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Workflow Wisdom: The Art Of Managed Print Services

Posted Wed, May 27, 2015 by Array

Workflow efficiency is crucial to success in the modern market. Even in the best years, average business profit margins are less than 8% in the US, meaning that minor inefficiencies can turn a profit into a loss. Through managed print services, businesses can design the most efficient workflow possible, eliminating waste and freeing up employees for more productive tasks.

Observing Output, Suggesting Solutions

To improve employee productivity and cut down on waste, managed print services observe all the printers, scanners, copiers, and other devices in your offices, recording how frequently they are used and by whom. Say that your accounting department has a printer but your human resources department does not, so the two departments have to share it. Print management software can tell you whether members of both departments are using the printer at a high capacity. If so, it will advise you to buy a printer for your human resources department to use, as overuse can cause your printer to break down, disrupting the workflow. On the other hand, if the printer is being overused but human resource workers are barely using it, it makes more sense to buy the accounting department a second printer.

Not only can managed print services determine how many printers you need, but it can also decide when you should invest in expensive, multifunction printers and when to buy cheaper generic ones. Multifunction printers can staple, collate, fold, and hole punch documents as soon as they print them. If employees in one of your departments regularly have to do these things to printed documents, a multifunction printer will more than pay for itself through improved productivity. On the other hand, if a department merely needs to print pages out without modifying them, a multifunction printer will not be worth the investment.

Mitigating Mistakes

Even a minor documentation mistake can cost your business thousands of dollars in late fees and lost customers, which is why print management software is designed specifically to prevent such mistakes. To make sure confidential customer information stays private, for example, you can program your scanners not to email certain types of documents to outside sources. You can also set rules for formatting and filing each type of document, ensuring that printers will not print anything that is not formatted correctly. This means that employees will not have to spend as much of their time reading over printed documents, freeing them up to work on more productive tasks.

Print management software can also cut down on wasteful print decisions. One way to do this is to set printers to only print double sided pages unless specifically instructed otherwise; this reduces the amount of paper that will be wasted due to employees' carelessness.

Designating Documents

Given that most companies spend between 1 and 3 percent of their yearly revenues on printing, even minor reductions in the number of documents printed yield significant savings. Print management services can study the documents your employees print out and identify which actually need to be printed and which can be left in digital form. Often, this is as simple as looking at pages that are abandoned in the printer or buried on employees' desks. Documents that are frequently forgotten or unread are a waste of paper and ink. Other than tax forms, employee and client documents, and certain other documentation, there's no need to keep hard copies of most information.

Once you've figured out policies to reduce unnecessary printing, print management software can help you put those policies into practice. You can program printers to only accept a certain number of print jobs from each department or each employee. If you discover that the marketing department is printing out more pages than it needs, for example, you can set caps on how much each marketing employee, or the department as a whole, is allowed to print each week. This gives your employees an incentive to think critically about their print choices and find ways to cut down on waste.

OneSource provides quality document management and managed print services to companies throughout Oklahoma City. To learn more about streamlining your workflow and eliminating waste, contact us today!

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