Printer Fleet Management 101: A Beginner’s Guide

printer fleet management solutions
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email

What do you look for when buying new office printers? Chances are copy, speed, image resolution, scanning capabilities and reliability top the list.

While those features are important, you should also consider how your printing solution can help with continuous process improvements and increasing productivity. 

But can process and productivity improvements really be quantified? Yes. Implementing a strategy using printer fleet management solutions makes it possible.

What is Printer Fleet Management?

Printer fleet management leverages strategies and software to track printer usage across an entire fleet, including who’s printing what, when and where. 

A Managed Print Services (MPS) provider deploys the software and other tools to manage your printers and multifunction devices. The solution allows you to analyze print usage, obtain clear audit trails, pinpoint inefficiencies, control costs, ensure compliance and enforce secure printing.

What might printer fleet management look like in your organization and how do you get started?

Audit Your Existing Print Environment

A professional print assessment or audit tells you the scale of your current print environment and how it’s currently structured. Such an audit identifies red flags or inefficiencies within the print environment, and answers the following questions:

  • How many devices are being used and are they the right ones for your offices?
  • How much life is left on your current fleet?
  • How many vendors and contracts do you have to manage?
  • How many devices are owned and how many are leased?
  • What are your consumable costs and the average monthly volume of your current devices?
  • And more

An FMAudit application can also be used to discover, inventory and assess all of the print devices connected to a network. The software captures and stores information about networked printers such as the IP Address, MAC Address and current meter readings for the device. It also pulls in data to show firmware levels and whether updates are needed. This enables IT Administrators to know exactly what resources are available and their status, and informs a strategy to optimize your printer fleet.

You may discover that it’s time to standardize your printer fleet and accessories so that they’re all compatible and in compliance.

RELATED: Use Our Guide to Conduct a Preliminary DIY Print Audit

Install Print Management Software

Once you have your printer fleet in place, you’ll want to install a print fleet management solution such as PaperCut or uniFLOW to monitor your printers. It allows you to install login controls, like a card swipe, PIN, username or password protection.

If you have a large printer fleet, we recommend access controls. This makes it possible to track printer usage throughout your company, including cost reports. This data provides the best possible services for all users and helps increase productivity and efficiency based on detailed analytics.

Track Costs Across Print Devices

The goal of printer fleet management and MPS is to reduce print costs. For some, this translates to reducing the number of devices or the number of vendors, manufacturers and models in use. Lower costs also come in the form of reduced labor; your IT team won’t need to spend as much time dealing with devices.


The key to realizing savings from managing your print environment is to continually measure and adjust on an ongoing basis. With print management software and insights from your Managed Print provider, you can see areas where improvements can be made by moving, consolidating, swapping or replacing a device.

Enhance Print Security and Compliance

With the addition of authentication and document encryption found in fleet management tools, you can prevent unauthorized access to documents and networks. Implementing device login, on-demand print release, two-factor authentication and other security measures helps ensure that confidential data doesn't get in the wrong hands, either from cyberattacks or when a person retrieves a document from the printer that was meant for another individual.

RELATED: How to Ensure Print Security on Shared Printers

Support Social Responsibility Initiatives

Sustainability and cost savings often go hand-in-hand. When you use energy-efficient printers, minimize paper waste and recycle paper and older machines, you’ll reduce your environmental footprint and lower costs.

A centralized monitoring system also sends alerts to your print provider to let them know it’s time for a maintenance check or time to replenish ink and toner supplies so you don’t run out. A print provider can also retire, replace and recycle old machines based on volume data and insights from your print management software rather than user opinions. They’ll also wipe them clean of any data.

If you want to get started by conducting a self-audit of your print environment, download our Checklist for Office Printers below. Then, with your checklist in hand, contact us for a free, no-obligation Managed Print Needs Assessment.

New call-to-action

White envelope open icon

Subscribe by Email