Understand your customers with our top findings
We've experienced a shift in our working patterns. As the transition to hybrid working is here to stay, our priorities have evolved to help us adapt to mobile working. Due to this alteration, many documents have been digitised to allow for multiple accessibilities. Despite digitisation that is emphasising and encouraging hybrid working, there will always be a need for printed hard copies such as invoices, labelling, record keeping and receipts. Although, print and digital are not completely separate. They can work together simultaneously and sometimes; print is favoured over digital as a break from the digital world.
So, what do small businesses consider and require for their office printer when looking at technological innovations to support their business? Ricoh found that over 55% of small business owners feel that their existing technology solutions are a hindrance. Discover our top 6 findings to understand your customers’ needs when it comes to printing solutions.
-Wireless connectivity -The Cloud -Multiple devices and security -Simple and fast printing
Cost efficiency and total cost of ownership (TCO) are important stages of the buying process for customers. Canon found that 48% of respondents were considerate of the cost of consumables. From software acquisition to operating costs, individuals are aware of the new technologies that are helping businesses to become more efficient.
Canon also found that 91% of participants are conscious of the operating costs of a printer, such as ink performance and practicability. Everyone hates the moment when the ink runs out halfway through printing a 35-page report! Time is precious, especially for smaller team operations – businesses need to know when the ink is about to run out for continuity and time efficiency.
Sustainability is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, now more than ever. All businesses are trying to highlight their eco-friendly products and services, ensuring they are shouting about their positive impact on carbon footprints. Not every document can be resolved with digitisation and when hardcopies are necessary, everyone wants to ensure they are involved in sustainable development.
Even the UK government are pushing for more sustainable efforts with their new strategy that will digitise the tax administration system. Small businesses still consider the environment when printing, with many thinking twice before pressing the print button. The idea of going paper-less isn’t the idea of stopping print completely, although digitisation is an important part of reducing our carbon footprint, it’s the idea of reducing the amount of paper we use. Ricoh states that by 2025, Office Print will be paper-lite, not paperless, ensuring sustainable efforts in the office.
Printers do far more than simply print. Tech Radar identified ideal printers for small businesses are allinone (AIO) and multifunction printers (MFP), scalable to the size of the business. They have evolved to reflect a variety of workspaces, enabling access to cloud-based sharing sites or printing straight from our phones. Wireless features allow for organised, tidy spaces with the flexibility to access on the go and with seamless convenience. No matter the size of the business, there is more efficiency and less cost as there are more employees per printer as well as a reduction in cables, jacks and installation time.
Due to the shift in agile working, collaboration and trustworthy networks are vital to businesses. Ensuring all access is given to employees to share and edit documents and files, with the function to promote these through video referencing. These features allow for constant contact and efficient working in teams no matter the location. The cloud applications also aid printing and give control to the workforce through a strongly structured cloud-based IT system.
Multiple devices and security
A feature that has been beneficial within the new model of agile working, is the use of multiple devices where employees are using a variety of systems from different locations to connect to the same printer. Adaptable working spaces have resulted in more employees working on the move with individuals using their phones and tablets to work and print from. Meeting spaces are changing and as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is introduced, compatibility has become increasingly more important when businesses are considering products.
Security is also an essential feature that is considered in the buying process, especially whilst agile working. Canon discovered how the lines between home, remote and mobile working are blurring and security risks are becoming more complex. Solutions are being offered that easily allow control over access with authentication features to print and collect documents as well as collaboration.
Simple and fast printing
For an easier, less-hectic printing process in our fast-paced working lives, an easy setup and effortless to use system is an essential feature in the buying process. Deciding if it will streamline the workspace and aid productivity in the long term is key. Customers want the printer to be simplistic for the whole office as well as operate at a faster speed. Well Connected’s research found that in one survey, 30%of people said that the speed of the printer was a deciding factor when making a new purchase.
These findings illustrate the ever-present cost-consciousness of small businesses, plus the increased use of smartphones and BYOD within the workplace.
Choosing Midwich allows for a variety of printer choices that have been designed with businesses in mind. Help your customers by looking at the range of printers Midwich has to offer.