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Quick Guide to Rules-Based Printing

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4 min read

rules based printing

Do you have an organization with a lot of printers and copiers? If you have printers in each office, or dispersed over many floors, keeping your print costs low can be a challenge. You may be wondering why you would even want to entertain such technology as rules-based printing!

We have helped many companies lower their print cost and improve efficiency with rules-based printing.

In this article we will cover how rules-based printing can help your company, what are some of the pitfalls involved, and how to get started.

How Rules-based Printing Benefits a Company

The first thing you should know is rules-based printing will not help every company. If you are a single user or print infrequently, there really would be no value to rules-based printing for you. Even if you have a small team, it is very unlikely it will do you much good. You would be much better off defaulting devices to black-and-white rather than worry about setting up rules-based printing.

For a larger company, there are some key benefits to rules-based printing.

  • Helps lower cost
  • Utilizes devices correctly
  • Increases security
  • Improves device lifecycle
  • Helps lower cost

How Does Rules-based Printing Help Lower Cost?

One of the best ways rules-based printing lowers cost is by letting the person who’s printing know there are better options for the documents they are working on. It could also channel larger print jobs to the most efficient printers, saving money per print. Rules can be set about the number of pages going to different printers, reducing the overall spending. Another way cost can be lowered is by defining which applications are allowed to print in color, and which ones default to black-and-white.

For example, you may have all of the email defaulted to black-and-white, so that you are not paying for the little blue links in the form of email addresses. Email is a hot spot for wasted color printing, so this is a super easy way to help reduce costs and waste. This is even more true when this rule is spread across thousands of users.

Other items help too, like automatic duplex printing, workflow utilization, print rules, print volume rules, mobile device rules, etc.

How Does Rules-based Printing Utilize Devices Correctly?

As mentioned above, rules can be set where large black-and-white jobs go to a specific printer that has been approved for them. If there is a color device in marketing, it is unlikely the company would want someone in accounting to print their spreadsheets on the high-quality color printer there, when a black-and-white one would do.

How Does Rules-based Printing Increase Security?

One of the most notorious ways for information to leak out of a company is having print jobs left unattended on a printer. Let’s say someone in accounting sent a print job with the salaries of every employee.

The owner went into the accountant’s office and asked a question, which took a while to answer. While they are in a discussion, those salary documents are available for anybody to walk by and grab. With secure printing for authorized users, this problem can be eliminated. This increases security by having greater accountability.

These kinds of issues can be more problematic when it comes to compliance and HIPAA. Having important information or documents which should not be in everybody’s hands is a major security risk for the company. Part of what we focus on within the managed office is improving security at all levels, including at the printer. We find print release through an ID card can be useful to add as part of a secure printing practices plan.

How Does Rules-based Printing Improve Device Lifecycle?

If each device is being utilized with the correct quantity of prints per month, all equipment will last longer, which will reduce the overall cost of the equipment, as well as the amount of downtime for users. Costs are not only printer output-based, but also the labor costs when people are unable to use the equipment on-site. Rules-based printing allows the IT department to enforce strict limits on how much volume can go through any particular device. This helps to ensure every device lasts through its full cycle.

Papercut is the typical rules-based printing platform we use and sell. If you would like more information on how rules-based printing can serve your organization, we would love to help.

Pitfalls To Rules-based Printing

The major pitfall most companies face is that people don’t like change. When the CEO or president gets a pop-up that tells them they have to walk an extra 20 feet to his more efficient printer, they may find it annoying. Or maybe someone in accounting or sales doesn’t like their emails in black-and-white because they are used to color.

If you are using PIN-release jobs, many people will find entering their PIN to be an extra step they do not like. When applying these rules, you have to remember the benefits of security and of cost. As long as people are open-minded, we find these initial objections fade away after a week or two.

How To Get Started With Rules-based Printing

If you’re ready to implement rules-based printing, we would love to have a conversation on how we can help you. We would need to know if the rules should be centered around financial objectives, security objectives, or both. We have sales professionals to help guide you through the whole process to make this as easy as possible for your organization.

Please give us a call to discuss how rules-based printing can help  and be implemented in your organization.

Written By: Editorial Team