Business Tech Playbook

#25 – Make Printing Suck Less

12 days ago
Transcript
Speaker A:

This is the business tech playbook.

Speaker B:

Your source for it.

Speaker A:

Help for your business. Come one, come all. Welcome to the two boys sick, but doing the podcast anyway. Podcast. I am your host, Rob Zolsen.

Speaker B:

And I'm your host, BJ Pope.

Speaker A:

This is actually the business tech playbook, but is that what it is?

Speaker B:

I thought we were just two sick guys coughing into our mics.

Speaker A:

Well, you know, we're in different states, but somehow we figured out a way to share. I think it's that lanyard you sent me in the mail. How dare.

Speaker B:

You know I did. I did wipe mine. Never mind.

Speaker A:

Hey, hey, hey. I knew it smelled fresh. You know what I'm saying?

Speaker B:

Well, yeah, dude, that. You got that, like, you know, five weeks ago.

Speaker A:

Well, I'm sick. I just started using it. I just took it out of the package.

Speaker B:

Got it. Smart, smart, smart. Yeah, yeah, we. It's this, this whole onset delayed sickness thing that you get from traveling. Yeah, well, that or we both have a, you know, kids in preschool and or school.

Speaker A:

Oh, it's called the disease of the month club or week club. Disease of the week club.

Speaker B:

Exactly.

Speaker A:

Yeah.

Speaker B:

I spend more time getting well from being sick.

Speaker A:

So quick tangent. I have a two year old now. The first day of daycare, she was like, what, six months old? We tried to do infant care for mom get a break type of thing and brought her in for the first day of daycare ever. She came home with hand, mouth, and foot disease, whatever that is. Right? Never heard of it in my life. Never seen it in my life. And my kid is covered in what can be only described as some sort of medieval bumonic plague. And I'm like, you poor, poor child. I'm never letting you go to daycare again. And I don't know what to do. And of course, my wife, she's like, oh, it'll be fine. She got it on her hands. She got it a little bit on her face and feet, but it was kind of mild and just itchy to her, and she just moved on. She was just out of work for a little bit. Me, I had it covering nearly everything. It was in my mouth, it was in my ears. My entire feet were covered. And like, the disease of the month club is a real thing, and it's just been downhill from there. Like, I. I am now going to give up. Like, I'm going to get mumps in like, two weeks. So it's good that I work from home.

Speaker B:

Nice knowing you, Robbie.

Speaker A:

Yeah, it's good that I work from home. So thank you for this wonderful opportunity here at Etop.

Speaker B:

Oh, goodness. Oh, that's so. That's awful bad luck, man.

Speaker A:

Just bad luck.

Speaker B:

It's bad, bad luck right there. I've managed to knock on wood, mostly just get the basics. The cold, the cough, the cold. I've actually. Well, and so the fun part is, is my, my. I have an almost four year old. He was born May of 2020. So, like, he didn't know the world existed for the first year of his life. I mean, he didn't basically leave the house for probably ten months because it was, like, the hate, you know, the peak of COVID Effectively, we didn't know if the world was going to end, was, like, the population gonna be reduced by half, like, that kind of thing. And so, like, he basically didn't get sick for, like, we didn't get sick for, like, those two years after that.

Speaker A:

It was amazing.

Speaker B:

He started getting sick. It was. That part was amazing. But then once he started getting sick, he was sick, like, every other week for, like, almost a year, because he just didn't have any immunities built up from getting stuff kind of, like, naturally, over the first two years of his life. Well, and so now he's almost four, and, like, we're finally back into the point where he. He gets sick more than he probably should, but it's like he's finally. You can see the. The immunities have finally built up, but then, you know, now they're in preschool and first grade, and so it's. You still get, like, my daughter get sick half as much as my son, but she also had kind of a, like, those first two years, you know, a lot more exposure just to kind of, like, the world.

Speaker A:

Right?

Speaker B:

And so as a result, it's an interesting, you know, two kids in the same family, like, how much that one event changed, like, the kids lives a little bit.

Speaker A:

Mine wasn't after the pandemic baby, so I didn't get to do that, but I got to see everybody else. So being in rural America, there's people that just ignored all the suggestions and laws, and then you just continued living life. And all those kids, you know, they continued doing their private daycares, private schools, the whole thing. And all those kids got the normal sicknesses and moved on and had the normal, like, resistances to stuff. All the ones that held down for a year plus, like, completely, like, stayed at home when they got out of the world. They had RSV and all kinds of craziness.

Speaker B:

So, yeah, that's why we've seen such a sorry this has gone off a tangent. My wife was a PICU nurse for, like, three or four years, and so that's pediatric ICU, staying away from the. The three letter, you know, four letter acronyms.

Speaker A:

Even when it comes to medical. Go.

Speaker B:

Even when it comes to medical. Yeah, I'll do my best. That might be the only one. So, rsvs, respiratory something, virus mainly hits children. Yeah, it mainly hits children or old folks, which I'm heading towards being one in the next, you know, ten to 20. But you watch your mouth, robs. Now, um. I don't even know where I'm going with this.

Speaker A:

You'll get your senior citizen car to Starbucks soon.

Speaker B:

There was such. There was such a suppression and people getting sick for, like, you know, like, people got Covid. Right, but they also, like, isolated, and so they didn't get anything else. And so, like, there was just a huge. There's been a huge rebound in, like, just every other kind of sickness over the last two years, just because people finally started sharing all the germs again. And so it's like, you know, it's just been an above average amount of sickness in the last two years.

Speaker A:

Well, since segues are hard, I'm going to make an attempt anyway. So another thing that we had during the pandemic is, at least I did, was some issues with printers, which is our topic of this particular podcast. So after the pandemic, we had people come.

Speaker B:

I thought you were going to say was that printers made you feel ill.

Speaker A:

I mean. Yes. Okay. Every it person, like, if they're just doing a strictly it, you say the word print. I have printer issues. They had. There's a chill that goes down every it back, just like, oh, I have to do that. It's like they have to, you know, like a farmer has to scoop crap out of the dairy barn. It's like the worst part of his job.

Speaker B:

So there's literally a something that happened in, like, I think it was late night 2019, early 2020, called print nightmare. It was a driver update from Microsoft that basically broke all the print drivers.

Speaker A:

All of them.

Speaker B:

And literally it was called print nightmare, because, like, if you didn't do it, it basically, there was a, like a critic, I think a cve nine. So that's the critical vulnerability tool that we track. So it was like a very high, like, 9.9, which is pretty close to. As high as you can get.

Speaker A:

Yeah. Scale of ten, one of the most open vulnerabilities that you needed to patch your stuff immediately, and then when you did, it took down the took down all printing.

Speaker B:

It basically broke. All printers.

Speaker A:

Yeah. So you see there, do you want your stuff wide open or do you want to not print? And people had some hard decisions to make, and it people had to fight business people. I need to print. I need you not to get hacked. And it was this big argument for a couple days before they got attached. But anyways, right after Covid, I had a wonderful issue. A lot of my business firms left the office and left printers alone. The big multifunction printers, the big office shared printers, the copiers and whatnot, were more or less fine. All of the little printers, what we call inkjet printers, that were in some of the small business offices, and these were generally ones that they purchased on their own. Most of the inkjet printers you can purchase, generally, we try not to get these for businesses for this particular reason. When they came back after the pandemic to go back to their office, all of their inkjet cartridges dried up and actually ruined the heads of the printers on a mass scale on a lot of different of these HP brother canon printers. So they came back and they're like, well, I need my printers fixed. I'm like, well, your printer is $170 to $200. We're going to have that charge. Just have a professional come out and clean your heads and fix your printer. So came the mass throwaway of printers after Covid, for a lot of the businesses I worked with, because they all dried up and no one wanted to touch them.

Speaker B:

Yeah, it's true. It's why for a lot of the home stuff, we've recommended to some of our clients. So one of our biggest clients is about an 80 person law firm. And so, as everyone knows, law firms love to print paper. We managed to help them be almost completely paperless, as any law firm can be. But we ended up doing like the little desktop laser printers, like those little HP, I think two thousands or something. Those things were pretty bulletproof for what they were, and you could get several thousand pages per cartridge. It was pretty impressive little units, actually, so they don't dry up the same way.

Speaker A:

Yeah. What we'd like to do is just take this podcast and go over a little tips and tricks on how to make printing suck less and what you should be doing and shouldn't be doing in the printing world, no matter what, especially for it people. Printing is always going to be a bit of a struggle. It's not our favorite topic to deal with. It's a lot of the drudge. Because printers are troublesome, we try to.

Speaker B:

Stay in the digital world and eliminate paper, but then people still need paper to make their life go round.

Speaker A:

And so here's, here's the rule of thumb. Anytime you can have a user, user error, there's going to be error. That's the rule of thumb. We're not going to pick on people. People are people. But anytime that you can have user error, that's where you're going to have it. In software, you can write things where people can't click in certain areas, and you can define areas, and how people can use software, hardware, you can put some, you know, paper in the wrong spot, you can jam a lid, you can press the wrong button, you can unplug a device. There's nothing that takes a it person and stop someone from misusing something, even though it's extremely intuitive. So printers astonished me.

Speaker B:

Some of the things I've seen on printers over the years, you would, you'd be amazed at how you can insert a toner cartridge or inkjet cartridge. It's really wild how poorly people can install some of these things.

Speaker A:

Just a couple scenarios, just show the human error on the stuff that we've done with. When you add paper, simple paper, to a tray in a printer, that should be an easy task. I know BJ and I have probably been to a house call where they can't figure out the printer, and it's an expensive printer, go in there, and they found out that you never took the plastic off the paper ream.

Speaker B:

I haven't seen that one before.

Speaker A:

I've had that a couple times. I just shoved it in there, and they expected the printer to know how to open it.

Speaker B:

So probably the most common thing that I saw, like, with printers, the paper path is exceptionally important, right? Like, so paper moves through the machine. So, like, that initial entry point on the paper path is exceptionally important. So obviously, you can't have it wrapped in plastic still. Like, that's a biggie. But, like, you need the sides to be tight and the back to be tight, so that way it has something to push against, because those little rollers, you're basically taking those little rubber rollers inside the paper, inside the printer, are taking paper from sitting still to moving fast enough through the machine that it can print it effectively. Like, there's a lot of. It's a pretty, pretty precise machine when you really consider what it's doing.

Speaker A:

I had one of, in a prior life where we had a service contract, and we would go there once every two weeks, and we would do a couple different servicings. Physically, we'd have to change a physical backup that we'd put from the server. We would change out toner cartridges in their main printers and a couple other cleanup things that they'd pay us to do contractually. Customer no longer wanted to pay us to do this, so we taught the person what to do. That person was out sick, and they didn't tell us to come, so we would take care of that person's spot, and they didn't share that information with the person that was supposed to back them up. So when they were told, hey, we're out of toner, they didn't call us. And the new person pulls up the toner cartridge, tries to open it, and covers herself head to toe in toner. You know, it's just a mechanical thing where no matter if you're an expert or not or used a printer, even if you're us, we screw it up. It's just a physical piece of tech that's so prone to different errors that it just makes, it gives us anxiety when we hear printer issues well.

Speaker B:

And typically, the. My favorite is, like, on the copier for our, for our clients. Like, we really lean into, like, copier vendor relationships because there's so much, they're so complicated at a machine level that for us, it's like we need to be able, like, if we can get onto the machine on the network and the print drivers are set up right on the server, like, that's where we pretty much stop in almost all the relationships. Because it's like, if there's anything wrong with a printer, like, we need you to be able to work with the copier vendor because we. There's a lot of different varieties. Like, you could have ten different trays, you could have ten different outputs. Like, it's. It's really a clear understanding of, like, we don't do the physical element of it because there's just so much that can go wrong. Like, we are very limited in how much we recommend printers, just not because we don't want to and not we're not willing to, but just because, like, there's just a lot of. There. It's the transition from the digital element to the physical element that can be really confusing.

Speaker A:

So before we get too much into the tricks, we're going to tell you the different types of printers. So we talked about inkjet printers. Inkjet printers are the most expensive printer for usage. They're the cheapest printer overall. So if you go to Walmart, you can get an inkjet printer for close to $100. Maybe $150 you can go in there and that's the everyday, I'm not going to do a ton of pages, but I need to print consistently. Printer that's the residential grade inkjet printer. They come in cartridges. They actually use liquid in the cartridge. And when sitting too long and haven't been used, they dry up and dry up the heads. But because it's so cheap, a lot of times the printer itself is as cheap as the cartridges or close to in a lot of scenarios. So they become, quote unquote, the disposable printer. If it doesn't work, throw it away, get a new one. There is no servicing, there is no headache. And these a lot of times the more downfall, not just the disposability of them, because they're really not that intended to be serviceable, but the ink is severely expensive. When we say it's the cost of the printer, we're not kidding. When you get that $128 hp printer from Walmart, it's dollar 89 for a set of cartridges in a lot of scenarios. So cost per page is what we're talking about with business. And there's no higher cost per page than an inkjet printer. So, usage over time, if you're going to actually be printing something, you're spending more money on an inkjet printer than you ever will be in than any other printer. We're going to list here besides a.

Speaker B:

Plot, even, even the, even the full color lasers. I mean if you have any kind of, and obviously like for home use or for like, even our office, like we hilariously have an inkjet printer here at our office that we've had for 14 years, I think. I mean, we bought this thing for like $400 at office depot back in when we started the company. But we print so little that it works for us. Probably go through a set of cartridges a year, maybe two if it fits.

Speaker A:

And ships work it. But know that it's one of those.

Speaker B:

Things where it's like, we know our cost per prints high, we don't care because we just don't print that much. But for somebody like a, any kind of manufacturing or legal, where they're going to be printing out hundreds of pages a day, that's like literally the most expensive way you can do it because you'll be going through a set of cartridges a week and now you're spending four or $500 a week on your, a month on toner very easily so it can get out of control.

Speaker A:

Now, again, we're managed it people. We are your it department. And you pay us to be your it department. There's managed print people, like we spoke of before. They have people that know the numbers. I used to know some of the demographics. They say if you print over 20, was it 22 pages a week? All the ink gen printers aren't worth it. So do your math. If you're doing, you know, 20 pages a week, you should be not doing an inkjet printer. And even then, I still wouldn't purchase an inkjet printer because that toner cartridge for a laser printer is still going to last you longer. I have a toner printer in the other room that was given to me, and it was 13 years old, and it was used by a manager that rarely printed off of it. It still has its original toner cartridge. It's a little faded by now. And I just slapped the side of it because I do one page a month. You know, I got to do, like, that one thing. I got to return to Amazon a month. So I just slap the side of the toner, slap that thing back in there, and I still got the original toner cartridge. It lasts forever. Not. Not an even line.

Speaker B:

Well, and it's a different type. It's a totally different technology. It uses lasers and static, well, it uses basically static electricity and lasers to bake it onto the page. So it's using a dry ink. And so since it starts as a dry powdered ink, it never, there's nothing to really go, go wrong on it as much.

Speaker A:

There's no clotting up, there's no drying out, that it's just going to work.

Speaker B:

Little tubes with ink in them that are going to dry. Like, part of why our printer has worked so well is it the way the cartridge was built is like, the cartridge has the head in it. So it literally, every time we put in a new cartridge, it's got a new head. So it just, it happens to work really well. There's no complicated, like, tubing with ink drying in it. And every time we replace the cartridge, it just, we throw, it puts a new printer nozzle on it, so.

Speaker A:

Right.

Speaker B:

It ends up working really well for us.

Speaker A:

Now, again, the main two printers, inkjet and Laserjet. Laserjet is the one with the toner that we talked about that he just described. And those are generally done as the business class printers. Those are the ones that are going to be used for the business purposes. They're going to last the longest. They're going to cost you a bit more. But they're, overall, the print per page and how long they last, it's going to be well, well worth spending the extra money. But we have the trouble, especially with some of our businesses, that say, hey, I don't want to spend 400, $500 on a printer when a $120 printer should get me what I need. And then we're telling them, hey, you do 500 pages in two weeks, this is, this is not, this is not going to be $120 printer, we promise you. And on top of it, the other thing we haven't talked about is drivers. When you get the laser versus inkjet printers. When you get the laser versus inkjet printers. The inkjet printers almost always come with residential, there are residential printers. They come with residential drivers, which means we can't just plug it in, download a simple driver, have it connect, or download it to a server, to your network and have it connect the way.

Speaker B:

We want it everywhere.

Speaker A:

We have to instead download grandma's versions of her drivers, which means they're going to have some sort of wizard that's going to take you a half an hour. They're going to have you register with HP. We're going to give that as an example. They're going to register with HP. They're going to go through a wizard that's going to want you to connect it to wireless, which you never wanted in the first place. They're going to try to sign you up and sell you some ink cartridges because they want to get you on a subscription. They're going to try to show you this cool photo collage software that they're going to want to put on, put on there. It's going to come with a ton of support reminders and bloatware. It's going to be smart. Yes. It's going to put on all of this garbage software on your computer that business doesn't want at all because we know exactly how to install it. And that couple minute installation process turned into pulling teeth.

Speaker B:

There's, it's very true. Well, and it's honestly like, why in many cases, I really, I lean into like anyone that's got any kind of print volume. We really recommend going with a print like a copy vendor because typically they can pay their monthly subscription or their, like the lease payment on the, whatever their copier is. They get the machine and then they get x amount of prints per month included. And then the copier vendor automatically ships some toner every single month. And so they don't even have to worry about it. So it's like instead of having to remember to go on to Amazon and order your toner and, or ink or whatever, and you get pro level drivers. You get support. Well, that also typically includes support on the machine. So if anything breaks, they send out a tech and they fix it?

Speaker A:

Yeah, they service the machine. They take care of the drivers. They take care of the cartridge. All you got to do is make sure you click print that. That's. That's the whole service, so you don't have to worry about any of it. And then when your printer gets out of service warranty, they're already either calling you, saying, we want to renew, because that was part of your commitment and contract, and then we'll just get you a new one, or it's already a part of your automatic renewal service, where they just bring out a new one, and then it's like, oh, I completely forgot. I'm getting a new printer. Fantastic.

Speaker B:

Exactly. Well, and so it just, it takes kind of the brain having to think about it, and it simplifies the amount of pieces in your brain that you have to worry about. And so, like, in this case, we know the copier vendors and the equipment ids of almost every single, almost every single one of our clients. And so, as a result, like, if you're having a problem, if we're having a problem with a driver or something not working, like, on the network side, great, we can just call them and we'll take care of it with them. If we don't typically deal with a physical side of it, but, like, that physical side, then your employee can just call and be like, hey, I'm having a problem with, you know, ABC 123, you know, copier, and they, they will walk them through fixing it, or they'll send out a tech to fix it, which in my mind is just, it's such a smart thing to do because, frankly, who wants to deal with it.

Speaker A:

Have the service taken care of. So now we went through inkjet printer, laser printer. I know it sounds old, but we still have dot matrix printer. So those of, those of us that are a little older on the audience. Remember the old printers of yesteryear, stuff robs that came in a reel. It was a continuous paper feed, and then you'd hear the noises as it printed. Those were a thing of the past.

Speaker B:

Saw one at a client, like three weeks ago. The part that was amazing is. So their invoices were on a re, on the feed, but the checks that they printed, they were a check that had the tractor feed on the side, but it was a, it was a standard size check. It was the weirdest thing I'd ever seen. I didn't realize that she, like, literally had a box of checks with tractor, tractor feed on them. It was actually really cool.

Speaker A:

So, yeah, the dot matrix printer is a series that puts a head over the paper in a reel, kind of like an old school typewriter, and actually burns in the, you could say, font or type onto it. And these things literally will continue working. The one that was manufactured in 1980 will continue working long after I leave this planet. People still use original ones that from 1980. Now they have to have adapters, and I'm assuming the software is long out of support, but there is now a rise in this technology because no one wants to deal with toner, no one wants to deal with ink, and people still have basic printing needs, and they are finding new ways to have old technology work for them, because this is just a cool way of printing. So now there's an uptick in these things for, like you said, checks and simple, simple prints.

Speaker B:

As funny as it sounds, a lot of it is because of the triplicate ability of these things, because they actually have an impact head that hit goes through ink, or. So it can apply either ink, or it can do like, the impact based printing, I believe, like a carbon paper. Like a carbon papers. So in some senses, like that triplicate is a very effective way because they can print once and then they separate it, and now they've got all three. Like, they can have their pages that route different directions based on color. So, you know, the white piece goes into my file, the pink piece is the bill of lading, and it goes to out onto the warehouse floor, and the yellow piece gets shipped to the client as an invoice, so they can have one print, do all three things, and they don't have to print it out three times.

Speaker A:

Yeah. So the main ways, the three ways that these dot print matrix printers work is they all have the head that pushes a pin down and uses the dots to actually some not puncture, but press into the paper. So they either use the carbon, they use an ink soaked ribbon cloth that you put into these machines, or some have a burning element with a special paper. So this is having a resurgence? Yeah, those are a special old variety. They were cut like a thermal paper.

Speaker B:

And then there was an old variety that actually disappeared. That should have. But it was interesting. Do you have, do you have a moment?

Speaker A:

Well, this is the podcast to have a moment.

Speaker B:

It was a wax printer. I think it was Xerox had a. It was the, one of the original color wax printers. Like this thing. It was called the color cube. That's what it was. You would put these. They still make them go on. Yeah. No longer sold. Okay. So basically it was literally a, like a wax cube that you would drop into these things. They were called phasers. So this is going back. I had like a totally, this memory. So you could have these like, wax cubes. So they would have a print capacity of 8600 pages for $210. It was actually not a bad deal when you look at it, but they had a black cube and then four color cubes, and they would use wax to print pages.

Speaker A:

I think I remember was, wasn't. Those are the ones that caught on fire and that's why they stopped making.

Speaker B:

Them because, because they were hot and they had like, hardened wax in them.

Speaker A:

Wow. Well, the more, you know, the other.

Speaker B:

You know, the more, you know, to stay away from it.

Speaker A:

Yeah, apparently that's, that's a thing of the past. So the other ones that we see are thermal printers. And we, we see the thermal printers in receipt papers. So if you go to a chili's and you get a receipt, that's, I'm almost guaranteeing you a thermal page that is literally a special paper, that it burns real quick in a print shield receipt in just a moment. And that's common.

Speaker B:

You also see that in warehousing a lot.

Speaker A:

Yep. Generally labels all the label receipts, those quick types of prints. You don't traditionally see thermal printers in full page. They generally take special roles to do this. So that's why those pages aren't normally seen in the traditional letter size formats.

Speaker B:

Yeah, well, so the thermal, it doesn't so much burn, but it's literally, it's just a heat sensitive paper. And so it just literally will heat, heat transfer the print to the page.

Speaker A:

Yep.

Speaker B:

Which is also why you don't want to leave them out in the sun, because you leave them outside in the heat, southern California heat, and the labels start to go brown really fast.

Speaker A:

I was going to say that must happen at your place because I don't think it ever happened here.

Speaker B:

Yeah, well, it's, it's not something that happens in like, you know, a day or two or three. So, like, Amazon prime is safe shipping me something or like any of these major ones. But, man, if you leave those labels, like, out in the hot garage over summer, you come back the next, you know, at the end of the summer and they're like browned and, yeah, the heat transfer worked.

Speaker A:

So those are the normal major form of printers. The only other addition is multifunction printers. So multifunction printers are almost exclusively laser printers. They have the ink, the toner cartridges, but they able to do a lot more. These are the ones that have the higher capabilities. So they're able to fold papers, put staples in papers, they're able to categorize to different drawers. They're able to handle more sheets of different size papers. They're able to do all different types of business class stuff. And you can get this from a small desktop variety to ones that could fill a room and could literally, you can click print and they will make you a booklet out to the other end. It's very impressive. What some of these multifunction printers can do depends on your business needs and what you need when you hit print and how much you want them to do versus you do manually.

Speaker B:

Well, and to be very, like you said, some of these really high end ones, they're effectively like an entire digital print shop in like a unit. So you can, this is how a lot of Amazon authors are doing things. So Amazon has these really big, like, production printers effectively. And you can print out, it'll send in, here's the thing. It'll do the COVID it'll do the entire inside, it'll bind it and spit it out the other side. So it'll basically build an entire paperback book and, you know, 30 seconds and these whatever a minute even. But it's completely, completely without human, human interaction there.

Speaker A:

These units are generally modular. So if you've seen like your general big size photocopier at work, imagine just sticking multiple of these photocopiers in a train together. They're made to do that. And then each section pushes the paper to the next section. To do the next part, you need to fold here, you need a staple here, you need it to go together here. And it just continues going down the train until it's finally done and pops out at the end. It's very impressive.

Speaker B:

They're amazing.

Speaker A:

Yes.

Speaker B:

Yeah. They're really an entire assembly line inside of a printer, which, again, goes back to how complicated some of these units are. I mean, there's hundreds and thousands of pieces in these things and lots of extremely fast moving, delicate things.

Speaker A:

The last asterisk on these printers is a new trend that isn't that new, but resurging and is really common right now, especially in the residential world. And that I want people to know, though, that is not a business class printer is what they call either tank or super tank printers. These are just inkjet printers. Instead of you having a cartridge that's pre filled with fluid, you instead try to save money, quote unquote quote, by having these reservoirs where you just take a bottle of ink and fill your own ink into these reservoirs. These are good and bad. If you're doing prints at home and you use to go through a lot of ink for your inkjet printer, it can work for you.

Speaker B:

They are a lot cheaper. Yep, they are a lot cheaper on the ink side.

Speaker A:

On the ink side. However, maintenance wise, these are a lot more of a nightmare. People generally don't buy the correct ink for them. They clog continually when they pop the cap open. Dust and debris get in the reservoirs and they're not changing out the reservoirs and heads. So after the first few uses, they get clogged a lot faster than just throwing the cartridge away. As far as maintenance goes, these things don't seem to last near the cartridge lasting unless you're using them legitimately all the time.

Speaker B:

I haven't seen those enough to really have an opinion on them. I've heard that they are a lot cheaper to operate. So, like the, the actual printer cost is higher, but the operational cost is lower. But that being said, I haven't had enough personal experience to really form an opinion.

Speaker A:

I've had, I've had a bunch of them pop up through my family. Even my mother is a big inkjet fan and won't listen to me about laser. And she went through six of these and got mad because Hp just stopped warranting them because hers kept clogging. Just, just not fun. If you're not going to use them and you're. Let them sit. Just not, not a good thing to. Not a good thing to do, right.

Speaker B:

Well, at the end of the day, it's a big part of why we really do lean into, like, for small, like, small personal lasers for clients or. Honestly, brother printers have been pretty good from like a personal, like, MF multifunction type printer.

Speaker A:

Yeah, we're not sponsored. This is just our opinions that we've seen from small printers is brother backs a lot of their stuff for the small printers. Otherwise, if you're going to do the bigger printers. I know BJ and I are both fans of kyocera. You know, no printer is perfect and all printers suck. We're going to be the first person to tell you that. But those are the ones that have. We've had better success with.

Speaker B:

For sure. They suck the least. We'll leave it at that. No, realistically, like Robbie said, I really do like the Kyocera brand. They have a number of different sizes they have a really good like multifunction printer. We have had a client where they ended up buying, buying one for every single desk because it had a scanner in it or scanner copier and the laser printer all in one unit. And it was like those things were just reliable. Like they were going through 100,000 pages a month per person and like, it worked great for them.

Speaker A:

So not an exaggeration. That's a. They're just a lot of paper heavy people.

Speaker B:

Yeah.

Speaker A:

They ingest all their work via paper.

Speaker B:

Well, and they have to. So that was actually a client that predated you?

Speaker A:

Oh, never mind.

Speaker B:

Yeah, no, this was a client, but that predated you. That basically they did heavy load permitting.

Speaker A:

Oh.

Speaker B:

And so like they had to generate paper packets for every single load that they would then mail to the truckers. So if you ever saw like a jet being transported down the road, these guys probably permitted it. Wow, it was pretty cool.

Speaker A:

Now, the, the easy tips of how to manage it. Number one, when you get a printer, even if it's a one of these residential printers, try to find the business drivers or the, what we call generic drivers. If you go to HP website, brother website, most of the time, or at least some of the time, HP has now been removing them, you'll find the generic or business drivers. Those have none of the bloatware that we talked about, none of the wizard tools to set it up that grandma would require to walk them through. Instead you just install it. They're clean. They have none of the bloatware in them. Look for those drivers and then two when installing this. Generally speaking, printers aren't used by just one person. If it is, great, but still consider installing it to one central location. If you have a server, that's the location you want to do it. Generally we have a file server. We're going to use the file server as the share for the printers. All printers are going to be shared off of the one server, and that's going to be our printer library that everybody installs their printer off of. That way we don't have to redownload drivers for every single machine. We don't have to update the drivers for every single machine. We can instead just have one centralized location where this is installed on and maintained from.

Speaker B:

Well, and there are some really good driverless or not driverless, they're really good print, serverless print deployment tools. We happen to use printer logic relatively regularly because we can deploy printers to groups and to areas, all without having to manually like deploy them. The other elements to consider there are, if you're getting, if you do need a personal computer for like a home user, please make sure to give them a USB cable because you're going to have a lot less headaches than trying to get them to connect it to their home wiFi. In fact, we will only support personal computers or personal printers over USB because it's just too much of a headache trying to get them to because now we're adding in like all of these complicated elements, it changes. We need to be hardwired and needs to be USB or it needs to be ethernet. It's just going to be ten times more reliable.

Speaker A:

So another one, you said printer logic. Another common one that I've used is paper cut. That's one that you have to pay for. It's for bigger business that gives you more management tools to manage how many pages people are allotted and also controls access. So if you want only certain people printing, that would give you keys of the kingdom type management as well. So then people would walk up to the printer, they would type in their pin number and then they could print type of a system or release their prints. Would be the better way of putting that.

Speaker B:

No, absolutely.

Speaker A:

Things to try to check into also is if you have a printer on the network like you already plugged in to an ethernet cable, or you already know it's got connected to the wireless, instead of going to the manufacturer's website and downloading the driver, you can first go to your Windows settings and then search for the printer. If you're not sharing it off of a server or using printer logic using this function can actually see and check the network for the printer and then use windows to automatically install the driver for you. A lot of times that can get you through quick, easy and then not have more bloatware on your computer.

Speaker B:

Exactly. The other, I suggest your lord and savior, a PDF editor. See, that way you don't have to print anything. I'm joking.

Speaker A:

No, no, you're, you're, you're correct. Most people think that they have to print something to save a copy of something like an email. Yeah. Print, print a PDF is your friend.

Speaker B:

Print a PDF is a meme. I actually saw a workflow where somebody printed out 8000 pages. So that way they, it was a worker's comp attorney that we were as a prospect, they literally were printing out 8000 pages because it was quicker and easier for them to strip out all of the duplicate pages because the opposing counsel would just send them like tens and tons, tons and tons and tons of duplicate data. So they were literally printing out every single page in the packet and then resorting it so that way the order set worked for them and then throwing everything away that they didn't need and then rescanning it in. And I'm just like, what it? But it actually was one of those things where it's like, the actual workflow was faster because they can like, touch the pages.

Speaker A:

That's probably one of the rare occasions where it'd be, be faster. But, yeah, we wouldn't believe how many times we've taken it for granted where people didn't even recognize that they had the printapedia function. People would be in business for 30 years. We would consider them a IT expert. Actually, they wouldn't be an IT role, but they would be a subject matter expert in softwares in their company. They would be leaders in training on different technology in their company. But then we'd say, hey, why are you printing this out? Why can't you just print it to PDF? And it's like, we taught them how to slice bread for the first time. Printing to printing to PDF. And like, you mean I don't have to print 10,000 pages?

Speaker B:

And once I showed somebody the extraction and, like, document rearranging tools inside of like PowerPDF or Adobe Acrobat Pro, it's pretty wild. You can do a ton for sure. But this is me running out of things to say about printers other than you. Printers.

Speaker A:

No last notes that I have that people would see is the necessary need for plotters. Just in case you have questions out there on plotters. Plotters are the banner printers. Essentially, they're the ones that are huge, wide format. You either print the big blueprints for construction, you print the big banners for your birthday party or business, business events. Those are the big marketing printers. And there is nothing special that we would have for those. Generally, it's just manufacturer recommendations. There's only a handful of vendors that make those plotter printers. Traditionally, we see HP as the, the name of the game on those. If you're using those, you already know they're expensive, and you're extremely hesitant to ever click print on those, those deals.

Speaker B:

And you know you need it.

Speaker A:

And you know you need it.

Speaker B:

But it's, but it's a reason. Like, it's a specific need. And we have a number of like, contractor type clients that have plotters, but again, they're very, you know, a print might be $30 a page kind of thing, just because they're so wide, so big very specific types of print. The maintenance is expensive. These are definitely things that I recommend having a maintenance contract on simply because, like, I guarantee we won't touch it. Like, that's just not a, like, we'll make sure that it's got Internet. Yeah, we'll install it to it. Like, we'll do the digital side of it, but that's a hard pass on.

Speaker A:

Yeah, we'll install it. We'll make sure it's connected to the computer. But that definitely, we like to see a service contract on for the complications of that and the expense. The only thing that I would like to add for the plotters that I seem to get always forgotten. I've seen a few times in my career where no one covers them, and this is a huge downfall, in my opinion. Hp says you don't have to, but I can't tell you how many times a person in the middle of the night that was doing maintenance cleanup, dropped a small, or was vacuuming and flung a small piece or a rock from the carpet into the plotter printer and ruined your multi thousand dollar machine. So when you're done with it, put a cover over it, even if it's a. You want to purchase a, you know, decorative bed sheet, something to cover it for the entrance of those, those plotter heads. I have seen little objects in the office just from a cleaning lady. Break these in the past, and they'll pull it up and they're like, oh, it's a piece of a Lego. Some kid was walking in there and just shoved it in the crevice. Your face. Your face.

Speaker B:

I've never seen that happen.

Speaker A:

Does it three times?

Speaker B:

Three times? Well, you. Times where the kids and their legos existed at the same place as a plotter.

Speaker A:

One time was a Lego, the other two times was debris from the maintenance person.

Speaker B:

I can literally say I've never, never seen that. But top tip here, folks. Top tip. Yeah.

Speaker A:

I mean, they're multi thousand dollar units. Don't let stuff fall into them. It's. I mean, that's the only thing I can say. Or just put it in a. Put it in a closed room, you know, where no one has access behind the locked door.

Speaker B:

That's.

Speaker A:

That could work, you know?

Speaker B:

Right.

Speaker A:

Haven't seen anybody screw it up when it's in the closet, you know?

Speaker B:

Right, exactly.

Speaker A:

I love your face. Well, next episode, we're gonna do 3d printers. Just kidding.

Speaker B:

What?

Speaker A:

As the next episode, we'll do 3d printers.

Speaker B:

No, you're right. Oh, great. Yes.

Speaker A:

We'll get Brandon on here for that one.

Speaker B:

Yeah, I will. I will run away. Run away. I don't even like 3d printers just because there's printers in their name.

Speaker A:

Last, last. Before we leave, I didn't want to thank you for listening. You know, share this with a friend and my own personal vendetta. I just want to say dye HP smart software. So I put that out there.

Speaker B:

I can. I can get behind that. And if you've made it this far, like, and subscribe, because you obviously are patient and tolerant of printers.

Speaker A:

Yeah. HP smart software is. Is my bane of my existence.

Speaker B:

Agreed. All right, well, on that bombshell, I'll.

Speaker A:

Get the tattoo on my leg. Here we go.

Speaker B:

Die HP smart. If you come to the office, I'll pay for it.

Speaker A:

Hey, there is a tattoo parlor right next to.

Speaker B:

There's a tattoo shop right next to our office. Like, there's a hair salon, a tattoo shop, and an it company. I feel like that's the start of a joke, but we all sat in.

Speaker A:

A bar and be like, how was your day?

Speaker B:

You're right. Users. Am I right?

Speaker A:

Till the next time.

Speaker B:

See you later.

Episode Notes

Dot matrix printer new LOL Amazon.com: Epson Lq-590ii 24-Pin Dot Matrix Printer : Office Products

For more episodes got to http://businesstechplaybook.com

Find more on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-pote-75a87233

This podcast is provided by the team at Etop Technology: https://etoptechnology.com/

Special thanks to Giga for the intro/outro sounds: https://soundcloud.com/gigamusicofficial