Top Managed Print Trends in 2020

Here at Forum Group we have successfully delivered managed print services for thousands of customers over the years and have seen first-hand how the printing and office technology environment has changed and grown dramatically.

We wanted to share with you the most noticeable managed print trends that our specialist printing experts have observed over the past 12 months. All these trends can be implemented into printing strategies for businesses both big and small; you’ll be working smarter, not harder in no time.

1. Increased emphasis on environmental sustainability

In a sustainability-focused world, many business owners and managers are now thinking about and making more environmentally friendly printing decisions. We have seen a big increase in the use of recycled paper and business managers wanting to reduce their power usage from printing as well as reducing the volume of printing overall through shifts to paperless workflows.

Taking something from printer Forum Group

There is a lot more awareness about how printers are recycled and how they consume electricity. A substantial amount are now recyclable and this is getting better every year. Additionally, printers have become much more energy-efficient over the years, with most devices also equipped with automatic sleep settings and power-saving modes, reducing electricity costs and meeting global standards of energy consumption.

We’ve also found that when we implement ‘Follow Me’ printing – aka ‘Swipe and Release’ – we notice a 17% decrease in paper usage. Not only is this good for the environment but it saves you money as well.

If you want to know more about going paperless, you can download our free 10 steps to going paperless ebook here.

2. Increase in cloud integrations

We have also seen a huge increase in the number of cloud integrations by businesses we have helped with their printing strategies. For example, Google Print is incredibly popular with our clients. This is because you can use the service to print from anywhere, even out of state, if you’re hooked up to the same network via the cloud.

It has become extremely easy to link up a business's apps like Dropbox, Microsoft Office, email and more to create much more efficient printing systems. This has helped save many businesses a lot of time and money, not to mention reduce waste.

3. Working from home and the decentralisation of printing

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it probably comes as no surprise that working from home (WFH) has been a huge trend in 2020. Here at Forum, we’ve seen an increase in smaller printers being set up in employees’ homes and as a result a reduction in office printing. This has caused one of two things for many companies:

  1. Speeding up the implementation of digital transformation initiatives with a shift to paperless workflows that reduce printing
  2. The decentralisation of printing into home offices, with more printing done at home compared to in the office (at least in the short term during mandated lockdowns)
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Because of the decentralisation of printers into home offices and the requirement to adhere to proper social distancing requirements,  we are now doing more and more servicing of printers over TeamViewer, Zoom and other remote communication platforms.

Over the course of the year, we have expanded our remote servicing online. This means we can essentially do everything we could do in-person, including printing and testing. The only things we can’t do remotely are open the tray and change the toner or ink!

4. Artificial intelligence and smarter printers

Printers are now much smarter than you think. They can monitor themselves, repair themselves via reboot where required, and even let you know when they need to be serviced. For example, when a printer is running low on toner/ink it can automatically alert the person responsible for replacing consumables. These AI innovations have made printers much more efficient, which can save you lots of time and money.

In some modern devices, printers can even monitor the health of their parts and self-diagnose any wear and tear that may need attention. They can then automatically place an order for the specific replacement part ahead of a critical failure occurring.

5. Enhanced security

Privacy is an increasing concern for businesses, especially when it comes to printing and managing access to highly sensitive documents. Printing manufacturers have responded to these concerns and you can now purchase printers with advanced safety features such as military-grade encryption and the ability to scan confidential documents more safely.

This has made it much harder for cyberattackers to hack into a business’s printing network. As part of any managed printing service, we work hard to ensure that your printer storage is safe and secure.

You can learn more about how to make your printer secure here.

The bottom line

2020 has been a tough year for almost everybody. Entire industries have been turned upside down overnight and we’ve had to adapt to new ways of doing things. How we work has undergone significant change, including how we use printing in our daily workflow.

The good news is, regardless of the size of your business or your MPS budget, you can take advantage of these trends and save yourself countless hours and boost your bottom line. Get in touch today to hear more about how Forum Group can help with your MPS.

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