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Why Managing Your Printers is More Important than Ever in a Hybrid Workplace
Wendi Hopewell /

Why Managing Your Printers is More Important than Ever in a Hybrid Workplace

Despite all the talk of the paperless office, over the past decade even more businesses have become aware of the benefits a managed print services (MPS) program can deliver. Printing remains essential, with almost half of companies surveyed telling Quocirca print will continue to be important through at least 2025. However, due to the COVID-19-induced acceleration of the hybrid workplace combining in-office and work-from-home employees, print deployments are being reevaluated.

In the hybrid work environment the proper execution of MPS is more important than ever, as organizations need workers to focus on the real business of the company rather than worry about the management of printers and copiers. It also becomes necessary to reexamine the floor plan of printers and copiers to identify underused/overworked machines, and determine if more printers are needed than copiers to promote social distancing.

Let’s take a look at the essential points of MPS.

Control costs

Many organizations don’t know their actual cost of printing — according to CompTIA, nine out of 10 customers don’t understand their total printing costs, and InfoTrends has reported for years that office printing costs can be up to 6% of a firm’s revenue. Print costs include the price of equipment, supplies and maintenance, and also wasted paper costs, energy costs, and IT management costs of the printer fleet. Actively managing these costs can deliver significant savings to an organization, with Gartner reporting that print spending can be reduced by up to 30% through the use of MPS. Knowing, tracking, and actively managing print costs through MPS can represent thousands or even millions of dollars depending on the business.

Simplify use and management

Many offices have printers and copiers of different ages, models and brands scattered across the workplace. IT departments and users are faced with installing multiple drivers on computers. Less technically inclined users can struggle with different operator panels on all the copiers an office may have. Keeping supplies on hand for all the different printing devices in an office takes time and costs money.

Optimizing the print fleet infrastructure and its management through MPS improves an organization’s operational efficiency through better use of capital and employee productivity. The first step in implementing MPS is to assess the current print fleet and identify areas of optimization. Steps that can be taken include:

  • Removing redundant and aging equipment to "right-size" the fleet. This eliminates old print devices that require more maintenance or that are less energy-efficient than newer models.
  • Standardizing on models of printers or copiers, creating more consistent and manageable device support by IT and ease of operation by users.
  • Constant monitoring of print devices to anticipate when service and supplies are needed, reducing equipment downtime and ensuring devices are always ready when employees need to print.
  • Monitoring device supply usage to set up automatic “just-in-time” supply replenishment. This ensures employee time isn’t spent ordering supplies and working capital isn’t held in on-site supplies storage.

Free IT resources

Actively managing a print fleet using an MPS provider helps free IT resources from responding to printer-related issues and eliminates many IT help desk calls. This allows IT to focus on more strategic projects and core initiatives for the company (or at least spend more time on strictly IT-related user issues).  

Improve security

Printers and copiers handle sensitive company data and client information every day through printing, copying, scanning and faxing. Securing that data and information to protect it from hackers is critical. During the pandemic, two-thirds of businesses experienced data losses due to insecure printing practices, yet only 39% of U.S. IT decision-makers consider employee-owned home printers a potential security risk. An MPS provider can make sure a company’s fleet of print devices, both in the office and at employees’ homes, have security features and functions such as data encryption, data deletion, and authentication settings enabled. Actively enabling, managing, and monitoring security settings through an MPS engagement helps meet data security policies and ensure compliance with the many data privacy regulations in place today.

Single contract management

Just like simplifying print fleet use and management, simplifying contract management to a single MPS partner streamlines equipment, maintenance and supply contracts. Instead of getting multiple invoices from multiple vendors, organizations can get one single — and in most cases a predictable — monthly invoice. This makes budgeting and planning much simpler and more efficient.

The workplace of the future is here today. Today’s hybrid workforce spans buildings, employees' homes, and other remote locations, and despite rumors to the contrary, it still needs to print. In this new complex setting, actively managing print costs, IT support resources, and printer security through MPS is more important than ever. Simplify print and contract management by working closely with a professional MPS provider to ensure that the best plan is executed for their environment.

Need to know more? Learn how your organization can benefit from a professional MPS solution by contacting a local Sharp or dealer representative.

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