Printer audits can be time-consuming when it comes to collecting printer data as well as making the conclusions. In this article, we will share 5 hacks which will make life a lot easier for anyone making the printer audit or processing the data.
1. You need a data collector
Today you have many opportunities to collect data without even visiting the client. The data collector will help you discover any printing devices online and give you insights about usage in the audit period, error messages, toner consumption and much more.
The good thing is that its 100% automated after its installed. Let it run for a minimum of 14 days before jumping to any conclusions and if possible for 1 month.
TIP: Do you already have a data collector option in your company? If not there are often options for a free trial where you can get insights about counters, usage, etc.
2. Using estimated pricing or actual pricing?
While waiting for the data collection, we recommend looking at the printer costs. Do you have access to lease/service/MPS contracts? Start organizing the costs in groups so they are ready to be "mapped" to your data.
If you are using any printer management tool you might already have access to some kind of group pricing. If yes, simply create a group per model and add your estimated price per model.
If you have the contracts, then create the contract in your printer management tool and add the exact pricing
TIP: Start with estimated pricing so you can present some costs and then add the actual pricing afterward if needed.
3. Create a template for audits
There are tons of good ways to create reports. If you have Excel, Google Sheets or any other number-crunching tool, you can set up a template where you can copy-paste the data from your data collector. This will minimize the risk of failure and the template will work for you, so you can spend time on conclusions rather than configuration.
If you have a printer management tool you might already have access to built-in reports that supports this. Make sure to check this first so you don't invent the wheel.
(This is just a one-time thing, as for your next audit you can reuse your template.)
TIP: If you already have a printer management tool, use the pages printed reports and create your audit around that data.
4. Adding the data from the printer data collector
Depending on the data collector you might have the option to export the data in a format making it possible to insert it in your Excel or Google Sheet. We recommend adding a tab with all the data so its easy to document why you have concluded the way you have.
TIP: This can be a hassle, so we recommend using a printer management tool/printer audit tool if possible to avoid mistakes. If you do not have one but just a long list of data, we recommend not rushing this process. Remember the coffee and clear eyes, this is where things can go wrong :-)
5. Present it
Book an online meeting and share your screen or visit the customer and present the findings. The data is actual and representing the last 30 days, so the only question is if this month represents an average monthly volume.
TIP: This is based on actual data. It makes things so much easier to understand as its real life. No assumptions and no guesstimates. However, if the period you have been collecting data is not representing the average, then recommend maybe another 14 days of data collection.
The best recommendation is to have an automated tool that eliminates time-consuming tasks, making more room for thinking about the best advice.
Will you end up recommend buying new laser printers or rearrange the existing ones? Your data should support this with a simple view explaining why.
3manager is a cross-platform and vendor-neutral printer management tool, which is designed to make life easier when it comes to making printer audits, ongoing printer management, cost tracking, tracking printer ink, cartridges and much more.
If you are looking for help to your printer audits, feel free to have a look at our free trials.