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Want to Cut Office Printing Costs? Here's How You Do It
April 9, 2016
Earlier this week, as part of their Small Business Solutions Blog, Xerox provided a handy infographic originally prepared by Justin Milligan, Managing Director of UK-based Xenith Document Systems. Mr. Milligan unveils in the posting a method that includes seven different steps to lead you to a more efficient and money-saving office.
Step 1: Rationalize your printers
It sounds like a simple enough idea, but it does take some thought and consideration to be done correctly and effectively. Milligan notes that there is a good chance your organization has more printers than it actually needs to maintain an efficient print environment. Though potentially controversial, removing personal printers and opting instead for shared workgroup printers can positively impact your bottom line. Milligan points to research by Info Tech Research Group that revealed organizations can save as much as 65% in printing costs through consolidation.
Step 2: Standardize your printers
Again, a simple enough idea that can really work when you think about it. No longer does an office manager or IT department representative have to keep track of who needs what kind of ink or toner. In addition to the consumables, it also makes it easy to keep up with new updates to the printers and support for each of the units.
Step 3: Increase accountability and transparency
By opting for a print management system like pull-printing or via a card, IT personnel can monitor printing behavior of employees. Introducing print monitoring should result in employees thinking more before they print and holding them accountable should reduce unnecessary prints.
Step 4: Re-educate your staff
Related to the previous step, some printing behaviors can stave off larger financial burdens before they impact a bottom line. While we are not at an entirely paperless place in business, employees should be encouraged to seek new ways to remove printing from workflows and reduce the use of consumables if possible.
Step 5: Implement intelligent print job management
Another quick and simple way to reduce unnecessary printing is queueing them until the owner of the print job chooses to release it. By using this method, output sent to the printer that is never triggered means those pages and ink/toner can be used by someone else who releases their own job from a printer. Anyone who has ever spent time in an office environment or on a college campus with no management system in place knows too well how many uncollected pages are set aside and never collected.
Step 6: Dump the paper and go digital
While many offices may not be ready for this step yet, as it is a drastic one, removing traditional printing altogether would obviously lessen any money spent on printer consumables, freeing that money to be used for another line item in an office, department, or company budget. Milligan suggests that as an alternative to printing, staff can be encouraged to share data seamlessly through document management systems with their choice of device, improving their mobility and flexibility.
Step 7: Outsource printer management
This is certainly something we have talked about a great deal on our blog. Milligan points to research conducted by IDC that shows that 30% of businesses could save money by outsourcing print management to a service provider. Opting for this step would allow a company to have help to meet all of the previous steps outline above. Further, a good MPS provider will be able to assist organizations with managing legacy systems or integrate new printers with the existing ones.
In conclusion, Milligan has three solid takeaways worth noting. The first is that a solid print cost reduction program can yield as much as 41% for companies or organizations year on year. Second, Milligan says that headline print costs can mask other important things for businesses to be aware of including inefficient processes, inability to locate information, and errors caused by transcribing data from printed sheets. Lastly, and perhaps most alarmingly, print costs continue to increase—not decrease—at a rate of 26% year on year.