracts, is digital with a document management system. This system enables your teams to archive current copies of these electronic documents in your system’s centralized repository, where it’s available to all authorized users. Additionally, version control ensures that everyone is working on a single, up-to-date document. The result? Your employees save time, and your company saves money on printing, supplies, and equipment.
- Update your print infrastructure. Using out-of-date or incorrect print and copy equipment can ultimately cost you more in time and maintenance fees. If your printers or copiers are not functioning optimally, it may be time to decide whether they need to be serviced or replaced. It can also be worth your time to evaluate what type of device would best meet your office print needs—or whether print needs make it necessary to lease or purchase additional equipment for your organization. Beyond the basic equipment considerations, in today’s wireless workplace, it’s imperative to make sure that networks, cybersecurity, and other software are also up-to-date and running properly. For example, unfortunately, many organizations make the mistake of overlooking print networks when setting up security measures to protect company information. Additionally, you may find that it saves substantial processing time to set up offices with convenient features like mobile printing, as well as pinpoint lagging or offline print equipment, which can all be significant time wasters for your employees.
- Make sure that there’s a plan in place to manage day-to-day print needs. Beyond making sure that printers function, you’ll want to consider who will be in charge of maintaining hardware, software, and supplies for your offices. Without it, down systems and equipment can become costly to rush repair, and outsourced print services can add up quickly. Internally, do your teams have the resources, bandwidth, and knowledge to keep printers, copiers, and networks running smoothly? Many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often find it makes the most sense to outsource print management and infrastructure to a managed print services (MPS) provider.
- Adjust default printer and document settings to cut costs. You may be surprised to learn that making simple changes to print settings can save a great deal on print costs. For example, automatically setting printers to black and white instead of color and printing front and back instead of single-sided will automatically reduce your cost per page, organization-wide. In addition, printing in draft mode can minimize ink use by printing in a lower resolution. Documents can also be formatted with narrower margins and small font styles and sizes to reduce the use of ink and paper.
- Reuse and recycle. Another great way to reduce costs can be to recycle and reuse print supplies like paper and ink cartridges. To create a recycled paper program, simply set up recycle paper bins at print stations and ask your employees to discard reusable paper that is either blank or single-sided for reuse. Beyond reducing costs within your organization, recycling and reusing are environmentally-friendly practices. For example, did you know that it can over 1,000 years for one typical ink toner cartridge to decompose? This is why Milner offers a convenient recycling option for materials like printer cartridges and cell phones through our recycling center.
Milner can help with your print needs
At the end of the day, the best way to plan and track your organization’s print usages and expenses is to put a plan in place and make sure everyone is on board.
At Milner, our innovative, customer-centric managed print services have been recognized by the Managed Print Services Association as the top MPS provider across the Southeast, in key markets of Georgia, North Carolina and, South Florida. We offer a wide range of managed print service programs to fit your business goals and needs, including reducing expenses, consumption, and carbon footprint; streamlining supply and equipment needs; optimizing workflow; making printing more friendly for hybrid teams, among other areas of managed print service. Our award-winning print and IT experts look forward to helping you develop the best print policy, save money for your organization, and streamline your print costs and usage.
Request a free print assessment or contact us today.