14 Questions to Get Your Print Spend Under Control

It can be challenging for businesses to find the ideal balance of office supplies. Recently, I’ve been writing on the importance of assessments and how they support wise business decisions when it comes to choosing technologies.

It’s a good idea to start thinking about your plans for next year as the year comes to a close and a new one is ready to start. Do you ever sit down and consider how you could be working more efficiently or printing materials more affordably?

Only by taking the time to plan will you be able to put your office in the finest possible shape to serve your clients.

Measure twice, cut once and There’s never enough time to do it perfectly but there’s always enough time to do it again are sayings that we’ve all heard. When it comes to their purchases of information technology, such as document management software, office supplies, managed print services, or IT managed services, we observe that many of our customers and potential customers never measure.

This questionnaire is a starting point for you to gauge your level of preparedness. These questions will help you understand where you are and help you identify where you need to go if you’re considering a digital copier purchase or lease, interested in managed print services, or simply want to start getting a grasp on the printers and copiers in your business.

The Office Environment

Technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You buy IT products and/or services to accomplish a business goal. These questions will help you identify the context your decisions are being made in.

1. Do you have short and long-term goals for managing technology? For instance, do you have structures in-place to manage technology internally or is outsourcing your ultimate goal?

2. Do you have internal planning and strategy in place to support those goals?

3. What are your greatest challenges and what holds you back? For instance, do you have a resource or knowledge gap? Internal politics blocking progress?

4. Are there any energy management initiatives in place? Do they exist in fact or are they just words on paper?

5. Are you required to meet with industry-specific regulations? Are changes to those regulations looming?

6. Can your employees access information anytime and anywhere?

Printing and Copying

Companies usually have no idea what their actual print needs are and either buy more than they need or less than they need.

1. Can your employees print to a digital copier from their smartphones or tablets?

2. Is anyone in charge of your laser printers and digital copiers? Is there a central authority for purchasing supplies?

3. How many devices are supported by your IT help desk team?

4. How many people use the devices?

5. Where is each device located? Centrally or throughout the office – or across multiple locations?

6. Do you charge back copies, prints, faxes, or scans to departments?

7. Do you outsource particular documents and/or marketing materials? Costs?

8. How many vendors do you use to support your technology? Make a list and what each is responsible for.

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