What Is a Print Environment Assessment and Why Should My Business Get One?

Though you might not think about your office print environment daily, it’s a vital part of any business’ workflow. A properly set up print environment can save time, money, and TONS of headaches.

If you’re unsure about your own space, a great managed print service (MPS) provider can assess and audit your office’s current print environment. But how exactly does that work? And how can a better print process improve how your business runs? Let’s take a look at what a full assessment would look like!

NOTE: This blog details a typical assessment pre-COVID and could currently differ depending on regulations and best health practices. 

Types of Print Environment Assessments

Any assessment begins with the MPS initially engaging with your company to discuss the state of your current print environment as well as your particular needs, concerns, and future goals. Then, they’ll determine which kind of assessment will work best for your business based upon factors like:

  • Complexity of Fleet: It’s more complicated when an office uses multiple vendors or manufacturers like HP, Ricoh, or Xerox.
  • Number of Devices: Oftentimes, businesses will give every employee their own printer. This can seem great for the user but adds significant complexity to your print environment. In short, it adds to the number of consumables and networking while making it hard to accurately track and report output.
  • Total End Users: Though it can vary depending on the industry, the more people that regularly use printers makes for a more complex assessment. The same applies to a company with high print output.

If your business appears to have a more complex environment, then the managed print partner will likely perform a full assessment on-site. However, some organizations or print management services might want a straight takeover or a hybrid of the two. 

Since most will involve a full assessment, that is what we’ll be covering in this article.

What Happens At a Print Assessment?

Once both parties agree to an assessment, the print management company will coordinate a convenient time to come into your office. The MPS team will arrive with a mapping tool and a list of every printer, copier, and multifunction device including the make, model, serial number, and IP address. They’ll also install what’s called a Data Collection Agent which helps the team precisely gather information from every print-related device.

Next, the team will walk through every inch of your building(s) and map each device. While doing so, the technician will ask questions to you and to other end users (a.k.a. members of your staff).

Expect to be asked questions like:

  • How often do you print on 11×17 paper?
  • Who uses each device?
  • What special print needs does your business require?
  • Does every team member require fax and scanning capabilities?
  • Which kinds of special paper are used daily?

The time it takes to complete an onsite print environment assessment can range from a couple of hours to up to a week. It all depends on the number of devices, buildings, and sites that need to be examined.

What Is a Print Environment Future State Recommendation?

After the assessment is completed, the managed print experts will take the gathered information and thoroughly analyze the data. From there, they’ll create an in-depth map of your current office print environment complete with your current print spend, environmental impact, number of devices, and more. They’ll also ask for input or corrections before getting to work on a proposed future state.

With suggestions in-hand, the MPS team will create a brand-new, enhanced print environment future state recommendation. This professionally designed plan can dramatically improve your workflow and efficiency. It’ll then be presented to you along with comparisons between current and future spend.

However, the proposed future state is always just a recommendation. Never feel obligated to make all or even any changes. Remember that a great managed print partner is flexible and wants to hear your input, concerns, and honesty without pressure.

In the end, the goal isn’t just to optimize a print environment. It’s to make the customer happy and to serve every organization’s unique wants, needs, and goals—no matter what.

Want to learn more about print environment assessments. Ready to set one up for your business? Contact the print experts at imageOne! Schedule a no-obligation consultation call today and let’s talk about creating the better, more efficient office space you’ve always wanted.