I was recently asked what can be done to reduce printing. If you haven’t already set Duplex as the default on all of your printers then stop reading and implement that first then read on.
Secure and Follow me/you printing solutions work well in many industries even though they can be expensive and troublesome technically. In Legal where I have spent a majority of my time Secure and Follow me/you solutions are harder to implement successfully but they are now being done at a few firms. Here is my suggestion on driving down print volumes.
Before you start to try and reduce printing it’s worth understanding what the problem is. If you run a print tracking solution then you can normally report on printer, application, user, computer and so on. If you know who and what is doing the printing then you can better manage the issue. There are free utilities available online to help gather this information as well as paid for solutions.
The following statistics are a general rule I found from looking at many legal firms in the UK and Australia.
|Application||% of Total Pages|
|Acrobat Reader and Professional||30|
What we learned in looking at these statistics at each firm was that if you can somehow control printing from Word and Acrobat Reader/Pro then you have 80% of the print picture.
The biggest short term gains were from educating people on their print volumes. I had some software that would advise users of how many pages they printed over the last 30 days. Many staff were outright shocked at the numbers and took matters into their own hands to reduce printing. If you could generate a weekly email alert of personal page volumes vs company average I think you would see people of their own accord drive down printed pages without spending time and effort on implementing solutions.
I have long thought that tablets will also help drive down print volumes but maybe that will also take a generation to make that happen.
Powershell is such a great utility and something I keep coming back to. I had need to import .msg files into Outlook and found this great site.
I skipped straight down the page to the ‘Here is the script I used:’ and used that unaltered. I updated the import path and ran it against a folder with 1000 emails. It blasted through them quickly.
Note if you haven’t used PowerShell before then you’ll likely get an error “The term ‘<filename>.ps1′ is not recognized as a cmdlet, function, operable program, or script file“. You just need to run the following command in PowerShell.
By default PowerShell is set to not run anything so nothing sneaky can be run. This sets the policy to run any local scripts and downloaded scripts must be signed by a trusted publisher before they can be run.