The reality is that the cost of printing documents, financially, materialistically and environmentally, is out of control. In most businesses, chief executives will tell you that they have either dealt with this problem, or that they are currently engaged in some effort to stop the problem from existing. Indeed, the honest belief is that costs are being cut and that offices are moving towards being paperless. Although this may be an honest belief, it is certainly not the truth.
So what is happening?
The Reality of Printing Costs.
We know for a fact that between 1% and 3% of all business turnover goes on printing costs. That is a staggering amount! Furthermore, this percentage is actually increasing, rather than decreasing.
A study was commissioned by printing giant Lexmark to illustrate this, and the results were very interesting. It showed that the majority of managers simply do not understand how much printing actually costs them. 61% of directors of finance that were surveyed did not know how much was spent in their company on printing. If the turnover of the business was above £20, 71% of directors had no idea about costs.
The Issue with Printing Costs.
Because between 61% and 71% of managers do not know just how much printing costs, it is safe to say that they also have no interest in reducing these costs. Indeed, it is not seen as a critical issue in any way. This makes controlling this issue incredibly difficult. There are also various conflicts of interests, with facilities managers and IT managers arguing over who has to monitor what.
How to Bring Down Printing Costs.
It is incredibly important that any business thinks about ways of reducing printing costs. The first step in achieving this is building an understanding of the information flow inside the business itself and between the business and its suppliers and customers. Usually, there is a mixture between digital copies and hard copies. The ultimate goal should be to completely eliminate the need for hard copies.
One of the best ways of bringing down the cost of printing, therefore, is to find ways to ensure anything available in hard copy can be made available digitally as well. Furthermore, people should be trained in how to share their information digitally. Not only is this a great cost-saving exercise, it also saves time as there is no more need to spend countless hours printing, copying and faxing.
If, however, you want to see results straight away, there are a few options out there as well, including:
- Installing duplex paper feeds. So long as people use it properly and actually print double-sided, you should see an instant 50% reduction in overall costs.
- Place all printers into economy monochrome. This means that you will save a lot of money on colour printing, which is the most expensive of all.
- Educate your staff and yourself – everybody needs to be aware of the fact that printing consumption is a real problem that has to be resolved for the greater good.