Any company that wants to improve its document workflow needs to start with the most basic of facts: how many printers, copiers, and MFPs do we have; who uses them and how much; and what is the balance between color versus black-and-white pages. For many workplaces, even well-managed ones, these numbers are unknown.
Even when companies use the accounting software on their copier-multifunctionals, they usually get limited information. Most companies have a wealth of smaller devices from a variety of vendors, including ones that are not attached to the network, but rather connected though a USB or parallel port to desktop computers.
Only when you have made a systematic analysis with hard numbers can you properly get a handle on printing costs and allocate office equipment. To do that, you need one of several software packages on the market.
US-based software company Technesis has recently updated its Print Control System. The software, originally developed for the large-format printer market, is scalable so both small and large companies can use it. It consists of centralized software which resides on a server on the network to gather stats and client applications on each computer on the network to capture the parameters of each print job.
The software, installed on both servers and workstations, can capture all printing that goes through networked print servers on the network, plus, for Windows machines, any locally attached models. It allows a variety of reports for identifying use by user and group. For PCL and PostScript jobs, it can also estimate the amount of color or black toner used on each job.
The result of the survey is an attempt to right-size the printer fleet. One manufacturing customer of the company with 3,500 users started with 600 machines. After using the software and making an analysis, they consolidated the fleet to 190 MFPs.
Much of Technesis’s sales come through third party consulting services, including groups from major equipment. The company also will lease the software direct, in 90-day increments and on a per-seat basis.