The much-predicted age of the paperless office is still some way off despite advances in technology and a growing green agenda, said David Griffiths, a director with leading North West print and copier services provider Sharples Group.
However, new technology can both increase the effectiveness of in-house document management systems and give business owners greater scope in controlling printing costs,
added the sales director speaking from the company’s Warrington HQ.
Although the paperless office was predicted in the mid 1970s, this was a myth as office paper consumption in the USA actually doubled between 1980 and the end of the century,
added Mr Griffiths.
Here in the UK, we had a similar increase in paper use. However, volumes are now levelling off due to a variety of reasons including better systems management.
As a company, we have a policy of using the latest technology to ensure our clients effectively manage their print and paper use. Modern software allows us to monitor the usage of their document printing systems remotely and on an hourly basis.
We know how many pages our client’s systems are using and we can even tell them when their toner is about to run out. Remote control management, monitoring and performance tracking is key. Such a system will alert you, or your managers, when a problem occurs, even if several makes and models exist at a customer site.
The problem could be down to a faulty printer or toner or perhaps a member of staff printing off reams of personal documents without the appropriate permission.
Mr Griffiths said despite the fact that access to on-line documentation via smart phones, i-Pads, laptops and The Cloud was easier than ever, a significant number of business people still preferred to have a hard copy of an important document on their desk or in their briefcase.
There will always be a demand for printed documents in the business environment, added Mr Griffiths.
That’s why it is essential to ensure your printers and copiers are right for the job you want them to do.
Two printers may look the same but the cost per sheet printed can differ dramatically. That’s why all our clients are offered our Quick View survey on their document output to establish their true cost effectiveness. On average, acting on our advice cuts their costs by 20 per cent.