In the modern-day workplace, efficiency is in high demand. This demand tends to result in a growing pressure felt not only by IT leaders, but by IT departments as a whole. It is often the case that business leaders will look to their IT teams to speed up and simplify processes – a development that is essential to the growth of their business. Alongside this, there is the need to identify technologies that will enable their organisation to adapt, evolve and stay competitive in the ever-changing business landscape.
Many businesses are choosing to turn their attentions to achieving efficiencies in the cloud, and are being seduced by somewhat “sexy” enterprise technology trends such as big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). However, these innovative technologies are often overlooking the most obvious opportunity to boost efficiencies, and one of fundamental importance: the humble office printer.
This is a significant mistake, as the printer, commonly viewed as a commodity, has the potential to be a force for good in business – creating an immediately positive impact on efficiency and cost savings. Epson’s WorkForce Enterprise printers, for example, use up to 88 per cent less energy compared to laser printers. With low waste supplies and a simple working mechanism, the WorkForce Enterprise series reduces the environmental impact of print by providing a low-power solution with fewer supplies required. It is estimated that managing office equipment effectively can reduce the overall energy consumption of an office by up to 70 per cent, and selecting the right printer can contribute to forming a key part of this. Putting this in perspective, if every business in the UK switched to Epson business inkjet printers, it would save enough power to run at least 60,000 households.
Upgrading an office printer also brings with it the likelihood of decreasing your business’ carbon footprint. Given the UK government’s recent pledge to renew the tax on carbon emissions in the 2017 Autumn Budget, this is not a subject that businesses can afford to be laissez-faire about. Smart printers can reduce office carbon emissions by cutting down on the number of unnecessary pages printed in a document, for example. They can also make it impossible to accidentally print documents when intending to simply save the file or perform any other action, as final confirmation at the printer is needed, instead of employees accidentally printing documents from their desk unnecessarily.
Printers have the capability to reduce expenditure, save time and help reinforce a business’ commitment to environmentally-friendly processes. However, careful selection of the right printer is vital here. While the right printers can achieve all these goals, many offer false promises of economy and savings. Therefore, it is vital that office managers and decision-makers spend time selecting the specific printer that is right for their office. It may be tempting to want to look for the cheapest printer on the market or one that is most publicised, but this is a common mistake – and one that does not come without its downfalls.
Firstly, it is important to settle on whether an inkjet or laser solution is most suitable for your workplace. Epson favours inkjet over laser printing, as it represents a highly flexible technology that provides business benefits that laser cannot match. Inkjet printers have a low start-up cost and are normally less expensive than lasers, and replacement ink cartridges are generally cheaper than toner cartridges. Companies that choose to invest in inkjet can achieve considerably better results when it comes to cost-efficiency and savings – for example, research shows that companies using inkjet technology can decrease their overall energy consumption by 96 per cent, their required maintenance by 98 per cent, and their waste levels by up to 99 per cent. Epson’s business inkjet printers also have the potential to use up to 92 per cent less CO2 than laser products – part of Epson’s initiative to prevent global warming. The proof is in the pudding – business inkjet printing saved Epson’s customers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK €88.7m and 168K tonnes of CO2 in 2017 alone.
It is also important to note that the rest of the business world is starting to think the same way; the IDC has forecast a 10.2 per cent growth in the business inkjet market between 2016 and 2020, showing that Epson’s faith in inkjet technology is well founded.
Businesses can also successfully save time by upgrading to the most suitable printer. Apart from the immediately obvious benefit (newer printers process pages on average ten times faster than older ones), the entire printing process is now laid out in far less complicated ways, which are much easier to navigate for the end user. There are now fewer steps between the process of sending a document to print and it appearing in physical form, which, when added up over thousands of printed pages, will deliver companies with significantly more time efficient ways of working.
Printers such as the Epson WorkForce Pro RIPS models also save time through their operating procedures – the Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS) technology uses super-high-yield ink supply units for printing up to 84,000 pages before ink changes. This eliminates most of the physical waste involved in printing when compared to equivalent colour laser printers, as well as reducing time, hassle and environmental impacts.
It is easy to say that businesses need to constantly be on the lookout for technologies that can improve their operating efficiencies, but sometimes companies can overlook the easiest and simplest ways of doing so. Printing is often the process that, although used frequently in the workplace, gets forgotten when it comes to discovering these methods of improving efficiencies – despite it being one of the easiest and most effective ways of doing so. Upgrading to the right business printing solution will save your company significant levels of money and time, while also ensuring that the company remains environmentally friendly. Failure to do so, on the other hand, could lead to administrative inefficiency and wasted resources.
Claire Robinson, Head of Business Sales UK & I at Epson
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