Ten days ago we discussed the question of whether your company should look at Personal Printers or Workgroup Printers. Today, let's drill down and look at three good reasons to buy personal printers for at least some employees.
First of all, printers with customized uses should be reserved for those employees trained in those uses. Have a wide plotter used only for engineering drawings? Keep it with the engineers. Have special paper loaded for a specialized purpose? Keep that paper out of reach of employees who don't need to use that paper.
Second, assign printers to employees working in such a way that sharing a printer would slow down production. Some employees spit out pages constantly of one kind or another. Sending that person down the hall to a workgroup printer 20 times per day may not be the most efficient way to work. Of course, those workers who print far too many things and don't want anyone to know they're mowing down a forest all by themselves will ask for a personal printer so no one will find out. Better to assign personal printers based on needs rather than to take requests from users.
Finally, some printers require expensive consumables, and leaving those printers available to everyone will waste money. The most common example? Printing lots of all-text pages on ink jet printers rather than laser printers. Everyone prints a page or two of mostly black text now and then, but printing long text reports on ink jet printers rather than laser printers will cost more per page. Add in specialized items like dye sublimation inks and paper, and the cost of a mistake can add up fast.
Workgroup printers tend to discourage printing, while personal printers tend to encourage printing. Make sure your personal printers make sense for your business before plopping some down on individual desks. But when they save time and money, as in the cases above, don't hesitate to put a personal printer where it will do the most good the employee and the company.