Consolidating and Standardizing the Printer Fleet

Due to unmanaged growth in print resources stemming from few policy or acquisition controls, many organization’s printer fleets consist of a diverse set of dedicated and networked printers representing a wide variety of makes and models.  The result is unnecessary printing related costs stemming from: 

  • An inability to leverage volume pricing discounts in printers, supplies, and vendor support. 
  • A need to stock a larger variety and quantities of consumables and related printing supplies. 

  • Increased costs for support and maintenance due to a lack of standards as well as an inability to leverage a common network printer management framework. 

An adherence to standard printer models across an organization, a reduction in the number of dedicated printers, and a bulk refresh of aging printers often helps reduce an organization’s often considerable printer related spending. Additionally, this opportunity may extend to other shared technical resources including scanners and fax machines, especially where fax consolidation could lead to additional savings from reduced phone line related expenses. To take advantage of printer fleet consolidation, organizations typically consider: 

  • Creating a small number of printer classes based on requirements - Classes for dedicated, networked workgroup, networked volume, and color printing are the most common types of classes used. 
  • Selecting a single model for each printer class - In addition to quality, reliability, and price, model selection based on the printer’s current lifecycle stage may allow an organization to purchase the same model throughout its consolidation and standardization efforts while enabling better remote management by allowing a single network management interface to be used across all printers. 

  • Implementing policies directed at reducing the number of dedicated printers in an organization’s environment – A reduction in dedicated printers often results in a direct reduction in spending related to printing. 

  • Integrating a printer management system or console – Most printer management systems are capable of integrating directly with call center applications so that printer errors result in an automatic trouble ticket submission, which significantly reduces the need for manual intervention and downtime. 

Additionally, organizations may wish to assess the cost effectiveness of outsourced print services offered by a variety of organizations whereby the organization pays a cost per page with print assets, consumables, and maintenance all provided by the vendor.