The risk of printer based procurement.

The risk of printer based procurement

16 January 2018

Choosing the lowest-cost printer may seem like the best deal, but focusing too much on the initial purchase price can cause long term issues for a business.

Cheap doesn't equal affordable

Research over recent years has shown procuring printer ink ad-hoc can be costlier than vintage champagne.  Although an attractive option a low-cost printer may not be the cheapest option over the long term.  More maintenance and the cost of replacement consumables, such as ink and toner may be considerably more expensive and increase your overall running costs significantly.

Patchwork printing environment

The lack of central procurement and ad-hoc purchasing of individual desktop devices can lead to expensive running costs and costly consumables.

Procuring printers on an ad-hoc basis with no standardisation across the print fleet creates a patchwork solution, likely to have a mix of single function devices, which are extremely expensive to run and creates an inefficient and costly solution.  This approach is also problematic for internal IT departments as they struggle to maintain unstandardised and disparate devices across the network.

Weak document security

Paper is hard to protect - In 2014, research indicated that 1 in 5 data breaches involved paper records.  Most businesses have confidential information that they need to protect and printers pose a huge risk.  There is a perception that using individual desktop devices rather than shared workgroup printers protects documents, however they may not include features such as authentication and access control functions to help protect sensitive documents.  By using shared workgroup technology and the latest pull print technology, documents can be protected, only being retrieved by the individual user at the device.

So how do you avoid these pitfalls when procuring your office printers?  Here are a few simple tips:

  1. Undertake an assessment of your current print environment to understand how many devices are actually being used and the true costs of your office printing.
  2. Create a long-term strategy to ensure you have the right print solutions in place - this includes rationalising the printer fleet and utilising multi-function devices (MFDs) that can be shared across the network.
  3. Always consider total cost of ownership; initial prices may not include the cost of fleet replacements, ongoing management, service and repair, consumables etc.
  4. Consolidate buying power (e.g. by teaming up with other departments) and procure company wide to benefit from economies of scale.
  5. Work with one supplier/partner for your print management solution to benefit from cost effective pricing, integration with other systems and ongoing service.

Luckily IT@Spectrum can assist with your Print Management needs!

 

Excerpt taken from Canon Business Solutions

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