Printing operations and management within businesses can be challenging – we’ve seen it many times. Often it is because the organization lacks a defined printing process and most importantly a key operator. Everything printing related – supplies, service and equipment – generally fall low on the overall business’ priority list, which can cause confusion and disorder when the printer does need attention.
Identifying a key operator, whether your business is large or small, will help create a more organized process for business printing. A key operator may be a current employee that has the time and ability to handle printing needs; often this is an administrative person with some technical ability. Or, in some large organizations, an entirely new staff member may need to be hired to manage a larger fleet of printing equipment.
Key Operator Primary Responsibilities
First and foremost, the key operator will be fully trained on all printing equipment within your business. Your key operator will know your business printing equipment inside and out; he or she will know all of the capabilities and features of your printing devices, including all copying, printing, scanning and faxing operations. If any employee has, “How do I do X?” questions, your key operator will be the person with the answer (or the one who researches and finds the answer).
Additionally, if your company chooses to have additional personnel trained on certain functions, the key operator should informally “train” them to use the equipment properly. For example, your administrative personnel may want to be trained on some of the day-to-day uses such as faxing, replacing toner, scanning to email, etc.
A key operator should be the first go-to person when printer issues arise. When printer issues do arise, your key operator should be able to address minor malfunctions such as paper jams and supply replacement. For major issues, such as setup or connectivity failure, the key operator should contact your print provider or the manufacturer of the specific device and set up a time for servicing or maintenance.
Secondary Business Printing Responsibilities
Your key operator should also manage, order and monitor your printing supplies. If supplies are running low, the key operator should know and be able to order the correct amount of supplies and the proper supplies for each device within your organization (or tell the purchasing department exactly what to order).
Having control of these will enable your key operator to provide data for analysis and knowledgeable feedback on how supplies are being used. In the end, this will allow you to more effectively use your printing budget.
If you have a print provider, your key operator should be the main contact person within your organization for your provider. This will simplify reporting issues and scheduling maintenance on your devices. If you call the device manufacturer for maintenance, your key operator should still be the one to communicate issues and schedule servicing because he or she is the most familiar with the device and the issue.
Any other miscellaneous tasks associated with your printing equipment should also be handled by the key operator. For example, he or she should:
- Dispose of and recycle toner and other supplies appropriately
- Be in attendance when maintenance personnel is repairing equipment
- Offer recommendations for equipment replacement
- Know where every printing device is located within your organization and make recommendations for relocation as needed
- Review invoices, service history and usage reports related to printers
There are a lot of unanticipated responsibilities associated with business printing equipment. By identifying a key operator you reduce, for employees, the hassle and frustration of finding solutions to issues, dealing with a lack of supplies and training themselves on how to use the equipment. This will eliminate wasted time and streamline workflows associated with your printing.
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