The secret to successful print management

Want to know the secret to reducing your print management costs?

Print less.

I know, folks, this is revolutionary.

For years now, we’ve been hearing about how organizations can save up to 30% of their print costs by actively managing their print environment. So organizations adopt cost-saving print management solutions, including consolidating single-function devices into multifunction printers, centralizing procurement for economies of scale, negotiating cost-per-page print services contracts, automating paper and toner supplies and implementing just-in-time delivery.

In recent years, environmental imperatives have added urgency and broader appeal to the need for better print management, including page count reduction. Cost-cutting initiatives will be even more appealing if they also help save trees or conserve energy, reduce emissions and keep harmful electronic waste out of landfill sites.

This is all helpful stuff, but it doesn’t address a key underlying issue — the volume of printing taking place across an organization. Device consolidation on its own, for example, doesn’t reduce print volume. It simply moves it from one machine to another, and won’t achieve the same cost savings or environmental benefits as printing less in the first place.

Organizations should be exploring alternatives that reduce or avoid the need for hardcopy printing altogether, because the least expensive and most environmentally friendly page is the one that never gets printed at all.

So how to print less? Here are a few ideas.

  1. Establish, disseminate and enforce print-usage policies. These can govern what can be printed, when and to which device, for example, such as making double-sided printing the automatic default on all devices.
  2. Use third-party software tools to enforce print-usage policies. Rules-based printing applications are also available to control any print job sent to a networked printer. GreenPrint software, for example, suppresses the printing of blank pages and allows banner and header pages to go unprinted.
  3. Leverage technology that supports an electronic document management environment. Instead of printing handouts for a meeting, use the scanner capability of your MFPs to digitize the content and then distribute it in via e-mail, as a link to a SharePoint or other document repository where they can access it online. Most organizations already have these content management tools and technology in place, so all that may be needed is to facilitate workflow-improvement discussions around document capture and content management as alternatives to hardcopy printing.


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