Most organisations do not track how much money they spend on office printing and therefore are likely to have never considered a print audit.
This is particularly true for smaller businesses. Many of these businesses underestimate how much revenue is being allocated to office print each year.
The best way to control print costs is to fully understand where those costs lay and plan accordingly. One way of garnering this level of understanding is to conduct a print audit. A full print audit may or may not be a useful exercise, but some kind of periodic review is essential.
Would a full print audit be useful in your business?
Traditionally a managed print audit is used in Enterprise organisations to dig deep into an organisation’s entire print estate (and ask some I.T. questions too).
It would seek to uncover:
- hidden costs by considering supply chain
- wasted operational time
- internal labour costs
- technical problems/issues
- downtime reporting
- configuration issues
- security and functionality
- …and a bunch of other site-specific stuff too
Armed with this information, the audited organisation will be in a better position to make a data-driven decision about which direction to take their printer/copier/document strategy.
If your business matches the profile of using multiple printers, printing across multiple sites and having a multitude of different print requirements – a print audit (in the genuine sense of the term) is most definitely a useful exercise.
If not, it is still important to understand: Who is using print, are they happy and how much is it costing. It might also make sense to look at processes and ask a trusted partner: “do you know how we could do this better?”. For many businesses, this is often best handled as a conversation and followed up by a proposal of recommendations.
At other times there is genuine value in a more in-depth approach, and when that’s the case we’re fully equipped to take a deep-dive into how you work with a print audit.
Benefits of auditing your print
#1 Saves money and saves time
A print audit will help you to understand exactly what you’re spending on print, where you are spending it and how changing processes could improve the way that you work (generating either a time, or cost saving).
Any organisation develops ‘habits’ around their use of printers and copiers. Like any habits, these could be good, or bad. An impartial audit will help you to assess the best and worst of these and make structural changes to promote more effective ways of working.
A well conducted print audit will help to identify waste, energy usage by machines, consumables expenses and supply chain inefficiencies and areas of excess use.
#2 Create or hone a printing strategy
An audit will help you to stop seeing print as a utility cost and to see it instead as an area of strategic opportunity.
Documents and information are at the core of every organisation, and the printer is often at the heart of the generation of these documents. By ensuring print and document creation is following a strategic plan, you are more likely to get a better return on print expenditure.
When a company sets out a clear print strategy they typically achieve savings of 30% against those who don’t.
#3 Improve environmental footprint
The office printer is an animal that needs feeding. Paper, consumables and electricity all carry an environmental impact, understanding your print is the key to lowering the environmental impact of print within your organisation.
#4 Discover security risks and issues
Un-monitored printing can pose a security risk. Sensitive information can be sent to the wrong printer, print-outs could be left uncollected, or worse still could find themselves in the wrong pair of hands. Aside from being a source of GDPR data breach, this could also have commercial implications.
Un-approved or misconfigured hardware is a potential vector for attack by malware or hacking attempts; any IT asset falling outside of the scope of internal IT management needs close attention.
A print audit will help to uncover vulnerabilities and will make sensible and achievable recommendations.
#5 Benchmarking: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it
When an organisation understands their printing and document habits, it’s a simpler task to benchmark users / departments / site locations against each other. This is directly beneficial in highlighting unusual usage patterns, but can also help to uncover areas for process improvements.
For those areas where habits are hard to break, a print audit will help you to understand what limits you need to enforce. Could a desktop printer user route their print to the main office printer, are people printing unnecessary colour documents, are print-outs being left uncollected.
The benefits of a Managed Print Service
A managed print service (MPS) helps your business to use print more efficiently. Not only will this save on costs but it will also mean you print less overall, reduce your carbon footprint and improve efficiency.
You also benefit from local, specialist support, freeing up your staff’s time reporting issues, or fixing problems.
Book your print audit today. Call us on 01482 657 007 or complete the form below.
KRL – your specialist partner in print
- Futureproofing your business
- Providing local, expert support on hand
- Helping you reduce costs and save money
- Increasing your security
- Reducing your carbon footprint