As a Solutions Consultant for Print Audit, the most common (and costly) mistake I see office equipment dealers make is ignoring ‘unmanaged’ printing. ‘Managed’ prints are those under a contract sent to an MFP at a fixed cost such as a penny per page. ‘Unmanaged’ prints are all of the other printers in the environment, for example those done on shared and local printers.
The unmanaged printing cost is a variable number because it fluctuates based on the toner coverage on the page, whereas, on an MFP under contract it does not. As an office equipment dealer, you can take advantage of this by using rules-based-printing to put a print migration strategy in place that will not only reduce your customer's printing cost, but also increase the click revenue for your fleet of MFPs.
When rules-based-printing is implemented there is always some printing attrition that goes along with it. What this means is, once end-users/staff members know their printing is being tracked, about 3 to 5 percent of the print volume will vanish overnight. This is because users will think twice before printing something personal in nature. As an example, recipe sites are the most printed type of website in businesses throughout North America. We recently completed a 30 day print assessment for a government agency and they were no exception to the rule. The assessment identified 59 percent of their print volume was being sent to USB connected printers. That was nearly 500,000 unmanaged prints! Accounting for just the attrition alone, the potential savings makes you look like a hero while also helping you cost justify new hardware and other additional services.
Over the past 3 years, many customers have told me that they have consolidated real estate, laid off employees, and are now looking for other line items in their budget to cut expenses. Printing is a substantial cost for them and you can help by making recommendations based on their staff members’ printing behavior. Again, this will help your customers trim their printing costs, while at the same time migrating higher volume printing to your MFPs in the field. When it comes to the local unmanaged printers, you don't necessarily have to take these devices away from staff members, unless that is one of your customer's primary goals. A simpler approach, however, is to take the volume away from those local printers through the use of rules-based-printing. Either way, you have to start with a plan and the more printing data you have, the better. Identifying print management savings for your customer is a winning strategy for both you and your client. They will thank you for it.