Finding your Perfect Print Solution
A buyer's guide for office print solutions.
Finding Your Perfect Print Solution
Insights, advice and information
Looking to upgrade your office print?
Consider these key values
Office print solutions are no longer the one-dimensional products of the past. Today they have the functionality to accelerate multiple business-critical processes
Print solutions are a staple part of any modern-day office. Especially with the demands we now place upon them.
That’s why it’s important to find the setup that suits your business – and choose a partner who works to understand and deliver on your exact needs.
Every business is different, and therefore value various aspects of print differently. In this guide, we’ll discuss those values to help you in your search, including:
- Good return on investment
- Assured security
- Customer support
- Cutting-edge innovation
Valuing good return
Valuing good return
It’s only natural that any business decision you take looks at what will give you the best return on investment. And print is no different.
There’s much more to it than just the price of the printer itself. And what might seem like a good saving up front could end up costing you much more in the long run – we’ve all heard the saying ‘buy cheap, buy twice’.
Variables like the shelf-life of a print device, what functionalities it has to improve workflow across your company, their energy usage and even how much expensive office space they’ll take up, all impact on the value you’ll get.
Now let’s go into each of these examples in more detail.
Top Tip: Buy the right office printers today and you'll be able to access the latest technology as it becomes available, through updates made directly to the device.
Future-proofing your print solution
Print technology has come a long way and continues to evolve at a rapid pace.
An office print solution that autonomously updates itself with the latest software and functionality increases its lifecycle considerably – offering you extended years of excellent service.
And it also means that when new trends reach our working environments – a recent example is external cloud storage – your printers will be able to incorporate them.
Improving processes across your business
A modern-day office print solution isn’t just a printer. It will feature a multitude of functions that take mundane and tedious tasks out of your people’s hands and efficiently automate them.
Examples include scanning, secure documentation, integration with cloud services and sharing information between different devices and users. And of course, printing.
Not only does this free up your people to focus on more important responsibilities and improve their productivity, it also makes the tasks themselves much more effective.
Saving on space and energy
Printers can sometimes take a lot of power to run – but not if you find solutions designed to cut down on energy consumption. Look for devices with features such as auto-off timer settings to reduce both costs and your carbon footprint while they’re not in use.
And when it comes to expensive office space, less is more. Consider multi-functional printers that act as a centralised hub of activity for a wide range of business-critical processes. Compared to using multiple devices, you’ll free up a lot of wasted space that can be put to much better use.
Choosing the right partner
The partner you choose to go with can have a huge effect on your return on investment. It’s highly recommended that you browse the market for the partner that will best suit your business’s needs.
One key consideration you should keep front of mind in your decision is the level of support you’ll receive. Working with a collaborative partner is the best way to effectively integrate new devices and all of their features into your organisation – and get the most value for money out of them.
Your office print solution is no longer just a tool. It’s a hub of productivity that supports your entire business. Every office needs one, so make sure it’s the right one.
As one of the mainstays of office life – accessed regularly by your people from across your organisation – you need your printers to be effective, efficient and reliable.
And it’s not just about printing documents. The nature of modern-day print solutions is that they can manage and automate a multitude of business-critical processes, enabling your staff to spend their time more effectively.
While this may make them sound complex, leading suppliers design their products with simplicity in mind. It’s all about identifying the specific benefits your business requires, finding the print devices that deliver those benefits and then working closely with a partner to fully utilise them.
So, what kind of benefits are we talking about? In the section we’ll uncover just what new print devices can do.
Top Tip: You can now connect office printers to external cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and Office 365, enabling you to work smarter and increase productivity.
The basic things you should expect
There are a lot of features that you should expect as standard as part of your package with any potential partner.
Because the best print solutions are centralised hubs accessed by multiple users – rather than a large fleet of individual printers for individual people– you need to ensure you choose one that is both reliable and backed up by 24/7 support.
You should also expect a large degree of customisation through easy-to-use touch screen functionalities and one-touch apps.
And you should expect to receive devices with the performance capabilities your business requires – including quick start-ups and quick processes with a high-quality finish.
The innovations that will enhance your business
The last few years have seen a huge rise in the use of cloud storage across multiple industries. It’s quick and secure and reduces the possibility of human error.
Digital transformation is no simple task, but it is made much easier through the modern-day technologies present in new office print solutions.
As you search for the right device for your business, keep an eye out for those with the functionality for cloud integration. They’ll allow your people to scan documents directly into your systems safely and securely, with full accountability and total compliance when it comes to data protection laws – making for a lot less paperwork for your employees to deal with!
You should also look out for devices that incorporate mobile and guest printing. This creates a secure way for multiple users to print from multiple locations – a function that scales from SMBs all the way to huge enterprises.
Looking to the future
Technology is advancing all the time. Not just with office print but across the board in every industry. It’s what makes digital transformation an ongoing process, not just a one-off investment.
That means that with some print devices you may buy, within a few years there’s a good chance they’ll be out of date or incapable of incorporating new ways of working.
But not if you choose the right devices. Look out for an office print solution that automatically updates itself with new features, applications and upgrades. This will extend the life of your printer considerably, allow you to adapt to new agile ways of working and give your people the best support possible.
Choosing the right partner
No matter which devices you choose, you’re only going to get the most out of them if you work alongside a proactive partner who helps your business integrate them – alongside any new technology.
Find a partner who shares your values when it comes to productivity, and you’ll be able to empower your people to achieve their best work.
Print is a crucial part of your business. You need to be able to trust that it is safe, stable and secure.
From frequent office use to full-blown cyber-attacks, there are a multitude of things that could potentially affect a business’s office print.
That’s why leading suppliers all work incredibly hard to ensure that their devices can deliver a consistent and quality service.
It’s all about protecting your data, promoting productivity and providing absolute peace of mind.
So, let’s look at some of the key things to watch out for when it comes to office print security.
Top Tip: Your printers store data just like a computer. Does your provider have processes and procedures - such as a Security Cleansing Service - to make sure it doesn’t get into the wrong hands?
Protecting your data – and people
When it comes to protecting your data and people, there are three things to keep in mind:
- User security
Look after your people by providing an office print solution that protects them. Especially on devices that are accessed by many different employees. Features like user authentication, which keeps sensitive documents private from unauthorised eyes, are a great way to ensure this.
- Business security
Businesses are a hive of activity – and there are bound to be mistakes every now and again due to human error. An office print solution can help avoid this by automating tedious business-critical tasks in a secure and confidential way.
- Cyber security
Just like your computers, printers store data. And this data is vulnerable to advanced cyber-attacks. Print solutions that incorporate automatic updates and are backed by 24/7 remote device monitoring are crucial in your line of defence.
Choosing the right partner
Different print partners have different methods for ensuring the security of your print devices. We highly recommend you browse the market for one that matches your business’s values.
Choosing a collaborative partner, who will work with you to provide both your business and people the training and insight required to get the most out of any device, is crucial to ensuring the security of your organisation.
A quick and easy way to evaluate a partner’s proficiency in the realm of security is third-party accreditations. Here’s a couple to look out for:
A standard that defines the minimum requirements for features on devices that demand a high level of document security.
A certification that demonstrates that a partner meets international standards of best practice for an information security management system (ISMS).
Read more on office print security in this eBook:
Four Ways to Secure Your MFP
Valuing customer support
No matter how big your business is, being able to receive quick, kind and efficient support on a local level is vital to getting the most out of your office print.
Good customer service is at the core of every successful brand in
That’s why the most successful companies adopt a people-first approach to business. Putting their customers and clients at the forefront of each decision they make, and at the heart of every product and service.
That way they can keep their finger on the pulse to any problems and provide quick and easy solutions. And they can tailor their offering to suit the needs of an individual organisation.
It all comes down to the partner you pick.
Top Tip: Look out for a provider with local accreditation around support - such as a Customer Service Excellence certification.
Choosing the right partner
So how do you decide which is the right one for you? And what sort of support is out there?
Most leading suppliers will offer the standard array of call centres, technician call-outs and online information. Some will take a more proactive approach and deliver excellent customer service on a local level,
no matter how big your network is.
Keep an eye out for partners with third-party accreditations based on their customer service, who have both local telephone and online support to respond immediately to enquiries, and who ensure their technicians are trained to the highest standard.
Sustainability is growing ever more important – in both the public conscious and in our business decisions.
Society demands an added onus on ethics and the environment these days – and rightly so. Our customers expect us to uphold certain values. And those values need to be at the centre of what we do.
So, it’s not just about having a recycling bin. It’s about core decisions that affect the entire business, and that includes print.
In this section we’ll cover how office print solutions can help you reduce your carbon footprint, cut down on waste and show the world you care.
Top Tip: Seek out printers with low TEC (typical energy consumption). It will help to reduce your carbon footprint and save you money on energy costs too.
The power of digital transformation
We’ve discussed how modern-day print solutions automate business-critical decisions, improve productivity and enhance security for your organisation. We haven’t yet gone into detail about how much they can help your carbon footprint.
Multifunctional printers turn tedious tasks and ponderous paper trails into efficient digital processes. Meaning you have less waste paper, while tasks take less energy to complete.
They also incorporate a multitude of energy-saving features, such as quick start-up, sleep mode, human detection sensors (which use temperature to detect when to start up) and smart metering software can collate CO2 data.
Choosing the right partner
Your choice of print partner will have a massive impact on your ability to reduce your carbon footprint.
It’s all down to their approach. Look out for a provider that emphasises reduced running costs, employee engagement campaigns, buyback carbon output schemes and end of life recycling.
Because at the end of the day, it’s all about reducing the cost to both your business and our planet.
Finding value in innovation
Innovation is at the core of every successful business. Make it part of your office print solution too.
Just like technology, working practices are constantly evolving. And as businesses get more agile, the expectations of your people increase, with things like remote working becoming much more commonplace.
To meet these new demands requires innovation. Not just in how we
do business, but also in the technology we install across our devices
While businesses, people and practices become flexible, office printers are static – machines that sit centrally in your office space. You need to make sure you choose a solution that your people can access effectively from remote locations and can update and adapt itself to further advancements in the future.
Top Tip: As well as a proven record in technology advancements, look for a partner who is willing and able to innovate around your business needs.
Choosing the right partner
If you place a high value on innovation, then you need to search for a partner who does too. Only then will you be able to effectively collaborate to meet the exact requirements of your business.
And it’s not just about the cutting-edge technology involved in print devices.
It’s about how that partner will work with you to integrate the technology into your organisation and provide insight into how it is being used; how that partner will continue to research and develop new innovations to further enhance your business in the future; and how that partner will tailor customised solutions to your needs.
Print Insights track print usage and costs across a business