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What Can a Print Audit Do for You?

business meeting analysing a print audit

Did you know that across all market sectors in the UK, print overspending is estimated to be around 25%? This insane percentage indicates a significant opportunity for businesses to cut costs and improve efficiency. A print audit can help your business save on that 25% – or possibly even more – by conducting an intensive analysis of your current print spend and printed products. This staged process allows us to meet your current and future business goals while saving you both time and money.

What is a Print Audit?

A print audit is a comprehensive assessment of a company’s printing environment. It involves analysing various aspects such as printer usage, printing costs, document workflows, and printer fleet performance. The goal of a print audit is to identify inefficiencies, reduce waste, and improve overall productivity. By examining every facet of your printing operations, a print audit provides a detailed picture of how resources are used and where improvements can be made.

Features and Benefits of a Print Audit

  1. Streamlining the Restocking Process
    One of the primary benefits of a print audit is streamlining the process of restocking your printing supplies. By evaluating your current usage patterns and inventory levels, a print audit can identify inefficiencies in how supplies are managed and replenished. This ensures that you always have the necessary supplies on hand without overstocking. Additionally, streamlined restocking processes reduce the time and effort employees spend on managing supplies, allowing them to focus on more productive tasks. This optimisation not only saves money but also enhances the overall efficiency of your printing operations.

  2. Introducing Cost and Time-Saving Efficiencies
    A print audit introduces cost and time-saving efficiencies within your business infrastructure. By thoroughly analysing your printing environment, we can uncover hidden costs associated with paper, ink or toner, maintenance, and energy consumption. By addressing these inefficiencies, a print audit helps implement more streamlined processes that save both time and money, ultimately enhancing your business operations.

  3. Business Process Improvements
    Improving business processes is another key benefit of a print audit. By examining your document workflows and printer usage patterns, a print audit can identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies. For example, you may discover that certain printers are underutilised or employees are printing unnecessary colour documents. By optimising these processes, a print audit helps enhance overall workflow efficiency and productivity.

  4. Real Cost Savings on Like-for-Like Procurement
    A significant advantage of a print audit is the potential for real cost savings on like-for-like procurement. This means you can achieve substantial savings without compromising on the quality or quantity of your printed products. By benchmarking your current spending against industry standards, a print audit ensures that you are not overspending and that your procurement is as cost-effective as possible.

  5. Total Assurance and Control
    With a print audit, you gain total assurance that your print products are procured in a controlled and benchmarked manner. This control is crucial for maintaining consistency and quality in your printed materials. By implementing the recommendations from a print audit, you can ensure that all printing practices align with your business goals and standards, leading to a more efficient and effective printing environment.

Additional Benefits of a Print Audit

  • Reducing Waste and Environmental Impact
    A print audit helps reduce your environmental footprint by identifying wasteful practices such as excessive printing and unnecessary duplication of documents. A print audit supports your company’s sustainability initiatives by promoting sustainable printing practices, such as duplex printing (printing on both sides of the paper) and encouraging digital document sharing.

  • Enhancing Document Security
    Document security is a critical concern for any organisation. A print audit can highlight potential security vulnerabilities within your printing environment, such as unauthorised access to secure printers or confidential documents left unattended. By addressing these risks, a print audit helps implement stricter security measures to protect sensitive information.

  • Extending Printer Lifespan
    Regular maintenance and proper usage are essential for extending the lifespan of your printers. A print audit provides insights into the health and performance of your printer fleet, identifying printers that require maintenance or are frequently breaking down. By addressing these issues proactively, you can reduce downtime and ensure that your printers remain operational for more extended periods.

  • Facilitating Strategic Planning
    A print audit provides a wealth of data to inform your strategic planning. By understanding your current printing environment, you can make better decisions about future investments in printing technology, such as upgrading to more energy-efficient printers or implementing new document management solutions.

  • Supporting Compliance Requirements
    Many industries have specific regulatory requirements related to document management and data protection. A print audit helps ensure that your printing practices comply with these regulations, avoiding potential fines and legal issues.

How Do I Prepare My Organisation for a Print Audit?

Preparing your organisation for a print audit involves several steps that are not mandatory but will help ensure a smooth and effective process. Here’s a detailed guide to help you get ready for a print audit:

1. Understand the Scope of the Audit

Before starting the preparation, it’s essential to understand what the print audit will cover. This typically includes analysing printer usage, costs, document workflows, and security practices. Knowing the scope will help you gather the necessary information and set clear expectations for the audit.

2. Identify Key Stakeholders

Identify the key stakeholders who will be involved in the print audit process. This usually includes IT personnel, office managers, finance staff, and any other employees who manage or use the printing resources. Ensure these stakeholders are informed about the upcoming audit and understand their roles and responsibilities.

3. Gather Preliminary Data

Collect preliminary data about your current printing environment. This includes:

  • The number and types of printers in use.
  • Current printing volumes and usage patterns.
  • Costs associated with printing (e.g., paper, ink/toner, maintenance).
  • Existing document management and workflow processes.
  • Security measures currently in place for printed documents.

Having this data on hand will provide a baseline for the auditors to work from and help them identify areas of focus more quickly.

4. Communicate with Employees

Inform your employees about the print audit and explain its purpose. The audit aims to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance security. Encourage cooperation and transparency during the audit process. Address any concerns or questions they might have to ensure buy-in from all staff members.

5. Review and Organise Printing Policies

Review your current printing policies and procedures. Ensure they are documented and easily accessible. If you don’t have formalised policies, consider developing some basic guidelines on printing practices, such as double-sided printing, minimising colour prints, and secure document handling.

6. Ensure Accessibility to Printers and Systems

Ensure the auditors have access to all printers and related systems. This includes physical access to the devices and access to any software or management systems used to track and control printing activities. Ensure that any necessary permissions are granted ahead of time to avoid delays.

7. Prepare for Possible Changes

Be ready to implement the recommendations that come out of the audit. This might involve changes in printer usage policies, investments in new technology, or adjustments in workflows. Preparing your team for potential changes can help ensure a smooth transition and implementation process.

8. Engage with a Professional Print Audit Service

Work with an external print audit service provider. Discuss your needs, provide them with preliminary data, and seek their advice on how to best prepare for the audit. Their expertise can provide valuable guidance and help you get the most out of the audit.

Get in touch with us today to get a print audit done for your company.

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