6 Ways to Make Your Printing Processes Easier for Your IT Staff

Submitted by Matthew Eberhart on Mon, 11/08/2021 - 09:59
it staff

When it comes to IT staff, there’s no doubt that they’re the unsung heroes of the workplace. Who else can you call when your emails not working, or when your network goes down? And who else do you turn to when it’s time to configure new settings or update important software?  

The thing is, that IT personnel are usually pretty busy. If they’re not fixing one thing that's broken, then they’re probably fixing something else or working on their projects and protecting your data against intrusion, aka cybercrime, which we all know is a full-time job. And since we all love our IT staff, we want to make their jobs as simple as possible, right?  

Now we’re not specifically IT personnel, but as a copier and printer vendor, we have service technicians that perform a lot of the same functions, and we’re always looking for ways to make their jobs easier, so they can spend less time on minor issues and more time on the bigger problems.  

So we’ve written out 6 tips to follow when it comes to your printing processes, that’ll keep your IT staff out of the trenches, and your organization up and running in the case of a malfunction.  

 

1. Replacing Your Printer Before It Breaks Completely 

Replacing your printer before it’s completely run its course is not only easier on everyone- it’s the best way to prevent malware and cyberattacks.  

Newer printing software is equipped with the strongest security features, and when your machine becomes significantly outdated, you’re leaving your organization exposed to data leaks, hacks, and private information being exposed.  

Now we’re not saying that you need to buy the newest model each year, but if your machine is showing signs of wear and tear, and it’s been a while since you’ve upgraded, then it might be time to speak with a business consultant on what the best next steps are.  

Besides security, replacing your printer before it’s down for the count makes it easier on everyone- not just IT. This way, you’ll have a cushion of time to get everything prepared for your new machine, and you don’t have to rush through the buying process. Also, if there’s a snag or a delay in the timing of your new machine’s installation, you can get it figured out while still utilizing your old one. 

 

2. Following Your Recommended Monthly Print Volume 

Staying under your recommended monthly print volume is one of the most important rules to follow in order to avoid service calls and printer malfunctions. Overutilizing your printer will cause premature wear and tear, and you’ll have to replace certain parts much more quickly than normal.  

If you’re constantly having to call IT to deal with problems from overprinting, then you’re taking their time away from more critical tasks, and having them deal with a problem that’s easily solved. If you’re consistently printing over your recommended print volume, then the truth is that you just need a bigger model.  

While printing technology has progressed significantly in the past decade or so, larger machines have larger engines, making them best suited for, well, larger print volumes. Not to mention that having the right size machine for your organization will save you a lot of money in the long run, not just in service calls but in impression costs are well.  

 

3. Keep an Eye on Toner and Supply Levels 

This sort of coincides with #1, but keeping IT informed on where your toner and supply levels gives you a longer window to restock. You never know if UPS is going to be having a slow day, or if the toner you need is on backorder.  

Alerting your IT staff before you’re completely out keeps them from having to jump through hoops to get you up and printing again, just because your printer is out of toner.  

If you struggle with keeping up with toner levels and delegating purchasing tasks to your IT department, then you might be interested in auto-toner shipments, which can come as part of a service agreement. Software will be installed onto your server or local computer that automatically reads when toner levels are low, and alerts the manufacturer, so toner is automatically shipped right to your door. 

 

4. Check Error Messages Carefully  

When an error message pops up, sometimes it’s actually a really easy problem to fix. For example, if you go to print a document and the screen flashes red, then don’t panic- it’s most likely a mismatched paper size.  

Make sure that the print driver on your computer (the little box that pops up where you click PRINT) shows that you’re printing to the size of the paper that is actually inside the printer.   

 

5. Don’t Move Your Printer 

If you ever find yourself wishing that your printer was in a different spot, maybe one closer to everyone’s desks, or a corner with a bit more room, then you might be tempted to unplug everything and move it yourself.  

Before you do that- know that most printers are set up in specific spots because they’re on reserved Ethernet ports. Moving it to a completely different location could cause big problems, that can really only be fixed by IT personnel, especially if they set your printer up a certain way for a specific reason.  

Even if they’re not in a specific spot for a reason, these machines are heavy, and it’s likely that you’ll end up damaging something if you’re moving it to a completely new location. You could spill toner, damage print quality, and a lot more if you aren’t careful or educated on how to do it.  

The best course of action is to notify your IT staff ahead of time so that they can come and move the machine for you. Or, if you’re working with a print vendor that does your maintenance, it’s likely that they have an additional service for this at a minimal fee. You can call to notify them, and they’ll come and safely relocate your machine to wherever you’d like it (assuming that the space and electrical requirements are met).  

 

6. When in Doubt- Restart 

This might sound like an obvious course of action, and you might even be a bit annoyed to see it on the list, but it’s here for a reason. Sometimes minor malfunctions occur, and all you need to do is fully power your machine down and then start it back up.  

A good rule of thumb is to shut it off completely and unplug it for about 60 seconds. Don’t just select the “restart” option because that won’t fully do the trick.  

Restarting your printer can solve so many more problems than you’d imagine, and it’ll keep you from having to call IT, just for them to restart it for you and it’s magically fixed.  

 

Keep Your Staff and Your Printer Happy

Now you know exactly what steps you need to take in order to not only make your IT staff’s lives easier, but also to help you feel more confident when it comes to your printing equipment, and how to keep it running properly.  

If you’re looking for more information on service calls, maintenance agreements, and what to do in the case of a malfunction, we’ve got some articles just for you:  

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