G2 Fall report names PaperCut #1 in Print

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The PaperCut approach to keeping print costs down

Here’s a simple truth; your workplace is spending more than it should on printing. Not only that, unmanaged printing can represent anywhere from 1-15% of a business’s expenses.

Today, we’ll start the process of reducing those print costs for you.

Print cost-cutting is everywhere nowadays. Sometimes it’s done well, and sometimes it ends up hurting productivity. The best type of cost-cutting is the type that people don’t notice (and doesn’t reduce service value).

Print management can be one of those magic wands where you can slash costs without hurting anyone’s productivity (or even sometimes make it better). Not only that, you might get some surprise cost savings.

It all starts by asking a question: “Do I really need to print that email in color?” or “Could I print that double-sided instead?”

Stop wasting paper!

When we think of saving waste and money, it’s the obvious actions that take center stage. In the case of printing, the obvious cost savings come from printing in black and white and printing double-sided. Both are better for the environment and less expensive.

But there are other not-so-obvious savings — for example, the thousands of print jobs that were not printed because no one released them, or the potential savings in software licenses because PaperCut provides both printing and scanning functionality.

Let’s explore more of the obvious and not-so-obvious savings you can make with PaperCut.

PaperCut’s top print cost saving ideas

Reduce the amount of color printing

An obvious cost saving is limiting the amount of color printing a user can do (or blocking color printing completely). Instead, users print with the much cheaper grayscale or black & white options.

This is an easy fix using print management software like PaperCut. You simply set filters and rules to encourage or force grayscale or black & white selection.

It’s worth noting that grayscale does often use color ink or toner to achieve the varying shades of gray. However, it’s on a much smaller scale compared with actual color printing.

Double-sided printing (also called duplex printing) is, along with black & white printing, the low hanging fruit of print cost savings. It’s also something modern printers do exceptionally well. And yet for many printers, the default is single sided (or simplex) printing.

Using print management software like PaperCut solves this problem, allowing you to automate print requests to print double sided.

And just like with black & white printing, it’s simply done with filters and rules to encourage or force double-sided printing.

Send print jobs to the cheapest printer

Not all printers cost the same to print. You need to identify what each printer in your fleet costs you to print, and direct certain jobs to the most cost effective.

For example you don’t want to have 40-page reports coming out of a desktop printer, the cost will be prohibitive compared to a multifunction device.

For this, you need print scripting, available in PaperCut MF.

Use quotas to stop students from printing excessively

While this can apply to any user in any workplace, it’s usually reserved for students in education. It’s all about setting a quota - a limit to the number of printouts a person can have in a given time.

This helps shape user behavior into putting more of a premium on the value of each printout.

You can implement this using something like quota scheduling, which lets you set a budget for a period. Students can “top up” their quota if extra printing is required.

Recover printing costs from clients

This is a handy concept for the likes of the legal and accounting professions. With a solution like PaperCut MF you can allocate print jobs to charge-back costs to billable accounts or alternative fee arrangements.

Have fewer printers around your workplace

The days of printers on desks really should be over. They’re expensive to run and maintain, and completely unnecessary from a security point of view. Yes, you’ll have team members saying they absolutely must have their own printer so others don’t see the documents they print, but with Find-Me printing, one multifunction device safely and conveniently serves many users in printing, scanning, and copying.

Reduce number of uncollected documents at the printer

The problem that created a company! PaperCut was founded on one system administrator wanting to put an end to printouts left uncollected at the printer.

Secure print release ensures documents are only printed when the person printing is standing at a printer ready to receive the documents. Not only does it eliminate documents being printed automatically and then forgotten, it also stops prying eyes from seeing confidential documents.

Save time setting up print drivers

Print enablement can be a huge time waster for IT teams. Setting up users for printing, updating print drivers for printers … the cost in time adds up.

To make the process simple, PaperCut has a couple of solutions. IT teams can use a global print driver that works for the widest possible range of printers (providing options for color vs black and white, simplex and duplex (double sided) printing, stapling, paper size etc.). This is handy for workplaces with mixed fleets (different brands of printers) with a desire for a single Find Me print queue.

Where the big time savings come in, however, is the adoption of Print Deploy to simplify print queue deployment.

Use one tool to manage printing and scanning

One of the simplest cost benefits of using PaperCut MF and PaperCut Hive is the ability to manage (i.e track and control) not just printing but scanning, too. That saves you needing to buy extra software to improve your scanning environment. Do it all with just one tool!

Managing your stakeholders

One thing that’s vitally important with cost-cutting is ensuring your stakeholders - in this case the people who wish to print in your workplace - are taken on the journey. Adoption will go more smoothly when they understand the reasons for the changes and see the positives of the new way of working.

A more sustainable printing environment

The approach that companies have a lot of success with is to point out the sustainability opportunities inherent in reducing printing costs.

For example, PaperCut Grows is a program that helps organizations become Forest Positive by planting more trees than are consumed by printing in the workplace. With this program, you’re encouraged to ask your staff to choose where in the world the tree planting should take place (it’s managed by an external not-for-profit group). Your team then has access to a dashboard that tracks the usage and number of trees planted. This approach inspires teams to be more thoughtful with their printing and feel more involved with their workplace’s sustainability initiatives.

Take a staged approach

With PaperCut, you have a lot of options for cost cutting. However you don’t necessarily need to implement them all at once. Your users may feel overwhelmed having so much change (pop-up reminders, enforced B&W printing, double sided printing, A4/letter-size printing only, for example).