Welcome to the Digital Transformation – Managed Print Services series. In Part 2 of the series, we explore the Cost components that one needs to consider when considering Managed Print Services. Now in Part 3 of the series, we shall look at the type of Print Equipment that one should choose for business usage.
Before we go into the selection criteria, let us look at the various typical features that are available for our selection in a modern-day multi-function printer.
This feature indicates how fast the Multi-Functions Printer can print per minute.Typically speed is 25 pages per minute (i.e., translate to if you have a document of 25 pages it will take around 1 minute to finish printing).Please remember if the machine is on standby mode, it will require a bit of time (usually within a few seconds) to get ready (warm-up) and start printing. However,if the machine is switched off and you need to switch it on then it will go through the switch on / power on initiation process before it gets ready (warm-up) and start printing which will take a slightly longer period (usually 2-3 minutes).
Should we choose high-speed printing always? Not necessary as the higher speed usually will cost more. So,choose a Print-per-page speed that is a right fit for the business usage. Anything that is 20 to 25 pages per minute should suffice in terms of printing speed unless your volume of printing is extremely high.
2. Econ mode printing (save toner printing)
More than 90% of our printing of documents is for internal review usage, so consider enabling Econ mode printing to save on toner expenses. Unless it’s for official usage, documentation, and archive purposes; using Econ mode should be sufficient.
3. Colour Printing
Do you really need to print in colour? Most of the time the answer is “No”, as the cost of printing in colour is usually 3 to 4 times more expensive than printing in Black & White. You always exercise prudence when printing in colour.
4. Duplex printing
Should we print front and back to make full use of the paper? That isdefinitely “Yes”. Unless there are specific reasons to print only on one side, do consider enabling and printing both sides of the paper. We can all save on paper and chop down fewer trees in the process.
5. A3 (other than A4 size) printing
Over 95% of our printing needs in Enterprise revolve around using A4 (stand size) paper for printing. Yes, there will be those occasions where A3 size printing is required which are few and far between. If you can gauge there is no need for A3 size printing, removing the feature may save you money on your Multi-Functions Printer up front.
6. Binding of documents
Automatic binding of documents can be done by the Multi-Functions Printer upon completion of printing of a set of documents. Nonetheless, we should evaluate if such a feature is a must-have depending on our need to have it automated bindinstead of manually doing it afterwards. Not selecting this feature again will save you money upfront when selecting the “right” Multi-Functions Printer.
7. Sending and Receiving Fax over the phone line
In the days when Fax machines were necessary and a feature within many offices; it is now available as a feature on the Multi-Functions Printer so thereby reducing one physical device. Again,as increased businesses conduct transactions digitally relying on other forms of digital devices; we see the gradual (if not total) removal and usage of Fax machines.One way is to encourage the use of Electronic Mail (e-mail) for more efficient communication. You might want to leave out this feature on your Multi-Functions Printer altogether.
The assumption here is to convert a paper-based document into a digital format (e.g. PDF) to store / further process the said document itself. Again,if your business adopts “Digital signature” and has a system in place to do Optical Character Recognition (OCR) then you can pretty much eliminate the need for scanning altogether. However,do check your internal business requirements and local laws and regulations to see if scanned copies are required and/or accepted.
9. Scan to E-mail
This feature assumes that we have a physical set of documents that we need to scan and send via e-mail to others and/or ourselves. This is a nice-to-have feature which does allow the Business flexibility per se but raises the questions of confidentiality and/or Data Lost Protection if no proper controls are in place. Therefore, before selecting and enabling such a feature, the Business needs to re-evaluate if there is a use case and how we should enable the right control in place.
To share the usage of the Multi-Functions Printer across the office floor, having it wireless enabled will further improve utilization per se. The physical placement of the unit requires proper planning as proper noise shielding to ensure a harmony working environment.Ideally, it should be somewherein a central location on the office floor where people can walk up to collect their printing.Yes, network connectivity is a key feature.
11. USB Thumb drive printing
This feature assumes that you have a document stored on your USB thumb drive whereby you want to insert into the Multi-Function Printer and print out the said document. From a security viewpoint, such a method of printing should be discouraged as potentially the USB thumb drive may introduce malicious code by threat actors that cause damage to the physical print equipment and/or infect the next person(s) that print and/or “steal” information printed via the print equipment.
12. Internetenables printing
This is an advanced feature where the organization allows employees to remotely connect externally to the Print equipment and send a print job back to the office. To enable such printing, one should ensure proper security controls are in place so that there is no abuse of the printing services per se.
13. Secured Printing
How many times have we sent a print job to the printer to print a document and have forgotten to collect the physical printout as we got distracted by other things in the office? How do we ensure those private and confidential documents that we print out are only collected by us once we send the print job? Well, Secured Print will ensure that when we send a print job to the Multi-Functions Printer it will hold at the Print Queue temporary wait time (usually 30 minutes) until we are physically next to the Multi-Functions Print to authenticate and initiate printing. Such a way of printing will ensure we can secure the printing and collect the actual printout per se.
So, what happens if we send a print job and get distracted and forget to authenticate to initiate the actual printing? Well, if the print job held at the Print Queue exceeds the temporary wait time (usually 30 minutes) then it will be deleted. As such we will need to send the print job again. Others who are not the originator of the print job will not be able to take over and get to the print copies here. This feature eliminates the concern of private and confidential printouts being left at the Multi-Functions Printer and/or collected by others other than the originator.
Secured Printing also reduces printout paper wastage to ensure we collect the printouts we print and need.
Hopefully, by now you have a better understanding of the distinct types of features that exist on a Multi-Functions Printer and you can choose what is a right fit for your organization’s usage when adopting Managed Print Services. For more information, reach out to Cybiant’s consultants by dropping a quick e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to us.