Business Survival 101: Setting Printing Policies & Procedures

printing policies and procedures documentYes, it seems as if businesses have policies and procedures for everything these days. But as a business owner or manager, it is important to have policies and procedures in place to minimize potential issues with staff and even customers. Not only do they help protect the business, but they also set clear guidelines and expectations for staff and customers.

Think about all of the documents that are printed in your organization each day. Do any of them contain confidential information? Is proprietary information included in those printouts? Are employees permitted to print personal copies? If not, has that policy been clearly communicated in writing to them? Now you can begin to see how printing policies can be important to your business.

Why are policies and procedures for printing important?

A printing policies and procedures document will help your business control copier and printer usage, track and log usage, potentially cache images of all printed material, and prevent misuse of company equipment and potential privacy issues.

It allows you to ensure that employees adhere to the business’s point of view regarding loss and liability. Many industries have regulations regarding privacy for legal reasons that can be addressed by this document. Finally, the policy can communicate how all of this information will be tracked and any type of action that will be taken if an employee breaks the policy.

What should be included in a printing policies and procedures document?

First you need to analyze any document privacy concerns there might be in your business and industry. Are there any industry standards, government regulations or other document privacy requirements your business needs to adhere to? Outline those.

Other items that you may want to include in the document are:

  • How usage will be tracked
  • What information will be stored: cached copy of what was printed, file name, date, tome, print features used
  • What print features specific users or user groups are allowed to use (such as color copying)
  • How many copies specific users or user groups are permitted to make
  • If personal copies are permitted
  • Restrictions on where email can be sent from a multi-function printer
  • Who should be contacted if supplies are needed for a copier or printer
  • Which printers and copiers should be utilized for different print jobs
  • Who to contact should there be a service issue

Depending on your business, you may have other items regarding printing policies you will want to include, such as proper disposal of printed items, etc.

How can a business implement their printing policies and procedures?

There are a variety of solutions available for managing printing policies and procedures. A secure print feature in the print driver or running a third-party app to track and log user print activity can be enabled. All of this allows a company to know who printed what, as  well as track the data needed to comply with the policies and procedures you have laid out for your organization.

Need assistance creating and implementing printing policies and procedures for your business? If you are located in the Canton, Akron, or Toledo areas, contact us. We would be happy to assist you!

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