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How to Reduce Printer Misuse with Comprehensive Device Management

Is printer misuse causing your company to lose money? Is personal printing reducing employee productivity? Or, is personal usage of printers becoming problematic for your organization due to compliance reasons? If so, it may be time for better printer management.

Printer misuse is common among employees, who often turn to work printers and MFPs to handle personal printing and copying needs. 

When done on a small scale, personal printing by employees may not be a problem. It could be a small perk your business offers to keep people happy. For example, printing out directions to the doctor’s office isn’t necessarily a huge deal, if done once in a while.

However, printer usage by employees can get out of hand. Consider the individual who is using the printer to print out copies of lengthy sewing patterns for a sewing club. Or an employee whose printer misuse involves printing flyers to encourage people to come to a protest. Perhaps you might even agree with the cause, but it's upsetting other employees, who are now demanding that they also be allowed to use the printer for their pet causes if it doesn’t stop.

Tackling such situations may involve a diplomatic HR person as well as clearly outlined printer usage policies. However, how do you enforce such policies? 

This is where device management comes in. Through device management, you can know exactly how much is being printed on which printer and by whom. You can control and monitor printing by user, department, and group to manage print costs and determine device allocation.

Printer Management Is Important for Compliance

While it may seem funny to an employee to use a printer to copy a joke to be passed around the office, it’s potentially hugely problematic compliance-wise. In many government or other compliance-oriented organizations, resource usage must be closely monitored and tracked. Printers must be guarded to prevent misuse. This is especially critical when dealing with the taxpayer or other publicly-funded resources, which should not be abused.

Device management provides that much-needed accountability and the ability to measure and stop printer misuse.

Through proactive printer management, all printer usage can be tracked to ensure resources are being used properly. Device management can help identify and mitigate problems before an audit or other official action.

Additionally, with the ability to track and measure printer usage per project, device management will enable your organization to better estimate costs.

Reduce Personal Printing for Remote Workers

With so many working from home now since the coronavirus pandemic started, having accountability can be important. If you are lending out company printers to employees, then you will need to monitor and track how resources are being used. Of course, setting up a webcam to monitor their every move in their home office probably won’t go over very well – though some companies might go that route.

Fortunately, with device management, tracking printer usage is quite easy. 

Now, once again, as a perk of being a hardworking, productive employee, some free printing might be offered. You might want to purposefully allocate a reasonable amount of “personal pages” into the printer usage equation. Doing so may create goodwill and more employee loyalty. 

And with device management, it will be easy for you and your employee to understand exactly how much of the printer is being used. The employee will then know the line where personal printing becomes printer misuse. By making clear policies about printer misuse, and using device management, you and your remote employee can have proper boundaries.

Device Management for Better Security

One often overlooked area of potential printer misuse is printer hacking. Printers that are connected to the Internet are quite vulnerable to cyberattacks unless properly managed. The last thing you want is for a hacker to connect to your network and set all your computers to print large volumes of junk. This has happened and could happen to you without good device management.

The Additional Benefits of Printer Device Management

In addition to reducing the costs of printer misuse via personal printing, printer device management has many other benefits. These include stronger integration, better reporting, and more visibility. With cloud connectivity, device management can enable scanning to and printing from the Internet via services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. For all these resources and more, device management is a must for any organization with employees and printers.

Edwards Business Systems offers expert device management solutions, as well as managed print services. To find out more about how we can help your organization manage its printer fleet, contact us today.

October 19th, 2020