Managing your company’s print environment can be challenging when there are other pressing initiatives at hand. Depending on your company's industry, printing may be a focal point of the way you make money and run your business operations.
More often than not, companies are unaware of how they can optimize their print environment and cut costs. That’s where a print assessment can help your company identify what print behavior may need to change.
As a managed print provider, LDI has worked with customers to determine whether they need a print assessment to better understand their current print infrastructure and operating costs.
We first ask a set of questions about a company’s print behavior, spending, and goals. Once we have identified whether a print assessment would be helpful, we run the assessment and help determine a print strategy moving forward.
This article will dive into what a print assessment is and the four benefits of getting one. By the end of this article, you will know what to expect from assessing your current print environment and have a better idea of why it may be important to do.
What Is A Print Assessment?
The purpose of a print assessment is to provide a thorough evaluation of your current print environment, activities, and costs.
A print assessment is essentially the first step in a managed print services lifecycle. It is the information gathering stage where your company can gain insight into your print behavior, volumes, costs, and print device usage to determine what can be improved.
Print management software can make for a seamless process in capturing essential data such as user activity, device usage, print job amounts, and more, over a fixed amount of time. A few examples of print management software include Equitrac, uniFLOW, and PaperCut.
While there are advantages to using the print management software listed above, these software technologies centralize administration through producing reports of your entire printer and copier fleet.
What Are 4 Benefits Of Getting A Print Assessment?
Undergoing a print assessment provides insight into your company's print behavior.
You may have a designated employee or team dedicated to managing your print environment. Or you may require a managed print provider to perform it. Either way, an assessment is imperative in helping you evaluate your current print infrastructure while saving you money long-term.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the four benefits of getting a print assessment of your current infrastructure.
1. Assessing The Inventory Of Every Print Device
How many print devices do you have? How many print devices do you need? Often, the answer to both of these questions differ.
A print assessment can help your company keep track of all printing devices if they’re updated and functioning correctly. Getting a good grasp on your printing devices and how they are performing can help you determine whether downsizing your equipment is necessary.
An assessment can provide a centralized view of every printing device you are currently using and even more specific information such as lease renewal dates and current leasing costs.
Having accessible information about your current print inventory can help you track what printer copiers you own or are leasing and which are outdated. In addition, it can provide insight into the number of supplies you currently have on hand.
2. Understanding Current Print Costs
An assessment offers a complete financial picture of your printer and copier fleet costs and costs per page. Having a better understanding of your current print costs and workflow enable cost control measures easier to track.
A print assessment will clarify where and why you are spending money. An assessment will provide information on the following:
- Cost of supplies;
- Cost of print management software, print management; services, and repair; and
- Print hardware costs and options for consolidation.
Business printing can cost a lot. An assessment can provide your company with the information it needs to cut those costs eventually.
3. Reviewing Print Usage & User Activity
How are your print devices being used across your company? Unfortunately, many companies never use a good chunk of what they print nor the supplies they order.
An assessment can help you review which devices are being used the most and for what, if they are mainly printing in black and white or in color, and even the paper that is used for print jobs.
Identifying top printers, what they are printing, and why; can help your company enforce stronger guidelines, implement new print applications to help users, or even optimize the print device to fit the needs of a particular department.
For example, suppose your marketing department is printing 20-25x the volume of the subsequent highest usage. In that case, you may want to consider implementing specific print software that can help automate their process to the cloud or an online folder so that these files don’t need to be printed.
Getting honest about how much you are printing and why can help optimize your entire company’s workflow, mitigate waste, and cut costs significantly.
4. Optimizing Your Print Security
No matter the industry you are working with, improving security is always relevant.
Luckily, a print assessment can identify potential security risks, issues and will recommend efficient ways to solve them. Suppose your company is concerned about potential data breaches affecting your printer copiers or unsure of how to ensure that every person is safely accounting for their print job. In that case, an assessment can help you determine your print needs.
Mitigating potential security risks begins with a factual print assessment and report that will showcase if print jobs are often left sitting in trays and if 'follow me' printing would be better.
Are You Ready For A Print Assessment?
A print assessment is the first step in re-evaluating your print environment to optimize how you print, where you print, and why you have been printing the way you have been printing.
An assessment will help managed print providers correctly assess your infrastructure. It will enable them to recommend print solutions to help you cut costs and enhance your print workflow. A print assessment is unnecessary for your company if you’re not looking for ways to optimize your employee and end-user workflow.
If your company only uses one multifunction printer, you may not require a print assessment.
However, if your company has ten multifunction printers and twenty personal desktop printer copiers, a print assessment can truly help you get clear about what is and isn't working in your print environment.
At LDI, our Managed Print division provides free print assessments to effectively determine what print devices your company needs, how much you’re spending, and ways to better serve your team and clientele.
Contact an LDI representative today to learn more about or print assessments and what they involve.