While large-scale commercial printers are relatively commonplace, many organizations still operate on a smaller scale, assigning smaller printers across offices. Individuals may share a printer between a few people or even have their own, leading to rampant costs, large maintenance requirements, and no real control over what or how documents are printed.

Switching to large-scale printers offers numerous opportunities to speed up print-jobs, reduce maintenance costs, and improve security and compliance. While not every organization can benefit, most will see increases in efficiency across offices.

Reduce Printers Per Office

In most cases, there are few advantages to offering personal printers. In some cases, they may save important personnel wait time. In others, it may be essential due to the sensitive nature of print information.

For the most part, reducing the number of printers in an office greatly benefits your organization for a number of reasons. The first is that reducing the number of printers simplifies network architecture, may reduce load on print servers, and definitely reduces the number of possible requests or the volume of data transfer at once. Individuals in one space all share one or more large printers, allowing you to run single printers, send single requests to and from print servers at once, and otherwise greatly simplify work for IT.

Optimize Printer Access

Too much printer access can be as negative as too little. On the one hand, you want every employee that needs to print to have access to the printer and to be able to print in a timely fashion. On the other hand, having printers everywhere often results in gratuitous prints and increases wasteful printing.

Optimizing printer access means analyzing offices and occupants to strategically place printers where they have the most impact. Analysis should consider the frequency and volume of printer use in the office, when individuals are most likely to print files (peak demand), and items including physical space and access.

You can conduct this yourself. If you’re using a managed print services provider, it should be included with your contract. However, note that not all MPS providers will offer the same services, so you should make sure.

Integrate Better Security Regulations

More printers typically mean more complications for security and compliance. Printer security is a huge issue for compliance, data information security, and complying with data privacy regulation in specific industries such as healthcare and finance. Printers require firewalls, updates to prevent exploits, physical protection from hacks, and safety measures to prevent data theft through USB drives. Users also have to be trained to follow empty-tray policies to prevent print-files from being lifted from printers.

All of this is easier and significantly more feasible when switching to a small number of large-scale printers. IT can better ensure printers stay up to date with frequent updates. Printer software and risks are easy to monitor and manage. It’s easier to control access to a smaller number of printers. And, it’s simpler to implement physical safety measures. This is especially true for employee use, because even if a few people make mistakes, most of the organization will quickly right those issues before they become a risk.

Reduce Maintenance and Management Costs

Managing and maintaining a large printer fleet is costly and time consuming. Staff often have to physically visit printers to download and install updates. More printers also often means more types of printers, requiring different parts and often outside assistance from one or more lease or repair companies. These problems worsen as printers age and break down more frequently.

Large-scale printers reduce the number of physical points requiring attention, meaning IT can regularly inspect and maintain print devices without a great deal of time investment or attention. This also reduces the average cost of regular management including replacing print paper and ink or toner, managing security, and managing user access.

Improve Management

Large-scale printers typically support more complex print rules, better user management, and more printer management software. Most large-scale printers will integrate with cloud management platforms, allowing IT to manage devices, fonts, margins, and other details.

You also get more control over who is printing and where, with print logs and archives, options for secure printing through password or pin-code, and user logs. This can allow IT to recognize suspicious activity on the network, to recognize when individuals print too much, to comply with industry regulation, and much more.

Improve Printer Efficiency

Large-scale printers typically print more pages per minute, utilize larger cartridges, and often offer more features and options. Individuals can print even large documents quickly, reducing wait times. Printers supporting multiple document sizes enable quickly switching between paper options without finding a different printer.

Security and control settings mean that print jobs are largely optimized automatically before they get to the printer, greatly reducing total costs and waste. For example, if pages are reformatted to specific font and margin sizes, you can often greatly reduce the total cost of print per page.

Large-scale printers increase business efficiency in numerous ways, including security, cost, and speed of print. Implementing large commercial printers can help you to improve security, create security and compliance print policies, and reduce the cost of maintenance and management. They also allow more and better options for online management, print options, and control.

In most cases, you can implement large-scale printers relatively quickly and affordably using managed print services.