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8 Signs You Should Update Your Printer Fleet

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There are many reasons why a business may find itself with an outdated printer inventory. Maybe leadership may have been avoiding technology investments. Your organization may have inherited a printer fleet through an acquisition or a merger. Regardless of the reason, an outdated printer fleet can be a significant barrier to efficiency, security, and sustainability. 

Recognizing the right time to update your printer fleet is crucial for maintaining operational excellence. Here are eight undeniable signs that it’s time to bring your printer fleet up to date.

RELATED: How to Reduce Printing Costs for Individuals and Businesses

Signs Your Printers Are Aging

1. Printer Downtime is Going Up

It’s almost better to have no device at all, than to have an unreliable machine at the office. Having to run out to the local FedEx Office to get prints made because your device has stopped working (again!) can affect deadlines and lower office morale. When your printers seem to be down more often than they’re up, it’s a clear signal that your fleet is past its prime. 

2. Print Quality Is Going Down

From brochures with faded colors to streak marks in documents, poor print quality can damage your organization’s image. If your printed documents are falling short of the mark in terms of clarity and quality, the likely culprit is a printer that has seen better days. High-quality printing is non-negotiable for maintaining professionalism and brand integrity.

3. Everyone Hates the Printer

If the printer has become part of office lore, with staff sharing derogatory jokes about the printer in a way that denotes lowered morale, this should be a cause for worry. Outdated equipment that impedes workers from succeeding at daily tasks can greatly impact employee satisfaction, and send a signal that management doesn’t care. Maintaining efficient, reliable equipment is the responsibility of office leaders. It is a way to convey to your staff that you want to see them empowered to succeed.

4. The Printer Nobody Uses

Worse than a printer with a reputation is the printer everyone knows to avoid. If there’s a printer on the first floor but everyone takes the stairs to the second floor for copies, it indicates a lack of faith from employees that management should pay attention to. 

5. Key Features Are Missing

Your business needs change year to year – sometimes even faster. To remain competitive, your organization needs equipment that can keep up with its needs. Is your marketing department outsourcing a lot of print jobs? Are large print jobs routinely sent out because your in-house printer cannot handle the volume, or prints too slowly? Does your office print lack essential features, such as auto duplexing, resizing and enlargement?

6. Inadequate Print Resolution

The minimum resolution you should expect from an office printer is 600 x 600 dpi (dots per inch). For higher quality, consider 1200 x 1200 as today’s standard. The scanner minimum resolution should be 600 x 1200, and in some use cases 4800 x 4800 is required.  

7. Inadequate Features and Connectivity

Printers that lack cloud connectivity, mobile printing capabilities, or cannot support workflow automation are harder for employees to use, and harder for IT to maintain. Printers that lack networking capability are signs that your fleet is due for an upgrade.

8. It’s Hard to Get Replacement Parts

There’s no surer sign that your printer fleet needs to be upgraded than finding printer parts difficult to procure. This is a clear indicator that the printer models in use at your office have been cycled out of the market, and newer, better, faster machines have taken their place.

The Hidden Drawbacks of an Aging Printer Fleet

Beyond the hard-to-miss signs your printer fleet needs updating, there are important drawbacks and vulnerabilities you should keep in mind:

  • Higher Printer Maintenance Costs

Printer maintenance costs can easily go unscrutinized in a business setting. The monthly cost of a lease on a new printing device may be lower than your current unpredictable costs for keeping that old printer in working condition.

  • Escalating Printing Costs

An outdated printer fleet can be a silent budget drainer. From inefficient use of ink and toner to higher energy consumption, the costs can add up quickly. A newer device may bring down your energy bill and your cost for renewables.

  • Compromised Document Security

Older printers may lack the latest security features, leaving your sensitive data exposed. With cyber threats on the rise, a fleet update is essential to protect your information from unauthorized access.

  • Environmental Impact

Old printers are not only inefficient but also environmentally unfriendly. Updating your fleet can contribute to your company’s sustainability goals through energy-efficient models and reduced waste.

Strategies for Updating Your Printer Fleet

  1. Consider Managed Print Services: 
    MPS can offer a customized approach to updating your fleet, ensuring you get the most out of your investment.
  2. Conduct a Comprehensive Fleet Assessment:
    Understand the current state of your fleet to identify which printers are due for an upgrade.
  3. Prioritize Security and Efficiency:
    Mark down the units that offer the latest security features and operational efficiency.
  4. Engage Stakeholders: 
    Ensure all departments are on board and understand the benefits of the update (with a special focus on end-users and IT leaders).
  5. Plan for the Future:
    Choose printers and solutions that can scale with your business needs.
  6. Educate Your Team:
    Provide training on the new devices to maximize their potential.

RELATED: Implementing MPS in Healthcare Organizations – What You Should Know

Updating your printer fleet is a strategic decision that can enhance operational efficiency, improve security, and contribute to your sustainability efforts. By recognizing the signs that it’s time for an update, you can take proactive steps to ensure your business remains competitive. 

Remember, the goal is not just to replace old printers with new ones but to strategically enhance your document management processes, aligning them with your broader business objectives.

The right approach to updating your printer fleet can transform your printers from mere operational necessities to strategic assets, leading to a more productive, secure, and sustainable business environment.

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