When looking at what kind of corporate print solution to roll out, many large companies with multiple departments, would instinctively lean towards choosing a few all-rounder multi-function printers in centralised positions around the various floors or departments.
This is frequently based on the assumption that this approach is the most cost effective in providing the strongest efficiencies for install, maintenance and the breadth of user demands. This would contrast with a decentralised approach of multiple smaller devices within separate workgroups around the office.
There are, however, a range of risks and intangible costs which need to be addressed when assessing a centralised approach to print, such as:
- Travel time of users going to/from printer throughout day
- What happens if the server goes down rendering the entire user base without print facilities
- The heavy network demands of multiple users creating stress on the bandwidth and resulting in slower speeds
- The competing print priorities of each user in isolation to colleagues / business hierarchy
- The location of the device and its large footprint
Add to this that over 95% of documents are printed on A4, and over 90% of those print jobs are under 3 pages, we reinforce the need to include the user experience in our choice of business solutions.
That is not to say that for many companies, a centralised print solution is absolutely fit for purpose. We just urge you consider the impact of every aspect of your print solution from as many perspectives as possible: employee, manager, IT department, CEO, investor…
As with most business decisions, the sweet spot is only found when the complete total cost of ownership is fully explored and the true balance of cost over productivity is brought to the table.