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Illustration of a man using a notebook computer to communicate with a printer over a wireless network while sat at a desk in a home office environment

How to track and monitor home printing

Monitoring home printing can be useful for auditing purposes but how can you track and monitor employees printing when they work from home?

While the advantages of home working quickly became apparent to both individuals and organisations during the pandemic, it also presented new challenges for businesses. In particular IT departments had to quickly allocate new resources, devices, and technology solutions for remote and hybrid working, with reduced visibility and control over how those resources were being used. How can organisations track printing for cost recovery and audits, monitor usage and print security, and also prevent waste in the age of remote and hybrid working? Thankfully, Brother is at your side to help with the perfect answer for companies going through this transition.

How can you remotely monitor printers for staff who work from home?

It may seem daunting to monitor printer usage when you have a distributed workforce, with staff working from home as well as hybrid offices, but there is a tailor-made solution. Managed Print Services (MPS) are programmes offered by print providers to manage your printing devices, including scanners, faxes and copiers. While MPS was introduced prior to the pandemic, the programme is not limited to simply monitoring traditional office environments and is ideal to help oversee decentralised resources.

MPS help organisations improve their efficiency, productivity and information security, typically by monitoring usage, replacing consumables and meeting the organisation’s printing needs. This monitoring works wherever a printer is located regardless of whether that’s in an office or at home so it’s an ideal way of ensuring company devices are being used appropriately. This includes making sure employees are only printing material for work purposes and ensuring document security. Using a Brother printer with MPS and integrated software allows organisations to monitor printer usage with the option to place a cap on print volume as required and offers greater control and visibility over supplies replenishment. That’s not all either.

The programme can analyse the duty cycle and tell organisations how long each of the devices in their fleet will last at current usage levels before they need replacing, as well as a wide range of useful information. This is vital for balanced deployment across a workforce i.e., having the right machines in the right places.

MPS isn’t a one size fits all programme either. Brother works closely with businesses and organisations of all sizes to design and implement a tailored MPS solution that's as individual as you are.

The benefits of print monitoring for remote workers

Remote workers stand to benefit from print monitoring such as Brother’s MPS too. If you’re working from home, you want the same access to technology and support you would have in the office. MPS can help provide this. The programme supplies workers with printers, scanners, faxes, copies, and all-in-one machines from Brother’s award-winning range while also delivering a long list of benefits. Let’s take a look:

1. Cost savings

MPS help reduce inefficiencies relating to printing as well as the hidden waste of employees’ time spent unnecessarily on print-related tasks. A device audit can also reveal how long machines will last given current usage and consolidate hardware if you have more devices than you need. Instead, MPS helps you to get more from your machines. This can save organisations a huge amount of money by streamlining old processes, and that’s in addition to the time-saving benefits for staff. MPS schemes also come with flexible payment options to help reduce capital expenditure and improve cash flow.

2. Enhanced security

Print and document security can be a major risk for organisations, and in the age of home working, employees must take responsibility for keeping devices and printed documents safe at home. MPS can help home workers mitigate that risk through a variety of safety features such as SSL encryption and can also identify print and IP (Internet Protocol) security risks. Through MPS, Brother also offers staff training on information security and other areas.

3. Balanced deployment

This essentially means the right machine in the right place. One of the biggest complaints from new home workers was not having the equipment they needed to do their job. By conducting a thorough audit, an MPS programme can base the distribution of machines on real-time usage data to ensure thorough and balanced deployment across your workforce.

4. Sustainability

Reducing the amount of paper, electricity, and print supplies used is good for individuals, organisations, and the environment. MPS will also help both devices and consumables last longer and go further. You can even add consumables collection and recycling to take your sustainability commitment to the next level.

5. Improved efficiency

By auditing, monitoring, and analysing print usage data device by device, MPS can identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement. This saves home workers and organisations time and money and has been shown to greatly increase productivity and efficiency. In other words, it can help your machines to work smarter and help you get more from less.

6. Remote IT support

MPS comes with ongoing expert support from Brother as well as break and fix support. Customers also get access to a Brother portal to register service requests with telephone support managed by us. There’s also software maintenance support, a dedicated MPS Service Desk, and more. All of this can be configured to an organisation’s requirements.

7. Ink, toner, and other supplies automatically reordered

MPS often connects all devices to one monitoring system to ensure just in time delivery of replacement toners and repairs. This makes better use of economies of scale and prevents stockpiling unused inventory.

8. Detailed usage reports with audit benefits and meter reads

These reports give organisations extensive real-time usage data for each device in their entire fleet, including performance, print costs per page, and consumable spend. This allows businesses to make evidence-based decisions and offers greater visibility of print usage across your business.

In light of these benefits for both individuals and organisations, Brother has introduced short-term MPS home working contracts. We know it can be difficult to secure buy-in for wholesale changes to business processes, particularly when they come with lengthy contractual commitments. As a result, Brother is now offering all the advantages of an MPS contract on a 12-month home working contract; allowing you to only pay for the pages your homeworkers print. Features include:

  • Brand new award-winning Brother hardware
  • Free, fully remote installation
  • Automatic toner ordering and delivery

Summary

New challenges mean new solutions. Home and hybrid working brings both opportunities and challenges, but with Brother at your side, you’ll have just the support you need. Brother has partnerships with a number of leading brands to create a comprehensive range of print management solutions. As we’ve explained above, MPS can help organisations regain visibility and control over print management following the transition to home and hybrid working.

Brother has also recently partnered with Kofax to pair our industry-leading printers and multifunction devices with Kofax’s ControlSuite software, which boosts productivity by ensuring documents and information get to the right people at the right time through automated workflows and processes, wherever they are. This has opened the door to cloud-based printing and print management – another innovation seen as the future of business. Hybrid working is a big step for businesses, but when we say we’re at your side, we mean it.

 

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