Are your staff spending too much time talking and not enough time working? If they are, it could be the fault of your print infrastructure. New research from Brother International (see page 7) suggests that office workers
are more productive if they don’t have to walk to a departmental MFP to collect their prints. This is largely on the basis that the further away a print device is, the greater the chance of being waylaid by a colleague. Brother found that such encounters added 3 minutes to the total time each employee spends printing every day, which you may want to factor in to your calculations. Or you might take the view that 3 minutes is a small price to pay for the opportunity to swap ideas with people from other teams, even if you only talk about what was on TV last night.
Whatever the merits of Brother’s analysis, the fashion today is clearly for a balanced deployment of desktop A4 MFPs and large departmental A3 devices. In part, this is made possible by the greater functionality of modern A4 machines, which are essentially mini versions of their A3 cousins. A good example is the Sharp MX-C301W reviewed on page 28. This has the same user interface and solutions platform as Sharp’s A3 models, enabling administrators to extend print solutions, controls and accounting across an entire fleet.
The renaissance of the office inkjet adds an interesting twist to these developments. Working in a small branch office and having low print volumes, the PrintIT editorial team is a great advocate of business inkjets that have low running costs, low energy consumption and environmental benefits, both locally, i.e. for the user, and globally. Recently, we have been testing an Epson Eco Tank MFP (see page 5), which comes with extra large ink tanks containing as much ink as 55 conventional inkjet cartridges. For home offices and micro businesses, this seems a much better arrangement – and not only because you don’t have to keep buying new cartridges. With replacement ink bottles costing just £7.99 each and typically lasting two years, these printers are exceptionally economical.
It’s not just small businesses that benefit from business inkjets. At the Photizo MPS conference in October, HP explained how Merck was using them throughout its offices as part of an enterprise-wide strategy to reduce print costs. HP’s latest models have been specially designed for enterprises and feature the same platform and functionality as enterprise Laserjets. For its part, Epson now provides its workgroup devices in configurations designed exclusively for MPS providers.
PrintIT readers have the chance to win an Epson business inkjet by filling in the print survey on pages 17-19. I know three pages of questions seems a lot, but the survey has been designed to be completed very quickly and the results will help us tailor our editorial to your needs. You can even avoid the hassle of posting or emailing your responses, by completing the survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ BusinessPrintingSurvey. Many thanks and good luck to all those who take the time to fill it in.
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