The Datamax Thinking Blog

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3 Steps to Pulling Weeds Out of Your Print Landscape


Weeds in your print environment are equally destructive. Excessive printing by users; poor tracking of devices; and even inadequate security policies that can become harmful to your organization.

Pulling weeds – it’s an arduous, thankless and literally painful task.

Albeit, a completely necessary one for a healthy garden or lawn environment. Weeds block out sunlight and steal water. They crowd out your crop space and often camouflage harmful pests or disease. If left unattended, of course, weeds only get worse.

Weeds in your print environment are equally destructive. Excessive printing by users; poor tracking of devices; and even inadequate security policies that can become harmful to your organization. How many  productivity killing and cost stealing weeds are growing inside your print environment? Chances are, plenty. For instance:

  • Studies carried out by Tufts University and the non-profit Forest Ethics estimate that the average American office worker uses a sheet of paper every 12 minutes.
  • Industry research firm Gartner, Inc., estimates that as much as 3% of a company’s revenue is spent on paper, printing, filing, storing and maintaining files of information. Furthermore, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year. It is also concluded that 50% of the waste of businesses is composed of paper.

In your efforts to cut waste, how capable are you at creating print rules and policies? Tracking print behavior? Allocating print quotas? Locking down devices and protecting sensitive documents from compromising confidential information?

You could pull out the work gloves, the garden hoe and the Tylenol for the backache to come. Or, take a deep breath. Let your partner dig in deep and begin pulling the weeds for you.

3 Steps for Pulling Weeds in Your Print Environment

1. Assess Your Landscape First.

Cultivating a weed-free environment begins with discovery. Leveraging a multi-faceted assessment by your technology partner, you can fully understand the state of your fleet, and uncover opportunities for streamlining print processes, maximizing productivity of print assets and people, and improving total cost of technology ownership.

A thorough Print Assessment includes:

  • Suspending buying new equipment until a strategy is developed
  • Discovering devices, usage volume, applications and any hidden print costs
  • Developing and deploying a long-term print strategy

2. Develop a Strategy for Your Landscape.

What elements make up a weed-free environment? Here’s a few important factors to gaining better print control before you just start yanking weeds out of your lawn.

Print Visibility: You need to see who is printing, what they’re printing and on which device. You need access to a multitude of pre-built and customizable reports to get the answers you need easily.

Print Policies: As an administrator, you need to be able to create intelligent rules that not only limit user behavior, but also enforce sensible policies for best practices. Print policy management include reminding users (via popup) to print duplex, routing large jobs to a more efficient high volume printer, and discourage the printing of webpages (with all that wasteful color!).

Print Security: Those HR documents were sitting on the printer just 10 minutes ago. Where did they go?

Protect sensitive documents with solutions like Papercut's "Find-Me" Printing. This solves the problem of finding the closest printer from a long list of available printers. Likewise, uniFLOW software utilizes "My Print Anywhere:" When a user prints, his or her job is stored on the uniFLOW server until that user authenticates at any device on the network and releases his or her job. 

Administrators can also secure your devices with user authentication via a touch screen or card reader at your MFP. Add an extra layer of security by using watermarking and digital signatures to include the owner ID to every document.

3. Protect the Landscape for Seasons to Come.

Weeds are pesky, painful, and always likely to come back at any point - How do you prevent them long-term?

Empowering a beautifully efficient environment means having a reputable and accountable technology partner. When it comes to managing your fleet and helping you maintain control over wasteful behavior and costs, has your technology provider earned partnership status?

Datamax  is fully adept at pulling the weeds from your print landscape. A partnership with us begins with a multi-faceted Discovery process. It continues with regularly-scheduled partnership reviews, constructed to thoroughly review service performance, promote the adaptation of unused technology features and capabilities, and to think strategically about your needs or requirements in the next quarter and beyond.

Start with a Print Assessment today!


Topics: Office Equipment Print Management