Remote monitoring of your networked printer fleet has been possible for several years now and the software is well proven. A good data collector will allow your print fleet consultant as well as selected associates within your company to have access to a host of valuable current and historical information about your print devices available on demand all the time.
But what is this valuable information and what are the benefits? Here are a few:
Never run out of toner again. The Data Collector Agent (DCA) will show you the toner level via a gas gauge for any networked printer built in this century, and many from the late 90’s. You can monitor this yourself via the online portal and your print fleet consultant can monitor as well. A feature of the B2B Direct managed print system is to automatically send toner reports via email that track low toner levels and in some cases either automatically send toner or confirm needs with the client prior to shipment. Either way, you should never be caught short.
Reduce downtime and service costs. The DCA will receive and compile displayed messages and errors, making it possible to troubleshoot proactively. It will also track the status of consumable parts, such as maintenance kits and drum units so that these parts can be replaced on time. By virtue of the DCA, many service calls can be expedited and downtime can be reduced by letting us know what parts are needed prior to arriving on site.
Reduce your paper usage. We have all found that we get what we measure. The problem is, historically companies have not been able to easily measure the number of prints made by devices in their fleets. This is not the case with a good DCA. Usage reports can be obtained for any period of time on any monitored devices. You can also see how many prints were copies vs. faxes vs. printed output, and color vs. black. This is invaluable information when implementing policies to reduce paper usage.
Manage your assets intelligently. All good machines eventually need to be replaced. By monitoring your fleet you gain the information needed to purchase the perfect device for the job at hand. We also find that by looking at the usage of the fleet in its entirety, we save clients money by redeploying underutilized assets without the need to purchase new equipment.
This is a cost free business tool. B2B Direct offers its DCA monitoring software at no charge to current customers. Contact us today to learn more.
Is it safe? We occasionally receive concerns about loading the DCA on a client’s server. This is an extremely safe service, takes up little space on the server and transmits data approximately the size of an email about every 30 minutes. The data transmitted is printer specific from the fleet that you define. The service sits safely behind your firewall and is not accessible by others.
There are currently hundreds of thousands of printers being monitored with the software we use. We have several pieces of documentation detailing the specifications, safety and security of the DCA on our MPS page. The .pdf documents are listed on the sidebar of the page. There is also a live demo of a DCA site accessible from the bottom of the page.
It is astounding how many times we enter a business and find a number of print devices that are just wrong for the job and a waste of time and money for the company. At some point you may determine your printer is not right for you, or perhaps your printer is nearing retirement. In any case here are some tips to help you in purchasing your next printer.
As we have stated throughout this article, let your print fleet professional advise you on the various options you have when choosing a device. You may be pleasantly surprised by your increase in efficiency.
Most companies have a company stock room with plenty of toner cartridges including several for printers no longer in service. We recently visited a potential client in a small business. On our initial walk through we found over ten thousand dollars in toner inventory, some of it more than two years old and some of it obsolete. I would like to say this case is unusual but it is not. We often find potential clients who are carrying thousands of dollars of printer supply inventory and taking the risk that some of it will become obsolete.
Conversely, we also find potential clients who run short only to scramble and even pay expensive overnight charges when toner runs out. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where the printer has shut down due to low toner and you cannot find a cartridge? If so you are not alone.
Managed Print Services solves both of these dilemmas. By managing your inventory for you, we as your partner make sure you never run out. Under a managed print agreement, we take ownership of the inventory, the client never has an investment and we take the risk. And you can put your money back to work doing what you do best: running your business.
Well, for several reasons, but here are just four of the better ones:
1. Managed print services save your company time and money. Yes, this is a fact. A good managed print services program will remotely monitor your printer fleet so you don’t have to. When ink or toner is low, a message is automatically sent to your provider. Automatic fulfillment is an option with many plans. And monitoring, supplies, and repair service on the equipment can all be included for one low monthly price.
2. Higher employee efficiency, especially within IT. The IT Department already has enough to worry about and printer breakdowns are inconvenient, inopportune and take away from IT’s mission. In most cases, managed print programs are able to relieve IT of this responsibility for about the same price as the company is already paying to operate their printer fleet. Taking one more thing off their list will only make the department more efficient.
3. No more printer crises. Companies with managed print services can’t even remember the last time a printer ran out of ink or toner right before a deadline. The monitoring service always makes sure your printer has ink or toner BEFORE you run out.
4. Zero waste. When you use managed print services through B2B Direct, 100% of the managed print services printer cartridges are returned and fully reused and recycled leaving zero waste. And let’s face it, less waste is better.
Managed print services is the way of the future for companies and their printing needs. So get involved by contacting B2B Direct and start the newest and easiest way to print yet. We will craft a custom program that fits the needs of your company. Proposals, as always, are free.
Welcome to the new B2B Direct Blog, an open forum for all things printers and managed print services. In this space, we will be talking about products and services that B2B Direct, founded in 1981, is offering. We are continually looking for products that make your office green and we have created this space to further enhance and engage our clientele.
This space will also be used as a platform for clientele to engage us back. Post comments and questions if you so desire. Feedback is always welcome and encouraged. Please let us know if you would like to write your own post, as this space is not limited to those affiliated directly with B2B Direct.
Check back to this space often for new updates and services from B2B Direct, as well as customer testimonials, all-things-printers, tips, and commentary from fellow clients. We hope you enjoy this blog as it was created to teach the world about B2B Direct, and have the world teach us back.