A study, conducted by InfoTrends and sponsored by Brother International, suggests that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could be losing up to $336 million (R3.9 billion) per year in employee productivity costs due to centralised printers.
According to Dan Waldinger, director of marketing, Solutions & Services at Brother “the office copier has become like the water cooler”, with employees spending up to 6 500 more hours at the printer annually than employees at companies that do not have centralised printers.
Time was lost walking to and from the printers and discussing non-work related topics at the printer.
A large number of employees are also sharing MFPs. At companies that 500 – 999 employees, an average of 39 employees shared a colour laser printer, while an average of 40 shared a monochrome laser printers.
"The importance of matching the technology with the needs of the organization is the most critical message we want to put forth. Organizations are looking under every rock for cost savings. [Print] is an area they traditionally haven't thought of. They are investing in tablet technology and smartphones. It's not a far reach to talk about the printing device as well," said Waldinger.
The study also found that employees are printing less than they once did. While many printers and toner cartridges used by SMEs are capable of printing up to 100 000 pages a month, most companies average about 10 000 pages a month on their multi-function printers (MFPs).
The results indicate that there are many reasons for the decline in printing including improved workflows and systems and a younger generation who are more comfortable using digital platforms. “The workers coming into the workforce today did not grow up on paper,” says Waldinger.
Other reasons given for reduced printing included automated business processes, improved IT infrastructure, employees who prefer electronic documents and green initiatives.
To download the white paper and read the full study, click here.