How often does the discussion about improving office efficiency include printer and copier software solutions? My best guess would be never or rarely. Even among IT professionals, copiers and printers can seem like a commodity, hardly as exciting as a new application or enterprise project.
But what if I told you some of those software solutions could increase your ROI? What if the conversation centered on improving workflow processes and the security of the information in your organization?
Most copier and printer software that comes with your devices is pretty basic. It makes the device print, scan, copy and fax, but not much else. If you had different software in place, it could manage your copier and printer in ways that improve productivity, increase efficiency and reduce costs. Here’s a look how:
Enabling secure printing: With secure printing applications software such as Papercut, you can make your printers both more secure and cost-effective. First, there’s security. For example, health care organizations have implemented Papercut so medical staff could print confidential documents — staying HIPAA compliant — by sending them to the printer and releasing the documents only when staff members are actually at the printer (by scanning their ID badge). That means no sensitive patient information would be mistakenly left in an output tray.
Secure printing also helps with the person on your team who goes a little print happy — let’s call him Phil. We all know a Phil, the guy who prints out his 35-slide PowerPoint presentation in color for everyone at the meeting. Papercut can help you control Phil’s costly color printouts by metering his access.
Supporting intelligent workflows: What if your copiers and printers were smart enough to make sure important documents were routed to the right people? Canon, for example, has Uniflow, and it makes sure the invoice you just copied also gets routed to accounting, the business manager and the CFO. It’s just a matter of setting up the workflow.
Workflows are effective for both small and large organizations. In a small business, once it is discovered how things currently work in the organization, a workflow can be developed to have your servers talking to your printers/copiers and vice versa. In a larger, more established organization with workflows in place, it’s important to make sure the software you are considering will work with your existing workflows.
Streamlining end users: Setting up the copier and printer software for secure printing and workflows is oftentimes the easy part. Getting end users to actually work with it can be more difficult. To ensure effective adoption, it’s beneficial to have a high-level decision maker champion the change. Then, it helps to recruit early adopters in each department to start using the new solutions and encourage their co-workers by example.
Making good software decisions for your printers and copiers is complicated. When it’s done right, a business can see efficiency and cost savings in a matter of weeks — which continue to grow over months or years.