Print costs are sneaky. They can creep up on the most eagle eyed of purchasers or IT directors and quickly spiral out of control. According to the technology research group Gartner, print costs 1 to 3% of a business's total revenue. It's no small amount! Luckily, cutting these costs isn't complicated or out of reach. Here are the five most reasonable ways A&A Office Systems recommend saving money on print.
Update Your Print Fleet
I'm going to get this one out of the way because it's the one businesses with old machines are most likely to consider first anyway. It's not a close kept industry secret. But, it is important to consider that your decade old copier is definitely going to be holding you back. Modern machines are not only more power and print efficient, they require fewer service calls and their parts more readily available. While there is an upfront cost to updating your fleet, the long term savings is worth it.
We recommend considering your options when your copier is between 5 and 7 years old.
Consolidate to Multifunction Printers
Reeling in costs is difficult if your business relies on a multitude of desktop printers, especially if they're not networked. The convenience desktop printers provide to the end user is undeniable, however, it can be difficult to ascertain just how much they're being used and managing the costs is a chore.
Eliminating desktop printers and strategically deploying multifunctional printers (MFP) in your business reduces total costs. Connecting your MFP to your network can also give your IT team more control of print usage.
Take Advantage of Managed Print Services
The value of managed print services (MPS) such as Printfleet or Print Audit comes from tying your copier's service and supplies costs into a single click charge. Here at A&A, we use Print Audit in our MPS program to monitor our customers' networked copiers to proactively dispatch service or ship supplies without intervention. So there's not only a cost savings with MPS, but a good MPS program with a trusted partner can also save time and a lot of hassle.
Read More About MPS: 3 Empowering Benefits of a Managed Print Service
Install Tracking Software
Modern tracking software offers really powerful and flexible ways to monitor and control print costs. Applications such as PaperCut and Ricoh Enhanced Locked Print NX with FlexRelease not only give metrics on user behavior, they also give control measures such as forcing double sided print or limiting color pages, as well the ability to assign budget controls to each department or user.
For the end user, these applications also carry benefits such as "follow me" printing, which stores the print job in a central server and releases it to the machine of their choice with a personal login or card authentication.
Digitize Important Documents and Workflows
It probably seems like common sense to encourage users to print only what is necessary, but without systems or procedures in place to actually facilitate that edict, users will find ways to justify the necessity of their print jobs. Instead, consider scanning your company's files to a digital format, either in-house or through a third party service, to help meet your goals. This will not only save a tremendous about of time, but because everything is readily available at the touch of a button, it can also curb unnecessary print jobs.
Additionally, many modern document management applications, such as those from Laserfiche and Digitech Systems, also include powerful automated workflow components for commonly used forms and approval processes.
Keeping your print costs down doesn't have to be difficult, or costly (that would defeat the purpose)! Most solutions not only save you money, but have a lot of great added benefits as well. It sometimes takes a little bit of an adjustment to company culture, but we're confident that implementing one or more of these solutions will bring you savings in the long run.