We have helped companies with managed print for over a decade. In this time, we have seen many people use the supplies closet to manage their printers, but there is more to managing printers than simply having toner.
When you are trying to manage printers and copiers, it can be alluring to simply be reactive and just keep what you have going. If you have used your supplies closet to manage your printing devices, you aren’t alone, but there is a better way.
In this article we will cover the weaknesses of using your supply closet to determine your supply levels and printer usage. We will go over the easiest mistakes to make when it comes to managing laser printers.
Mistake #1 – Assuming You Always Need One on the Shelf
Some printers are due to be replaced, and the best thing you can do for those printers is to use all of the supplies you have first. With that as the goal, ordering more toner actually makes it more tricky to get rid of a printer you would like to replace. There needs to be thought about how much toner to have on the shelf and when that toner should be replaced.
If your IT team tells you your printers are to be consolidated, then having more toner will only serve to be waste when the time comes to consolidate.
Mistake #2 – Having Only One of a Particular Toner
Some clients will just have one black toner on the shelf because they want to make sure they can always print. The issue is if you have a color printer and the other colors run out, you could have the same issue. For most color printers, if you run out of magenta, for example, then the printer is no longer able to make black-and-white prints.
More than that, if a printer is mission-critical, there are other items that perhaps should be on the shelf, like maintenance kits or waste toner bottles. The more critical a printer, the more you will want all of the routine supplies available for that printer.
Mistake #3 – Buying a New Printer but Not Accounting for It in the Supplies Closet
When you get your new printer, it may not include an order of supplies for the shelf along with it. If this happens, users can run out much faster than you expect. To keep your costs down, make sure you always keep your inventory updated any time a new device is added.
For example, if the users buy toners, then you would suggest that they do so when the new printer is ordered. That first set of supplies seems to cause the most issues, because people forget about the new printer and what they’ll need as they use that printer.
We do not use supply closets to manage our clients’ laser printers. We use software that will give us the exact printing quantity of each printer and alert us when more toners are needed, a paper jam needs to be cleared, or jobs are getting purged due to corrupted files.
These solutions really are a game changer when it comes to effectively running a print fleet. No one has to keep a list of all the printers and copiers (the software does this.) The reports are well-organized, and emails let us know when the printer or copier needs attention.
If you would like to learn more about having your printers managed, we would love to help out. We can set up the tools for you and give you monthly reports which will include serial numbers, utilization, and notify our team when you need more toner or other consumables.
We do a lot more than simply make a plan for your supplies. We help you organize service and make a schedule for optimal utilization. We are here for you.