Whether your existing print fleet is a few years out of date or a relic from the last century, chances are, it’s costing you money. Modern printers are greener, faster, more secure, and easier to maintain, giving organizations opportunities to digitize, seamlessly share data, and reduce costs at every turn.

And, modern managed print services make implementing new printers a far cry from the tens of thousands of dollars needed to invest in new hardware even ten years ago.

As a result, it’s very common for print users, managers, and even IT to be fully aware of the need to upgrade print fleets, while C-Suite and finance remains largely unaware. Investing in a better or more efficient print solution could save your organization thousands each year (Gartner states that print costs businesses an average of 3% of revenue), while improving the quality of services, productivity around print, and print capabilities.

The best arguments for a new printer fleet

1) Organizational security is at risk

Quocirca claims that 60% of all printers are cybersecurity risks. Printers are hackable, vulnerable to exploits, have open fax lines, and often aren’t managed or updated to prevent vulnerabilities from becoming breaches.

This is hugely important for organizations, because data security is rising in importance, Internet of Things increases the number of devices on any given network, and printers from even 15 years ago are endpoints, vulnerable to attack.

Upgrading your print fleet will help to circumvent many of these issues by providing smarter and more modern security.

For example, organizations like Epson and HP implement better security standards into their newest printers, removing some vulnerabilities entirely.

Many modern printers also feature tools to enable firewalls, antivirus and anti-malware, remote management, and remote updates, making it easier for IT teams to manage and control the security of devices. And, with managed print services typically offering secure cloud solutions that remove some security issues from your location entirely, upgrading could save your organization in terms of IT costs as well.

2) It’s more expensive to maintain older hardware than upgrade

Old printer hardware is expensive to repair and maintain. The average printer repair costs $60. The average printer over 5 years old will break down 3-5 times in a year. One print repair shop suggests that a 10-year-old printer will break down once a month in 17% of cases.

The older your print fleet, the more printing will cost. This also relates to factors that have nothing to do with repair.

  • Lack of manufacturer support
  • Increased cost of supplies due to the lack of manufacture
  • Increased complexity of repairs due to a lack of knowledge
  • Reduced productivity because of inefficient tools (outdated drivers, etc.)
  • Increased cost of print because of rising costs of filling outdated cartridges or buying toner
  • Lack of cost-saving features

Eventually, it becomes more cost effective to simply purchase a new printer. Or, in the case of a managed print service, lease the new printer for about the same as you’re likely paying to print now (or about 0.3-0.8 cents per page).

What can you do? Review your total print costs to determine what you’re paying per year in avoidable costs, compare those with run costs for a new printer, and check managed print service lease rates in your area.

3) Your current print fleet doesn’t meet daily needs

If printers are struggling to meet (or exceed to the point of adding costs) daily needs, it’s time for something new. In most cases, issues will relate to print output, number of printers, server bottlenecks, compatibility issues, and so on.

Right-sizing fleets is an important service offered by most managed print service providers, because it allows your fleet to meet needs as efficiently as possible. Meeting needs offers obvious benefits in that you aren’t either not printing what is needed, not overworking printers by over-utilizing them, and not wasting valuable employee time by forcing them to wait.

4) Upgrading to multi-function printers could save space and money

Most modern printers are fully multi-function, meaning they offer scan, copy, and sometimes fax features. Most also offer networking, built-in firewall and security capability, and may offer features to enable user access management, file digitization, and digital file transfer.

Depending on your existing print fleet, upgrading to a modern MFP could greatly reduce costs by:

  • Reducing total space required by hardware (modern machines are compact all-in-ones)
  • Reduce IT investment for maintenance (devices are managed remotely and you have one device instead of several)
  • User access management and use management
  • Forced font and duplex printing standards
  • Digital file management to prevent duplicate printing

However, each of these factors heavily depends on your existing fleet and its age.

5) A new print fleet could boost productivity

Modern printers can boost productivity in several ways. User account management allows individuals to send files to a queue they can access when at the printer. Digitization allows file management so multiple people can sign off or virtually sign a file before printing. Finance can finalize documents in the cloud and seamlessly print to reduce total print for payrolling by as much as 75%. Scanners can directly upload files to a server or cloud. Print files can be backed up and stored in secure cloud servers. Users can access printers from all their devices to save time. And, IT can manage all printers from a single dashboard to reduce waste time, while improving security.

How much time could you save? Here, it’s important to get a print analysis to review how much time employees spend waiting for printers, how much time is spent on incompatible drivers and software, and in the most basic of calculations, how much faster new printers deliver pages, and so on.

A modern print fleet will likely support a document management system, print device management system, cloud servers, offer drivers (including universal drivers) for every device your employees use, and may offer built-in security functions. At the same time, it’s still important to review your existing fleet for these features, because, depending on age, you might already have them.

Upgrading to a newer and better print fleet is no longer the cost-intensive endeavor it used to be. Switching to an MPS provide could reduce upgrade costs to just what it takes to research a managed print service provider, make space for an assessment, and implement the solution.

While there are costs and considerations, most organizations with printers over 10 years old could greatly benefit from making the switch and some organizations with print fleets that are 5 years or older could benefit as well.