Many companies and organizations refer to a set of policies to help them deliver a consistent experience to their employees and ultimately the customers. These policies govern the process human resources departments will go through during the hiring process, what devices employees can use, how the company will handle vacation and corporate holidays, and who is allowed access to proprietary information. These policies create a standard that can quickly be referred to and influence decisions quickly. For these reasons companies should also look to a defined print policy to help them measure the impact of printing on the office and identify any threats to the security, finances, or efficiency of an organization.
What Is a Print Policy and Why Are They Essential?
In short, a print policy sets out – in writing – the rules for printing in your company’s office. We’ll delve into what this should entail in just a moment, but suffice to say, its purpose is to provide the same types of guidelines for your company’s printers as you have for other important hardware (e.g. your computers).
And just like other pieces of important hardware, printers can be victims of abuse. Printers are a common after thought in most offices, but printers create hardcopies of important and confidential information. Because they so often blend in with the office environment many people do not realize the vulnerabilities that are left exposed to malicious and sometimes accidental threats. A financial statement left in the output tray, an employee’s W-2 form left on the scanning bed, or the embedded web server left without a password on the network. These are all threats to an organizations security.
Lastly, it’s important to have a print policy because, without one, you have no baseline to measure your use against – at least not in detail. You may notice that your printing needs are slowly growing, but you won’t necessarily understand which department is most responsible for them and why. It might not be long before you are faced with a serious budgetary burden you could have addressed months or even years ago.
7 Questions You Need to Answer to Create an Effective Print Policy
Given the importance of an effective print policy, it’s become somewhat popular for companies to simply find templates online, add some information, and believe they have successfully protected themselves from future problems.
However, your company is unique and has equally unique printing needs. So, instead of trying to retrofit a template into meeting your company’s requirements, just take a moment to answer the following seven questions and you’ll have a much easier time creating an effective policy.
1. How Much Does Each Department Print?
Don’t simply look at your company’s overall printing needs. See where they differ by department and then set guidelines that make the most sense for each. Some departments simply don’t need to print as much as others.
2. How Much Color Printing Is Each Department Doing?
Color printing can quickly become expensive. Of course, for some departments, it’s essential. For others, it might be best to limit their use or prohibit it altogether.
3. Do Your Printers Rely on Default Values?
For the most part, your company’s printers should print in black and white by default. Check to ensure this is the case so you’re not wasting money.
4. How Does Your Company Buy New Printers?
Your print policy isn’t just about printing. It should also cover how you buy new printers and ongoing supplies. Nowadays, most companies are outsourcing this essential need via managed print services as it saves them time and money. It also ensures that they always have the equipment and supplies their company needs to run smoothly.
5. Who Services Your Company’s Printers?
Similarly, your printers require maintenance to continue operating for years to come. Better to have a policy about setting aside money in your budget to cover these costs than to end up spending a lot more on replacing printers prematurely.
6. How Will You Communicate Your Company’s Print Policy to Employees?
Do you already have a method for effectively communicating new rules to employees?If not, now’s the time to create one. It’s vital that everyone in your company understands your print policy and adheres to it.
7. Who Will Be Responsible for Maintaining Your Company’s Print Policy?
Likewise, put someone in charge of maintaining the policy. This means regularly reviewing it and ensuring it’s meeting your company’s needs. It also means making changes as necessary and sending out the revised version to employees.
Treat Your Company’s Print Policy as a Priority
Once you’ve answered the above questions, you should know everything you need to create a print policy for your company, disseminate it amongst your staff, and update it as necessary. Of course, if you’d like help creating a print policy and utilizing the technology and supplies to execute it, ImageNet Consulting is here to help. Contact us today and let’s talk about your organization’s requirements.