October 30th, 2022 by Kevin Box
Did you see the movie Money Ball? In the movie, the Athletics General Manager, Billy Beane uncovered a new and revolutionary way to manage a baseball team using anaylitics. He hired a Harvard Graduate and analytics expert, Paul DePodesta (Peter Brand A.K.A. Jonah Hill) away from the Cleveland Browns to help the Athletics use “Sabermetric Principles” to make “personnel decisions that depended heavily on the analysis of performance data, often at the perceived expense of more traditional methods of scouting and observation.” This helped the 2002 Athletics go on a 20-game win streak and win 103 games that season. DePodesta’s pioneering analytics transformed baseball to the point where every team today uses some form of Sabermetrics in its day-to-day game management.
Okay, I’ll admit, printers are a little less exciting than baseball, however if analytics are used correctly, printers can lead an organization to huge savings and workflow optimization, without the help of a Harvard stats nerd. In this article, we will outline three powerful reasons why your organization should implement Print Management Software.
1. Understanding Your Cost to Print:
Printers are often unmanaged because many orgnizations having no real understanding of how much and to what effect printers have on balance sheets and day-to-day operations. For example, take the small desktop color printer down the hall, that machine is an unknown money pitt due to hyper expensive toner and a high Total Cost of Ownership to operate. Many orgnazations purchase toner through online retailers and line item the expense under general office suppies, so on the balance sheet you can’t tell that a high percentage of office supply costs are going towards printer consumables. This allows the high cost of toner to fly under the radar and become invisbile to management. Organizations also have no idea who is printing the bulk of the print volumes because they have no way to track how much is being printed, or who is doing the printing. Print Management Software can help give visibility to both. Print Management Software typically comes with a dashboard that outlines a plethora of printer metrics including fleet performance and print data in realtime. The Administrator can also generate reports on demand with graphs and charts that can help drive decisions on fleet management.
Sample Dashboard for PaperCut MF:
2. Changing End-User Behaviors:
Another aspect to consider with Print Management Software is the software’s ability to help drive end-user behavior. The administrator can create specific rules that allow hard or soft messages to appear on demand when an end-user clicks the print button. This helps change behavior towards such preferences as duplexing, using color if color isn’t needed, or routing higher volume jobs to the proper printer.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to print out a large color document of 50-pages or more to a small printer that is more expensive to use. If the Administrator sets up a rule within the software, it will generate a popup message once the print button is pushed, alerting the end-user to a larger, less expensive color machine close by that can do the same print job at a much lower cost. This alone can drive down costs and help change future behavior.
Additionally, hard and soft messages such as “Have you considered duplexing this document?” or print rules that will outright make the end-user duplex as a default, can be configured in the software at the click of a button. This is another measure that could give the organization huge savings throughout the year. Bad printing behaviors can also be changed if the end-user knows the organization is watching this sort of activity. This feature can have a significant impact on sustainability, reducing waste, and cost saving efforts.
3. Follow-Me Printing and Secure Print Job Release:
One powerful feature of Print Management Software is “Follow-Me Printing”. If an end-user prints a document and then forgets to retrieve it from the output tray, the document could be lost. This could also compromise security protocols and the organization’s intellectual property. Print Management Software can help keep prints locked in the device until the end-user either swipes a proximity card or enters a pin code at the device to retrieve the document.
Another excellent feature is the software will push the document to the cloud allowing it to be printed at any device on the network. So, if you print a document and forget to pick it up, you can retrieve it on another networked printer no matter where you are within the Local Area Network. Furthermore, if the document is never retrieved, it can be set to be erased at the end of each day removing the document from the print queue altogether, reducing waste.
In conclusion, managing your printer fleet doesn’t have to be a hassle or costly if you implement the right solution to optimize your print assets. Whether you need to get the most out of your printer fleet or manage authentication, security, costs and mobility within your print infrastructure, Print Management Software can help you gain an edge in operating and supporting your printer fleet. If you need help deciding which solution is right for your needs, Function4 can help.
Posted in: Managed Print Services