The right way for the IT Manager to address common print challenges

Whatever the size of organisation you are running, as an IT manager you face these common problems in print management on a day-to-day basis:

  • How to avoid your printer/MFP fleet tying up valuable in house IT resources. You don’t want your staff chasing meter readings, ordering supplies or dealing with local printer management problems
  • How to achieve a balance in the way you print so that expensive local devices are not being overly used, and ensure that cheaper-to-run devices take up the bulk of the print. You don’t want to discover that large runs are being completed on the more expensive to run small device at the end of the desk, while the workhorse Device at the end of the room is going unused.
  • How to restrict use of more expensive colour to those applications where it is needed. For example, we all like to print in colour, but in many internal applications, a mono print will do. Again, you don’t want a nasty surprise after 3 months when you discover a large bill for unnecessary colour printing.

How do you address these problems?

The secret is to design the architecture so that important tasks like these are offloaded to intelligent software which can make the decisions for users and which align the result with the aims of the organisation. The design complements the purchase of hardware – a vision is needed of the print strategy so that the intelligent software works to a plan. Both the hardware and software work in unison to achieve the aims of the user now and into the future. Sometimes the aims can be achieved with functionality which is already incorporated into the device, others with the purchase of extra software

The main areas you need to focus on are the following: Print Job Routing (so that the costliest jobs are sent to the most appropriate device for printing); Mobile Printing (so that the productivity aims for mobile working are not thwarted by the technology infrastructure you have); Secure Printing (so that files are only released by a person who has authenticated at the device and can be there to claim the prints); Secure Scanning (so that the organisation does not leak information); and Device Management (so that staff are not being sent to do task which can be offloaded to software); print Accounting (so that you know who is printing to what device).

You do not want to approach the purchase of hardware and software separately – Interoperability between devices and software is very important and problems occur when print management is tacked on as an afterthought. Would you purchase a new kitchen and only think of the power sockets at the end?

A holistic approach to the challenge of print management is to bring a supplier in at the beginning that can supply not just an answer but a solution to the above challenges. And not just a solution for today, but for tomorrow as your needs develop.

Visit the Ricoh website to find out for yourself how Ricoh can help you to optimise your organisation’s print management.

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