How much paper did your office print last week? Who has access to your printers? Do you know the current toner left in each machine? Which error messages continually pop up on your devices?
If you can't answer these questions off of the top of your head, well, neither could most people. However, with the installation of a print management software, this information—and so much more—would be right at your fingertips.
Print management software will offer companies the ability to track, control, and monitor countless device functions. These tools also provide on-demand and customized reports to assist in keeping track of your print devices.
Many fantastic programs are available, so you can bet that the right one exists for you and your office environment. However, before investing in any software, always identify your specific print monitoring objectives. The right software for one business could be a bust for another.
Here are a few items to clarify before choosing a print monitoring software:
- Why do you want a print monitoring software?
- What products, data, or other items do you want to be monitored?
- Which devices will be monitored?
- Have you used similar tools in the past?
- Who will be managing this software?
A reliable managed print service (MPS) partner will work with you to answer these questions and more, which will help ensure you choose the right product. Partnering with an MPS also allows you to focus on everything else it takes to run a business, while they focus on creating smart, cost-cutting print strategies.
It is possible to determine these needs on your own as well. If you do decide to go it alone, be sure to do your research, compare multiple options, and be honest about your print monitoring needs.
What Does a Print Management Software Do?
Many software products are specifically made to monitor your print devices. They offer everything from simple functions like tallying your print count to more customized options like restricting access to your devices.
However, at their base level, expect a print monitoring tool to offer users the following live information:
- Daily, monthly, and annual page counts
- Toner and ink levels
- Status alerts
- Device usage
- IP and serial numbers
- Device make and model
For many companies, this data alone suits their needs. Others might require programs that offer more in-depth information, which can include detailed price breakdowns, fax and copier output, security measures like user identification, and more.
Three of the most common printer management programs are Infinite Device Management, Print Fleet, and Print Audit. Though our team usually recommends Infinite Device Management, all three are high-quality products.
Also, your MPS partner can fully access your information and take care of all needs on-time—without you lifting a finger. They'll also compile comprehensive, customized reports based on your company's most pressing needs. By analyzing these numbers, we'll keep track of your usage and offer money and time-saving recommendations.
And if there is a concern about allowing a third-party having easy access to your data, worry not. All certified print management service providers have strict confidentiality agreements.
How Can Print Monitoring Software Save Money?
Software made to control and monitor print is one of the simplest ways to start saving your business money because it helps you track the usage of expensive supplies like paper, ink, and toner.
With access to this precise data, you'll understand precisely where your money is going. It also offers a place to start tracking products. With easy access to charts, reports, etc., companies can make more informed decisions regarding expenses.
Can Print Monitoring Software Boost Security?
There are several features used to boost security, but the most popular involves access control and user authentication. With these features, users must swipe a card or enter a code to enable a job to print. That way, sensitive information won't be left alone on the paper tray, and wandering eyes can't get a glimpse of something they shouldn't see.
Should I use the software created by the device’s manufacturer?
Typically, we don't recommend investing in a print management software developed by your printer or copier's manufacturers such as HP, Canon, or Ricoh.
This has nothing to do with the quality of the product itself. Instead, it's because these products are made solely for that brand. So, if you decide to switch brands or have multiple brands at your business, you'll have to purchase an entirely new print monitoring system.
Not only would this be an extra expense and hassle for the IT team. Anyone else who interacted with the program would also have to be retrained on using the system.
Ready to find the right software for your company? Trust the expert managed print team at imageOne to guide you and your company. Schedule a free, 15-minute Discovery Call today.