Managing costs is always a top priority for business owners. Some of the most manageable, but most forgotten costs, are those related to your print fleet. Here are four simple ways to better manage those costs:
1. Efficient Purchasing and Inventory Management
Your office can better manage the cost of operating a fleet of devices by establishing protocols for purchasing new supplies and developing a printer inventory. To do this, record the printer makes and models that are scattered throughout the building. An inventory of devices makes it easier to track the types of supplies needed for different machines in the office.
Once you know what you need, uncover what supplies you have in storage and use those first. When your stock of supplies runs out, select one person in your office to be responsible for purchasing new supplies (more on this in #3).
2. Streamline Your Machines
Two of the most common causes of unnecessarily high business printing costs are excessive personal printers and inefficient device placement. Unless they are vital to the daily productivity of that individual or their work requires high confidentiality, personal printers should be minimized. These devices often increase the amount of ink and toner used in offices, due in part to the fact that there is often no accountability.
Additionally, streamlining operations with a multifunction printer in a centralized location can lower costs as compared to multiple, separate machines (printer, fax, copier, scanner) situated throughout the office and used infrequently. You'll also find it easier to control supply costs with one centralized machine, compared to tracking the use and supplies for multiple devices.
If possible, you can further streamline your print fleet by paring down to devices from the same manufacturer. This makes it easier to manage the devices because you can rely on one provider for service and support.
3. Select A Point Person
As alluded to in the first point, part of the excessive cost associated with managing a print fleet comes from confusion. When all employees are allowed to place orders, there is little to no accountability for the supplies that are being ordered.
For example, two employees could go to print brochures for a project and find that the MFP is out of glossy paper used in the production of brochures.
Now you have a situation where both employees, unbeknownst to one another, go and reorder more glossy paper. Putting one person in the office in charge of orders funnels requests for supplies to that individual, eliminating the potential for double orders and better managing the costs associated with supply purchases.
4. Adjust Defaults to Increase Efficiency
Finally, get proactive in adjusting the default settings on each device in the office to enhance the cost-efficiency of printing throughout your office. The simplest step you can take is to set black-and-white printing as the default. Many print devices have color set as the default; failing to make this adjustment can result in significant cost increases for toner.
Beyond changing the print color default, you can also set 2-sided printing as a default. This way multipage print jobs will make use of both sides of a page, rather than printing off multiple pages with wasted blank space on the back.
You can even take it one step further by stocking devices only with standard paper. Employees should be required to hand load special paper stock when a job requires it, rather than leaving it loaded it all times. This could inadvertently waste expensive paper on unnecessary prints.
Implementing these four simple changes can make a big difference in the efficiency in your office and reduce your printing costs. You can also use our free print cost calculator to estimate your print costs to set a benchmark, and see the direct impact these changes have on your costs.