It’s a pretty well-known fact that print management is big business these days. One of the major issues faced by companies of all shapes and sizes is that their employees simply don’t have the skills or knowledge necessary to make the right purchasing decisions as far as printers are concerned.

I recall one company that I worked for many years ago using small and inefficient inkjet printers between an office of 20 people! My colleagues at the time often complained about having to change the ink cartridges on them and waiting ages for large print jobs to complete.

When I asked my boss why we were using these inkjet printers, the reason he gave me was because “the company buyer saw them on special offer at his local computer store”! Even today, I still cannot understand what possessed the buyer to purchase these cheap printers without doing any research into the printing needs of the people that were actually going to be using them.

Ironically, he had a fairly decent laser printer in his office that was more than capable of handling large volumes of print jobs, but he only used it about twice a month! As amusing as this little story sounds, I’m afraid to say that it’s just one of many examples of how companies have inefficient (and often expensive) printing practices.

The importance of print management

The subject of print management is a very important one in the workplace. Printers represent a large chunk of a company’s IT spend each year, and I’m not just talking about the cost of buying or leasing the printers!

Printer consumables such as cartridges, toners, drums and paper represent a large proportion of printing costs, and this is an area where many firms make mistakes. It’s always easy to just buy a cheap printer, but generally one of the reasons why they are so cheap is because the consumables cost a small fortune.

A print management firm will be able to work with you to identify how your company can keep its printing costs low, and the ways that they do this are as follows:

  • Knowledge – no-one knows the printer market better than someone that specialises in it, and so print management firms can tell you what sort of printers you need for your requirements. For example, you might need an A3 colour printer if you print out a lot of high-quality photographs or colour technical documents on a large scale;

  • Expertise – print management companies are there to advise you on what you need, rather than what you want. It might be great to have an expensive colour laser printer in your office but if you never print anything out in colour, it’s a waste of money;

  • Support – the problem with employees that have little to no experience with the printer market or how to maintain a printer is that you could literally end up on your own! Print management companies offer you the support you need, when you need it.

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Photo Credit: Listener42 (via Flickr)