These days we are all too familiar with phased approaches due to Covid-19 stay at home orders and re-opening plans. Sometimes the best way to introduce policies with a complex community of people is by not shocking the system. I believe the same can be true for how offices can introduce policies in their offices regarding printing protocols.
The virus has thrown the business community many wrenches but also has provided an opportunity to address how we currently operate and whether there are more efficient, secure and affordable options on the horizon. If you are interested in saving money, protecting company assets through document security and extending your current reporting capabilities, follow the phases outlined below.
PHASE ONE – Address Current State
In order to know what responsible printing behaviors and security looks like, you will need to understand what is currently happening. By answering the following questions, you can have a better understanding of your current environment and have benchmarks to compare to in further phases.
How much are users currently printing?
What is the breakdown in printer volume and multi-function devices?
What percentage of printed volume is in color?
What are the costs associated with your printing? Vendor obligations?
What percentage of documents are printed two-sided (duplex)?
Are there any restrictions in terms of what departments or users can print?
Are there any security checkpoints in how information is scanned, faxed or printed?
How much do users print for client related work?
PHASE TWO – Implement Authentication
It is extremely hard to have accurate portrayals of user activity without putting authentication protocols in place on devices. Whether you use ID badges, QR code scanning via mobile phone or user ID codes to validate the user, the end result is the same: increased transparency and insights. Below are a few of the benefits you can expect to see after implementing authentication protocols.
Secure print release
- Waste is cut down with users only printing when at a device.
- Enhanced security and compliance with printed documents less likely to get in the hands of the wrong people.
- Detailed records established by user for printing, copying, scanning & faxing.
PHASE THREE – Regulate
- Users able to scan to their cloud accounts such as OneDrive, Google Drive, SharePoint and countless more straight from the device with automatic sign-on with authentication.
- Scans to email are extremely simple and can even have Outlook open on the user’s computer with the document attached so they can easily formulate the email they are preparing at their desk.
This phase is where you start to make policies on how users, departments or visitors are able to print. You can implement this all at once or ease into it with gentle suggestions in meetings or even pop-ups when they are printing to try and curb printing behavior. In addition to what certain employees are able to print, you can also indicate where their print jobs will be sent based on parameters such as color, pages in job and finishing requirements.
Here are a few requirements you can put in place:
PHASE FOUR – Expensing
- Default to Black & White printing and copying for certain users.
- Jobs over “x” pages sent to copier versus desktop printer.
- Default to two-sided printing and copying for certain users.
When you have reached this phase, you should feel comfortable in your ability to track printing volume and control the print related rights users have within your organization. An additional step you can take to solidify your printing protocols, increase budgeting and bring in increased revenue is to implement charging policies for clients or employees. Whether you charge every client or pick and choose, knowing the costs can help you better represent expenses in quotes for the future.
For employees you can establish quotas that limit the amount an individual or a department can print per a set time period. Other arenas where this may be helpful is for companies that share workspace with another company and want to charge them for usage of the equipment or for schools wanting to regulate student printing.
While the path to secure and economical printing practices may seem unattainable for some, there is help available! If you would like assistance in how to gain control over your organization’s printing habits, security procedures and the ability to integrate with new technology, we at Copiers Plus would love to guide you there. Reach out to us at 800-648-7081 or via the web
to setup an appointment.
Drew Smith currently serves as Director of Communications for Copiers Plus. The company specializes in modernizing office equipment and increasing efficiencies in workplace communications throughout the state of North Carolina. To learn more about how Copiers Plus is providing their customers with innovative document solutions and enhanced printing transparency, visit www.copiers-plus.com. Drew would love to hear from you at [email protected].