Is Pull Printing, Also Known As FollowMe Or Follow-You Printing, Right For Your Company?

pull-printingPull printing allows a print job to be stored on a server and only activated once the user who sent the print job does so at a printer.

Why is this good?

Well, research shows that in the average office up to 30% of print jobs are never collected at printers. Yes, people send documents to print and then get distracted and forget to collect them.

In an office of say 20 people, a typical employee prints 2,000 sheets of paper a year. In total this company might use on average 80,000 sheets or 32 boxes of paper a year.

At a 30% non-collection rate, we could estimate that up to 24,000 sheets or 9 boxes of paper are wasted in this office. The cost in wasted paper is significant, let alone the wasted ink and toner costs or energy used to power the printers to print what is essentially waste!

Pull printing avoids this issue by making employees physically get up to activate and collect their print jobs.

Here are some of the benefits as well as drawbacks.

Benefits of pull printing

Costs: Using pull printing reduces paper use. This has obvious benefits in reducing paper and ink stationary costs

Environment: Using less paper is good for the environment. Paper is manufactured from wood pulp and lots of water. Less paper, means less trees destroyed, less water used and less emissions from production and transportation

Security: many documents printed in an office are confidential. With pull printing a user can rest assured that documents won’t be seen or collected erroneously because they need to activate print jobs at the printer

Flexibility: For companies with many networked printers, pull printing gives employees the option to go to any printer in the network to retrieve their print jobs

Drawbacks of pull printing

Speed: An obvious drawback is that users need to wait at a printer to collect their print jobs, which can take time. This can be seen as a loss in employee productivity if a print job is big, however, most jobs are only a handful of pages which take less than a minute to print

Cost: There is a cost associated with licensing pull printing technology. Typically this is more than offset by the reduction in stationary costs

Compatibility: Some printers and servers are not compatible with pull printing software, making it’s applicability restricted to certain types of print manufacturers and models

Is pull printing right for you?

Generally pull printing only makes economic sense to adopt if you have an office with more than one printing device and at least 20 employees. It may also be worth exploring pull printing if your print demand is high, for example over 50 boxes of paper a year.

Main suppliers of pull printing software

There are many suppliers who offer pull printing technology. Some have even trademarked their offerings such as FollowMe printing from Ringdale and ‘Follow-You’ printing from Equitrac.

We recommend running a quick Google search for ‘pull printing software company [your area]’ to find out if you can install pull printing today

About the Author Staff Writer

Our writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.

Leave a Comment:

David says January 28, 2016


Interesting article. You mention some research but do not cite the source:

“research shows that in the average office up to 30% of print jobs are never collected at printers. Yes, people send documents to print and then get distracted and forget to collect them”

and then later you provide what seems a very high number as an average number of pages printed per employee

“a typical employee prints 2,000 sheets of paper a year”

Can you please provide the details of where you got these figures?


kennedy kauka says July 30, 2019

we are in need of student smart card with printing facilities too

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