There are varying opinions on whether employees within offices should have printers at their desks or use shared multi-function printers in common areas spread throughout the workspace. While each scenario may be unique, there are some things to consider that may help you make a strategic decision for your organization.
When considering how many devices to deploy and maintain, it is wise to have a good understanding of what they cost to acquire and maintain. Additionally, you will want to look at how pricing may vary from what you are looking for and what you currently have. If you have printers on desks that use ink, then you may have paid less for the equipment and substantially more for the supplies than you would have with a toner-based printer.
There are different classifications of "printers" that get thrown around in conversation and can mean different things in terms of features they provide. A multifunction printer is a device that does printing, faxing, scanning, and copying, while a printer will just print documents sent to it by computers, tablets, USB drives, or mobile devices. Inkjet printers are common among home offices and small businesses as they are easy to acquire at a relatively low cost from a retail store or online. Laser printers are printers that do not use ink cartridges but rather toner, which usually allows for more prints to occur than inkjets before replacing a cartridge.
Considering not only the cost of the equipment but also the maintenance and supplies is very important. Understanding that color printers cost more to acquire and run than monochrome laser printers (black and white only) will allow you to choose who in the organization truly needs color printing. Accessories, like paper trays to provide additional paper capacity, are an additional item to consider, especially for users that may routinely print checks or non-letter-sized paper.
Where you deploy desktop printers should be determined by the job roles of individual employees. Some job functions require private information that does not need to be accessed by others. When this is the case, it may make sense to have those users have access to their own printer so that there is less of a chance for others to see their confidential printed documents.
An alternative to electing to place printers in these situations could be to implement user authentication solutions on shared devices across your facilities. This would require users to provide credentials at the device before their print jobs would be released along with providing enhanced custom scanning and indexing features.
If you have certain employees that must constantly print receipts, invoices, or other one-off print jobs, it may prove beneficial to provide them a printer or MFP for their workstation. If users are constantly having to leave their desk for printing, scanning, faxing, and copying while also dealing with customers face-to-face, having quick and close-by access could increase productivity and improve the customer experience.
Color printing is more expensive than black and white. Though it is also highly desired by users, especially when producing materials for external use like proposals or marketing materials. While there are great uses for color output, knowing what employees are using color printing for can help you specify who has access to it. In terms of desktop printers, the ability for an employee to print in color at their desk in color should be inspected more scrupulously since it will be more expensive than sending the job to a shared copier.
Some color output that is common and may make sense for desktop use could be printing letterhead, invoices, spreadsheets, and financial statements. The key thing to remember is when dealing with desktop printers, less is more. If you need to print a large stack of documents or multiple copies, it is best to use a shared copy machine that is built to run faster, more economically, and often has better print quality.
While the decision to deploy desktop printers is case by case, understanding the above factors and how they affect your bottom line and productivity can help make the decision-making easier for all involved. If you need help developing a strategy for how to get your printing under control in your workplace, we would love to assist you! Give us a call today at 800-648-7081 or visit our website to schedule a consultation with one of our representatives. Make today the day you bring clarity to your printing costs.
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