There is no doubt that every non-profit organization is hyper-fixated on their monthly bills, and for good reason. The more money your organization spends on operational costs, the less funds you have available for serving your mission and meeting the needs of the communities and groups you benefit.
There’s an often over-used idiom: “you have to spend money to make money.” However, your non-profit isn’t in the business of making money. Your goals go beyond generating wealth. But, what if you could spend money to save money?
What are your organization’s highest controllable costs? You’d be surprised; regardless of industry, or organization size, the three highest controllable costs of 90% of organizations are payroll, property, and printing.
The first two costs listed above are both obvious and practically immutable. If you want to cut down on payroll costs, your only option is to reduce your number of employees. If you want to reduce your office’s rent, you can move to a less expensive property, or switch to remote work.
However, both of those reductions cause seismic shifts throughout your organization, and the money saved by reducing office space or your labor force is often lost from the interruptions and reductions in efficiency that they entail.
That third controllable cost — printing — can often be reduced while simultaneously increasing your organization’s efficiency. How? With a solution by the name of output management.
WHAT IS OUTPUT MANAGEMENT?
Output management is a type of software you can install on your copiers that measures and controls all printing, copying, and scanning that takes place on your network.
So, how does output management software measure and control prints, copies, and scans?
Output management software is like an app you install on your copiers — however, because it is also installed on your network, you can manage every single copier remotely. Imagine for a moment your organization is located across multiple states in multiple branches; your headquarters could manage and measure each and every copier in every single office, regardless of where it is located, all from one screen on a computer.
Let’s go over what can be managed and measured with output management software.
At its core, print management is all about setting rules. Rules can be split into two different categories: universal, and individual.
Universal rules apply to every user on your network. Common universal rules include:
- - Automatically printing duplex to save paper
- - Automatically printing in black and white unless otherwise instructed by a user
- - Automatically sending print jobs to the most economical printer (we will cover this in more detail below)
- - Automatically selecting the most economical paper unless otherwise instructed by a user
Individual rules apply to specific users on your network. Common individual rules include:
- - Restricting access to certain printers
- - Setting daily, weekly, or monthly print limitations
- - Restricting certain file types from being printed
There is a whole lot more your organization can manage with output management software — these are listed to give you an idea of what is possible.
In order to set smart universal and individual rules for your organization, you need to know what happens on your network’s print environment. That is why output management software allows you to measure your printing, copying, and scanning activity.
There are many different metrics you can measure, as well as methods used to measure your print environment. You also have a high degree of control in regards to how granular you want your measurements to be.
Without any involvement on your part, output management software can measure activity across your entire network, breaking down metrics by each printer, each office, or your network as a whole.
If you need more detailed metrics, you can begin implementing data collection processes via account codes, RFID badges, or mobile printing apps for smart devices. For highly-secure environments, biometric data such as fingerprints can even be required to use a printer.
The easiest of these collection processes to implement are account codes. Account codes are a standard feature on most copiers, and can be assigned to departments, individuals, or offices in general. This allows you to measure a department’s or individual’s specific print usage, breaking down activity by number of prints, type of toner or ink, the size of the media it was printed on, the file that was printed, the time of day it was printed, the specific printer it was printed on, and more.
When measuring activity on an individual basis, you can find patterns, printing needs, inefficiencies, and extraneous costs.
The final benefit of output management software we’ll cover in this blog is the ability to include mobile printing on your network. Mobile printing, surprisingly, does not refer to printing a document from your mobile device, but rather using your mobile device to gain access to a specific printer.
For example, imagine an employee needs to print a sensitive document, but the printer is located across the office. What happens if the employee is interrupted on their way to pick up the print? Without mobile printing, there is no way to control who views a document once a user has pressed “print.”
With mobile printing, however, the user could print the document from their work station, walk at a normal pace to the printer, and then release the print job with their phone.
This ensures only the intended party views the printed document. Mobile printing can also be used in lieu of account codes, RFID badges, or biometric scanners to enable detailed metric gathering and reporting.
YOU CAN’T MANAGE WHAT YOU CAN’T MEASURE
Do you know how much money your organization spends on print per month? Do you know how many printers are on your network? Even simple questions like these can be difficult to answer without the proper output management software.
If you want to answer these questions for your organization, reach out to you copier providers about conducting a print network study to see if print management would benefit your organization.