Authored by guest blogger Michael O’Leary, Vice President of Enterprise Accounts | Pharos Systems International
Printing is a hidden cost that many organizations find hard to quantify. Beyond the price of physical materials such as equipment, paper and toner, there also are costs associated with maintenance, departments “doing their own thing” and even the opportunity cost of time spent waiting at the printer for a job to print. At Pharos Systems, we help companies create a mindful print environment through solutions that consider the entire print ecosystem, and deliver risk avoidance, improved security and cost savings. A simple review of the numbers demonstrates that effective print management can save an organization up to 40 percent and provide the following benefits:
- A 35-40 percent (sometimes higher) reduction in total print volume
- Color printing reduction by 50 percent (color printing being at least three-to-five times more expensive than black-and-white)
- A 50 percent reduction of underutilized assets, driving down equipment lease, service and supply costs
- A 30 percent reduction in toner and ink costs using centrally managed software
- A 25-35 percent reduction in internal print shop and externally sourced printing costs across the entire supply chain
Proactive Print Management Builds Awareness and Leads Employees to Make the Right Print Decisions
Employees typically want to make the right printing decision, but don’t know how to gauge their business needs against their printing choices. Through software-generated reports, your organization can see who the top 25 printers are in the company, and what their printing habits entail. You may expect an individual in the marketing department to produce many colored print jobs, but when you see a developer printing multi-page, colored recipe books on single-sided paper, you’ll quickly identify the opportunity for cost-savings. These reports allow you to quickly identify what we call “outliers” – people, habits and processes that impact print-related costs that may be desirable to change. Common outliers identified by our software include:
- Top print-producing users, departments and locations
- High color users and applications
- Under-utilized and over-utilized devices
- Large print jobs (>100 and >300 pages each)
- Users who print email and web page documents
- Reports that show other discretionary-related print volume and costs
Our software also includes the ability to configure print policies that generate pop-up reminders when the policy or threshold has been reached. For example, the pop-up may ask if it truly is necessary to print a document single-sided (simplex) or if the document truly is needed in color. These simple reminders help employees make the right decision both to positively impact the bottom line, as well as support an eco-friendlier print environment.
Implementing Authentication Improves Security and Lowers Costs
Through our partnership with RF IDeas, we provide secure print with our print management solutions. While many organizations understand that adding authentication requirements to a printer will help improve the security within their organization, many companies fail to recognize the benefits of secure print that extend beyond security. For example, though our print policy pop-ups help individuals make informed choices about their printing, individuals can still print jobs they don’t need, either by the human error of clicking the wrong button, or by bypassing (ignoring) the policy recommendation. By adding an easy-to-use RFID reader that uses existing employee IDs to authenticate a print job, employees have one more check-point to ensure their print job was intended for print. When we talk about a reduction of 35-40 percent in printing volume, much of that number is attributed to jobs that are stopped at the source by the need to authenticate before a job is released to print.
With today’s tightening budgets, we need every opportunity we can find to save money. By implementing a print management solution with secure print, your organization can achieve a mindful printing environment that both decreases costs and increases security. A true win-win solution on all fronts.