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How much is printing costing your business?

While businesses sit and wait for the often-promised but not-yet-delivered paperless office, they are stuck with the sometimes-heavy costs of printing.

However, according to Y Soft. with most industries still relying on paper for much of their operations, it is possible for businesses to significantly reduce their printing costs.

“Businesses have been trying to do more with less for some time now but printing seems to be an area that gets overlooked,” says Adam O’Neill, managing director, Australia, Y Soft,

“This is unfortunate, since most businesses can make small changes that will actually deliver big savings when it comes to print costs,” he says.

According to Gartner, organisations that actively manage their printer, copier, and multifunction device fleet can save up to 30% in print costs.

In response, Y Soft has identified four key things organisations can do to optimise printing in their business:

1. Document capture and workflow automation

By scanning paper-based documents and automating their associated workflows, companies can save both time and money.

“Securely scanning documents to pre-defined document libraries makes it easy to digitise important documents for archiving, and reduces the amount of physical space required,” O’Neill explains.

He says companies should look for a world-class optical character recognition (OCR) engine, among other features, to ensure the documents remain readable, searchable, and editable.

“By keeping subsequent workflows digital, rather than paper-based, companies can save time and avoid the need to print the document again.”

2. Reporting

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” says O’Neill.

Organisations looking to optimise their print processes must start with comprehensive reporting so they can see which departments or individual users do the most and least printing, how often they print, what size paper they print to, whether they print in colour, and whether they use double-sided printing options.

“The organisation can then take steps to reduce the amount of unnecessary printing, and, potentially, find ways to bill the cost of printing back to clients or workgroups,” O’Neill explains.

3. Printing governance

Setting smart printing policies and making sure they’re adhered to can dramatically reduce the cost of printing.

This includes mandating monochrome prints in most cases, utilising double-sided printing options, and implementing pull-printing or print roaming solutions to ensure print-outs aren’t wasted.

“By getting employees to think about what they’re printing, organisations can significantly reduce the amount of unnecessary printing, leading to big cost savings,” O’Neill says.

4. Print roaming

According to Y Soft, in 2015, pull-printing solutions, also known as print roaming, made up more than half of managed print services engagements compared to less than 10% in 2005, demonstrating the value of this method of printing.

In this method, users send a document to the printer, then must physically go to the printer and use a swipe card or secure code to release the printing. This reduces the chances of unwanted print-outs, secure documents sitting on the printer, and wasted paper, O’Neill says.

 “Businesses that invest in a print management solution can expect to achieve a fast return on investment, as the system begins saving on print costs from day one.”