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What's Your Printing Policy?

Policies and procedures conceptual image

No policy is, in fact, a policy. But is it the right one? Eh, probably not. 

Companies are always looking for ways to cut expenses and decrease their carbon footprint. Thankfully there’s a way to do both at the same time.

By creating a printing policy for your business, you can radically reduce waste and save money. A print policy establishes procedures and standards regarding how employees can print. This includes everything from placing limits on how many pages each employee can print, to required default settings, and stipulate when color printing is allowable.

While print policies can be useful at companies of any size, they are most beneficial at enterprise-level organizations, where print waste is frequently significant. However, print policies are not one-size-fits-all. Before starting the process of making and requiring print rules, you need to make sure you’re ready. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before creating a print policy.

  1. Do we have support from management?
    Without the blessing from top brass, you can’t really make any company-wide rules. You also need management to agree to follow any printing policies that are put in place so they can lead by example.
  2. Do we have the right equipment?
    It’s easy to make rules, but it’s much harder to enforce them. Do you have the right equipment to make sure employees print on both sides of the page, or only release print jobs when an employee enters their ID number at the MFP? Some older equipment might not have these functionalities, so you might need to upgrade if you need more control.
  3. Would a document management solution help?
    Employees often print unnecessarily because they lack the tools and resources to go “paperless.” Relying too heavily on paper documents is costly, inefficient, and requires the use and storage of lots of paper. But, a document management system is designed to automate document processes, thereby significantly reducing the need to print.

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