The risk for businesses in print volumes increasing so sharply is an equivalent jump in print costs if inefficient, unmanaged print environments remain in place.
However, the good news for resellers is that the research also shows the market is primed to take up finance-supported deals focused around customers reducing print costs and smoothing them into periodical payments throughout the year, with potential up-front sales revenue delivered to the reseller.
Half of all businesses surveyed [http://www.arnnet.com.au/brand-post/content/605701/australian-smbs-send-a-clear-message-about-printers/] are interested in engaging a partner to manage some or all of their in-house printing and imaging needs.
Adding up the real costs
The trend towards centralised printing in business has been happening for some time, driven by a desire to reduce costs, however GfK’s research shows 53% of businesses surveyed still haven’t done it and 29% plan to implement it in the next two years.
Many of the costs involved with printers are obvious – hardware, servicing, toner and paper. But other costs are less tangible – and quantifying these costs can help a partner organisation identify further savings for customers.
For example, many small printers, especially older models, have inefficient power consumption even in standby. If these are dotted throughout a business, the cumulative power consumption can substantially add to a business’ power bill.
The Australian Consumer Association found the worst multifunction printer it measured used $118.24 in power each year in standby.
However, given business printers are in frequent use, inefficient standby isn’t the only consideration. Power consumption while printing should be taken into account too; some printers use 1200 watts or more while printing. Brother has a 100 page per minute printer (HL-S7000DN) that uses just 130 watts to print.
If there are many printers, the cost for IT staff to order cartridges and manage inventory of them across different brands and models can’t be underestimated. IT departments often find they end up with excess stock of valuable toner cartridges after a printer has been replaced with another model, with cost wastage of hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars.
Time for IT staff – and lost productivity in the business – to maintain printers that require toner replacement or other service can be considerable too. A small amount of IT attention per printer, every few weeks, multiplied across a larger fleet of personal printers can add up to a material portion of an FTE role. Once a stocktake is taken of an organisation’s printers, many businesses are surprised how many units have quietly found their way into the environment over the years.
Centralised printing using efficient, high volume printers strategically located around offices can deliver significant cost savings to businesses, while delivering new technology that employees love such as scan-to-cloud integration.
Of course, centralised printers aren’t necessarily the right solution for every circumstance. Senior executives with very limited time or human resources department dealing with sensitive material may still want to have a printer in their immediate work space. Certain office layouts might make it tricky to get from one part of a floor to another, so a smaller multifunction printer might be needed away from the main printers. These requirements can be planned out in a cost-efficient way by having standardised models for such circumstances.
Tying it all together
With an optimised fleet of printers in place across a business, the ‘secret sauce’ that ties it all together from a cost efficiency perspective is a company-wide IT admin tool that allows printer status and consumables needs to be monitored centrally. Brother’s BRAdmin Professional tool allows printers to be remotely configured and monitored.
This can be coupled with Brother B-Guard, which allows staff to click ‘print’, then walk up to any printer, tap their NFC-enabled ID card and collect their printout on demand. This ensures sensitive documents don't start printing until the user is there to collect them, but also makes it easier for staff to work flexibly at different locations around the office (or even in different office buildings). B-Guard also makes it possible for organisations to track all printer activity, stop unapproved usage of printers and account for print costs on a per-department or per-client basis.