If your organization is looking to cut expenses, desktop printing (one of the least audited business expenses) is a good place to start. According to IDC, organizations spend up to 3% of annual revenues on print. Gartner data shows that 90% of businesses are unable to accurately measure their printing costs. The good news is that there are many ways to reduce printing costs, once you are aware of them.

Think for a second about all of the costs (both hard and soft) attributed to printing. There’s device hardware, ink, toner, parts, supplies, maintenance costs, help desk support, etc. In each of these areas, there are opportunities to streamline the processes. Streamlining will result in a savings to the bottom line. At the end of the day, do you know the cost to your organization each time an employee hits, File > Print?

Optimize your Fleet to Reduce Printing Costs

The best way to know how to allocate these devices is through fleet optimization like a Managed Print Services program. What is Managed Print Services? Well, it’s a comprehensive strategy to help you most efficiently place devices. Putting the ones that are are low cost where you run the highest volumes and vice versa. You may think a print is a print, but each make and model has a different cost of operation. A Managed Print Solutions strategy can shed light on the costs and volumes associated with each individual device.

There are added benefits of putting all of these devices under one contract, like all service and supplies are included. It’s a very simple way to manage your document production environment, especially since your vendor will do most of the legwork for you. For more on Managed Print Services, click here.

This type of program may not be a fit for every organization. For example, some small businesses with just a couple users may only have one device, but don’t worry – we have some additional suggestions on how you can save on your print expenses.

Print to a Multifunctional Copier vs Single-Function Printer

Although traditional A3 (11×17) copiers have a more expensive up-front cost than single-function printers, their cost of operation over time is typically substantially less. The cost per page (when calculating supplies and maintenance) will be more cost-efficient to run on a multifunction copier. It’s important to consider the lifetime cost of the printer, not just the hardware cost itself.

Implement Workgroup Strategies to Reduce Print Costs

Many organizations choose to employ a workgroup strategy. A workgroup strategy is when you have one device that is shared by multiple users. This is beneficial because you are moving the print volume from costly single-use printer(s) to a more cost-efficient multifunction device.

Develop Company Print Policies

At the very least, companies should introduce a print policies that create some guidelines for users. Some examples of this might look like the following:

  • If your print job exceeds X number of pages, send the job to the multifunction copier
  • Users should print in black and white for internal documents
  • Users should duplex documents whenever possible

Most of these options can be set manually on each device, however a more efficient way to deploy these settings is through a third-party print software.

Introduce Third-Party Software to Reduce Print Costs

By introducing a print monitoring software, like PaperCut, data estimates that your print volumes will decrease by up to 19% (Source: ACDI). Reducing volume will help reduce printing costs. A print monitoring software gives you a view of volumes by user. If print volume for an individual user becomes excessive, you can set a print limit for that user.

Color printing on average is 5 to 10 times more expensive than black and white. Through a software like PaperCut, you’ll also gain the ability to allow color printing to select individuals as opposed to the whole organization. If you need a way to evaluate your current print costs so that you can calculate your actual spend, view this article.

Need help finding ways to reduce printing costs? A trusted print provider can help assess your environment so that you can eliminate the guesswork.

For more information on Managed Print Services, PaperCut offering, or a more in-depth conversation on the information in this article, please feel free to reach out to us.