While the paperless office has long been anticipated, two separate studies conducted for Brother International reportedly underscore corporate reliance on printers and devices that combine print, scan, and other functions.
A Brother-commissioned survey conducted by Wakefield Research confirms that “business owners and decision-makers use their printers more often than commonly thought,” while a concurrent study conducted by market-research firm InfoTrends on behalf of Brother highlights document management and printing “as vital corporate investments.”
Key among the findings of the recent Brother-commissioned research include:
- Seventy-three percent of business owners and decision makers at companies with 500 employees or less use their printers at least four times a day, according to a survey by Wakefield Research.
- Internal corporate departments such as human resources, accounting, and legal “rely heavily” on hardcopy documents for processes such as employee onboarding, invoicing, and note-taking, according to a study by InfoTrends.
- The average company spends $34,843 annually on printing, with the amount varying by industry.
- Companies are investing “heavily” in document-workflow and management solutions. According to the InfoTrends study, a hypothetical company handling 5,000 printed pages per month will spend, on average, more than $27,000 on printed document-management.
- Forty-nine percent of the respondents in the Wakefield survey prefer to read documents on a printed piece of paper.
“We’re still a long way from the ‘paperless office,’ and given the long-term reality of a combination of printing and scanning, multi-function printing devices will be crucial to companies for years to come,” commented Randy Dazo, group director at InfoTrends. “Too many people think the printer is the device in the corner collecting dust; in reality, it’s crucial to office productivity and is a significant operations expense. Therefore, companies need to carefully consider printer-device purchases and deployments.”
For its part, Brother says it’s helping businesses adopt a “balanced deployment strategy.” This strategy assesses workflow and output, then “right-sizes” offices with the most appropriate number of devices located near workgroups, including shared “pods” consisting of All-in-One and single-function printers, deployed within 25-35 feet of each workgroup.
November 2013: Everyone’s Going Paperless? Not so Fast