Cost Cutting IT Project Ideas: Printing

This is the first entry in my “Cost Cutting IT Project Ideas” series, where I will provide project ideas that are commonly needed in almost any IT organization. Bring these ideas to your manager, then take them on and be viewed as a hero in your department.

I’m not sure why most things need to be printed anymore. The only things I have printed out in the last year are photos and memes to hang at my desk. People still print a lot, and much of it is unnecessary.

I have also found many instances where employees bring their own printers into the environment and stock their own toner and ink. This can result in too many printers sucking energy in the environment, creating an administration nightmare for IT. It also creates a lot of waste. Gain better control of it all by taking on a print management project.

So here are some action items for this project:

  • Ensure your users are educated on how to scan documents and send them electronically instead of making hard copies? This will reduce waste.
  • Create a set of standard printer brands and models for the environment. This will also reduce waste and make ordering parts, toner, and supplies cheaper and easier for the company.
  • Reduce the amount of printers if possible. Check to see which printers are rarely used, or never used. Re-purpose them to another area or pull them from the environment.
  • Ban non-standard printers from the environment. Upper-management really needs to be on board with this one for it to work. Employees can’t be able to whine and get their way when they want to bring in their own printer.
  • Ensure all printers have updated firmware and are set to automatically go to a power-saving mode when idle.
  • Check to see if a third-party print management company is right for your organization. It can sometimes be cheaper to have another company contracted to take over all your printing needs.

What are your ideas for handling printing in your environment? Feel free to share them in the comments section.

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