What’s a Print Audit?

Print anything with Printful

A print audit gathers information about current printer usage and operating costs to assist decision-making at the executive level. The scope should be clearly defined, and metrics for usage and access should be collected. Total operating costs, including staff time, should also be considered.

A print audit is often conducted by large organizations in anticipation of a request for print services for proposal or contract renewal. The primary purpose of a print audit is to gather metrics about current printer usage, different methods of accessing printing resources, and to determine the total operating costs associated with printing activities. The term audit is usually associated with a detailed financial review. However, the main objective of any audit is for impartial professionals to gather information and provide a formal report to assist decision-making at the executive level.

The scope of a print audit should be clearly defined early in the process to ensure a viable response. Defining a print function or related job is critical, as assumptions can result in incorrect conclusions. For example, a print audit might include photocopying, electronic scanning of documents and print jobs, or a mix of these options. In other companies or industries, printing may include all external print providers or contracts for items such as brochures, flyers and related items.

The first step of any impression audit is to collect usage metrics. All printers have a copy counter and digital units store this information electronically. Some printers are known as multifunctional units and have the ability to print, scan and copy. Metrics for each of these tasks are stored separately. Units with color and black and white options also separate these two tasks for greater accuracy.

A comprehensive print audit should include information about how print features are accessed. There are often multiple processes within the same organization, and this can be based on the types of services accessed. For example, a modern office has a fully networked printer that is often shared by a group of people. Other installations may have individual printers located at each workstation. Large print jobs or special requests can be sent to a selected list of suppliers or one randomly selected from the phone book.

The total operating cost of all print-related activities is an essential part of any print audit. This information should include fixed costs for equipment, consumables, repair services, external printing costs, electricity, and space requirements. For most companies, the total cost of printing activity is quite high and it’s a great place to introduce cost-saving measures. When measuring total operating costs, the staff time dedicated to maintaining and supporting these units should also be included.

Asset Smart.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content