Brother research reveals print and scan habits of SMEs

Brother UK has released a new report into the latest print and scan trends, revealing that, despite aspiring to the idea of a paperless office, the majority of small businesses are struggling to reduce print volumes.

Surveying more than 800 SME managers and employees, the report – entitled Paper-lite: busting the myth of the paperless office – found that while 61% of managers are striving to reduce paper consumption, 41% say their business prints more now than it did two years ago.

The majority of managers surveyed (63%) said they couldn’t function without paper, and 71% of employees claimed that printing documents increases their efficiency at work.

Surprisingly, only half (53%) of managers said they were actually aware of their monthly print costs. They estimated spending approximately £1,502 every month on print, of which £475 goes on hardware, £468 on human resource, £351 on external IT support and £208 on consumables, including ink and paper.

Just under half (47%) said those costs had increased in the last two years.

The research points to a clear opportunity for channel firms to supply integrated print and scan systems to support efficiency, productivity and cost control, as well as benefiting the environment.

Sixty-four per cent of employees agreed that scanning documents enables a more efficient way of working, and more than a quarter (26%) reported that their use of scanners had increased in the last two years.

Nearly two thirds (65%) of employees reported that scanning has also helped improve the quality of their work, principally by reducing clutter (44%), supporting collaboration with colleagues in other locations (40%), making editing documents easier (38%) and enabling them to quality check their work more easily (37%).

Aaron Hopkinson, product and solutions manager at Brother UK, said: Our latest research shows that paper, ink and toner are still essential to the running of offices. So while the dream of a completely paperless office might be out of reach, adopting a ‘paper-lite’ approach is a realistic aspiration that most managers are striving to achieve.

This means businesses want to be smarter about how they print and reduce the amount of paper they use, and also see the value in digitising paper documents with support from scan solutions.

Our portfolio is perfectly set up to help partners capitalise on the demand for integrated print and scan solutions. With the recent launch of our X-Series range, we now have a full suite of business grade printers designed to meet the print needs of all businesses – which we can deliver alongside a strong managed print offering and scan range.”

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