Unmasking the True Cost of Printing

Even though an average of 2% of annual revenues are consumed with office printing, most companies have no idea how much they are spending to operate their fleet of laser printers. Most costs associated with printing go unaudited and most organizations spend far more in print reproduction than they realize.

Print reproduction is expensive. In fact, it might be more expensive than you realize. There are three keys areas of cost in print reproduction. They are toner and supplies, maintenance and inefficiencies in printer usage.

The most understood cost associated with print reproduction is that of toner and supplies. We all understand that it takes toner, paper and perhaps drums to print a document. Interestingly enough, even though most people understand this cost, most people don’t know the true cost. For example, an inkjet cartridge may only cost $30, but if it only yields a total of 500 prints (regardless what the package may say) that cost is $.06 per print… just for ink. You might be surprised how much you are actually spending in just toner and supplies. The device you thought was not costing your organization very much may in fact be very expensive.

Repair costs on a $100 inkjet printer may never be a consideration, but as larger workgroup and departmental printers break, it is not as practical to simply replace those devices. Sometimes the repair is as simple as replacing a feed roller, sometimes it requires more work. You can have someone on staff repair the device, but without proper experience, it could actually cost you more in wages and opportunity costs than you realize. You might outsource that, but if your repair contract is in line, you may be paying far more for that repair than you should.

Perhaps the most misunderstood cost is that of operational inefficiencies. When employees walk too far to retrieve a print or print to a more costly device, this is print cost that you must pay for. If you consider the cost per print, you may not be spending that much. However, if you consider the cost per prints actually used, you may be spending even more.

Chances are, the costs of print reproduction in your organization are much higher than you think. The fact is, when something is not tracked, it cannot be improved. It may seem like a daunting task to try and figure out what you are actually spending, but we can help you with that. By conducting a total print assessment, we can help you identify your hard costs as well as start to understand your soft costs. What’s better is that we can help you track these costs on an ongoing basis to help keep your costs in line with your budgets.