Looking to reduce waste and add protection for sensitive printed material? It’s time to consider secure document printing for your office.
In this article, we’ll discuss the issues that inevitably arise as companies replace outdated individual desktop printers with shared multifunction printers. Then we’ll reveal how you can combat these issues to improve security and save money by choosing an office printer that features secure printing.
Why companies are replacing individual printers with shared office printers
Shared office copiers and printers, often called “multifunction printers” or MFPs, have replaced personal desktop printers in many office environments. The reason is simple: increased efficiency. Having fewer printers means less to maintain and service. It also cuts down on the different types of supplies you need to keep in stock. Best of all, you get modern capabilities that improve productivity and output quality.
The downsides of using shared copiers and printers
In spite of the many benefits, groups of office workers sharing a printer can lead to some unexpected problems, such as:
Wasted supplies. How many times do you find piles of printed material abandoned at the copier? People send their print job, then get distracted and forget to pick it up. Or, they neglect to properly set printer options and need to print again. These extra prints not only waste paper and toner, but you’re being charged for every copy as per your service contract, whether the print job was used or not.
Risk of sensitive documents getting into the wrong hands. When the printer is not right next to your desk, you run a risk that someone else will pick up a confidential document before you get there to retrieve it. In fact, we see companies foregoing the financial benefits of shared printers and choosing to stick with individual desktop printers because of this problem. All kinds of workers (everyone from HR staff to attorneys to financial executives and even medical professionals) are unwilling to risk their printed documents sitting unsecured on a shared office printer. By sticking with old technology, they increase the workload for IT and pay more for supplies and service.
The good news is, there’s a feature available on many modern MFPs that solves both of these problems: secure document printing.
What is secure document printing?
Secure document printing (also called “secure print”) controls the output of documents after a print job is sent to a shared printing device. The printer saves every print job in memory until the authorized user comes to retrieve it.
How does secure document printing work? It’s very simple: every employee gets an access card or code. After sending a print job, simply enter your code or swipe your card at the printer, and the device outputs your document.
With secure document printing, user access to the printer can also be customized to control availability of features (such as color or duplex printing) or access to files from the device to further reduce waste and increase file security.
Secure document printing benefits beyond security
As the name implies, secure document printing provides security for sensitive documents: no one else can see sensitive information or accidentally pick up someone else’s print job.
However, it has many more benefits for efficiency and cost reduction.
Reduce wasted printing expense caused by:
Multiple prints. With secure document printing, you eliminate all the wasted supplies and service costs due to printing documents multiple times.
Excess use of color. Here’s another big area of waste: color printing. Not only is color toner more expensive than black, but your service contract charges you more for every print that includes color. How often do people print pages that are mostly black text but happen to have a color logo on the page? Every time someone does that, you pay more than you need to for service. Secure document printing allows you to restrict access to color printing, or control access by document type, to reduce unnecessary and wasteful color printing.
Lack of visibility. Are your employees doing a lot of unnecessary printing (like emails) or worse, printing personal documents? Secure document printing, when combined with other software tools from industry leaders like Canon, can allow you to see who’s printing what. With oversight into your company’s printing by employee, by device or by file type, you can pinpoint areas to reduce waste and cut costs.
Improve efficiency by saving time & effort
It’s not only direct expenses that you waste by printing things multiple times. It’s also wasted time and productivity. If you could add up all the wasted man-hours taken up by people re-printing lost documents or walking back and forth to the printer to print extra copies or change print settings, you would be shocked at how much you’re losing.
Secure document printing provides several helpful productivity features that help you take back that wasted time.
Easy access to frequently printed files. Commonly printed documents can be stored in the device’s memory, so there’s no need to send the print job at all. Simply walk over to the copier and print it directly. Each group or user can have their own list of files stored on the device.
Access to the cloud. Each user can also print, fax or email files located in cloud-based storage services from Google, Apple, Microsoft and many others.
Print preview. Also, you can preview your print job before printing it out, so it’s easy to see if the print settings are correct (did you accidentally ask for 100 copies instead of 10??). You can easily fix them right then and there rather than having to walk back to the computer.
How to get secure document printing for your office
Implementing secure document printing starts with choosing compatible multifunction printers. SOS can assess your needs and recommend the best brands and models for your budget and your needs.
If you happen to be in the middle of a 5 year lease on a printer that doesn’t offer secure document printing, you might feel like you’re stuck. However, that might not be the case. Read this article to find out more: How to Get Out of a Copier.
Are you new to the whole process of leasing copiers for your office? If so, you’ll find this resource to be a big help: The Newbie’s Guide to Leasing an Office Copier.