Rules Based Printing

With rules based printing, printing costs can be significantly reduced by enforcing printing regulations, depending of course on the volume of printed pages. Among other things, rule based printing uses employee habits and forces them to use certain cost-efficient print infrastructure functions or sets maximum limits. So rules can be set that emails are printed only in a certain color, a certain kind of printout is coupled to a daily maximum number, or duplex printing becomes obligatory with printouts of information based materials.

Example savings calculations as a result of rules based printing

In the following, we want to show you the meaningfulness of rules-based printing policies for a ficticous company.

Beispiel 1:

They own a company with 100 employees, in which each employee prints out an average of three emails a day, just to read them and then dispose of them again. On average, such an print out has two pages, so that every employee prints 600 sheets of paper per working day. Extrapolated to 220 working days per year, this results in a volume of 132,000 sheets of paper, ie 264 reams per 500 sheets of A4.

Whereby you have contracts with service providers, whom calculate costs depending on the number of printed pages, enormous printing costs can be saved. For example, a color page costs $0.05, and a page printed in b/w costs $0.004. 75% of the 600 daily printed pages are color printed, so 450 pages are printed in color and 150 pages in black and white every day. Every year, 99,000 pages are printed in color, resulting in costs of €4,950.00. On the other hand, 33,000 pages are printed in black and white, which only cost €132.00. In total, the printouts of emails incur an annual cost of €5,082.00 plus the cost of the paper.

rules-based printing

If the simple printing rule is used, so that in the case of email printouts, duplex printing is always used and printouts can only be made in black and white, this would save considerable printing costs every year. Thanks to the rule of duplex printing, 50% of paper costs can be saved every year. Furthermore, the regulation of forced black and white printing only adds up to an annual cost of €528.00. So it can be a savings potential alone in terms of the number of printed pages without taking into account the used paper of €4,554.00 which accounts for almost 90%.

Depending on the manufacturer of such a solution for rules-based printing, the one-time costs including installation for any number of printers and the software maintenance over a period of 5 years amounts to approximately €4,000.00.

Example 2:

Some of your employees have small workstation printers at their workstations, which are technically designed for only about 1,500 - 2,000 pages per month. Larger printers or copiers are placed centrally in the company. For convenience, these employees now use their desktop printers at regular intervals to print documents of 150 or 250 pages.

The result for you is now significantly higher costs of consumables, because the costs are significantly lower in relation to the printed page at a higher capacity, as used in high-volume printing systems, such as MFP and copiers. Furthermore, the small workstation printers are overused in the long run because they are not designed for large print volumes. So they will be more likely to fail or have service disruptions than normal usage devices.

So here a print rule can effectively reduce costs that redirects print jobs from a certain number of pages to the much less expensive large device. The employee receives this information by means of a popup on his computer or an email and can then pick up the printed document at the copier.

Which rules can be defined

The technical solutions with which rules-based printing can be implemented usually have a rule wizard with the aid of which, and without programming knowledge, printing rules, e.g. can be defined by the following attributes:

User type

  • Management Staff
  • Trainee
  • Guest
  • Lecturer or student (at teaching institutions)
  • Print contingent of the employees

Properties of the documents to be printed

  • Number of pages
  • Color or mono
  • Simplex/Duplex print
  • Format
  • Application from which to print
  • Name of the document
  • Content of the document (e.g. "strictly confidential")

Properties of the selected printer

  • Color device or monochrome printer
  • Location of the printer
  • Driver properties
  • Print speed
  • Page costs color/mono
  • Status of the printer (Online/Offline)
Rule assistent - rules-based printing

Example of the View of a Rule Wizard (Nuance SafeCom)

These parameters can be used to allow or deny, convert, redirect, or pause print jobs.

For cases in which the employee is to decide on which printer he wants to print the document, a decision support in the form of a pop-up with the probable costs for printing on the printer available to him can be displayed.

A report module can be used to evaluate the effects of rules-based printing. Printing costs can be allocated and billed to cost centers or individual employees.

It is therefore always useful to analyze the printing behavior in the company and to create appropriate printing guidelines, which can reduce the cost of printing with relatively little technical effort.

Printing solutions that support rules-based printing

There are many solutions for rule based printing on the market. Here are some examples:

Nuance SafeCom
Nuance Equitrac
HP Access Control
Canon UniFLOW
YSoft SafeQ
Doxense Watchdoc
Genius Bytes GeniusMFP
Schomäcker QPilot

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