We’ve given you a preview of outsourcing the management of your printers and copiers, known in the industry as managed print services, in a previous post. Today, let’s focus on a few of the business benefits – obvious and not-so-obvious – of moving to a cost-per-copy model approach to your office equipment.
Average Cost of Printers and Copiers
One of the biggest benefits is simply knowing how much you spend on printing and copying. Because printing documents is so easy to do, we often don’t think that there is an actual cost every time you push “print” or “copy.” Especially when you consider that nearly 50% of documents that are printed aren’t even read and go immediately into the recycle bin (we hope) or the trash.
We’ve even known our clients’ employees to print to the “right” printer, but that printer being busy (and the employee being in a hurry) then prints to the closest printer – without cancelling the first print job. At a glance, that doesn’t seem like much, but start multiplying that across employees over the course of a year and soon you’re talking about a real drain on productivity and unnecessary wear and tear on your printing and copying equipment.
By partnering with a professional that is trained and proficient in managing print environments, they can identify these issues, bring them to your attention, and prevent them from becoming a problem or drain on your bottom line.
Here Are Five Hidden (or at Least Cloaked) Costs of Office Printing
1. Toner Supply Inventories
Printer cartridges are expensive. Many cartridges cost well over $100 each. A color printer requires four cartridges for cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y), and black (K). This means just one printer could have over $500 in related supplies.
Afraid of running out of toner, many employees order extra cartridges. Look inside the supply closets of most businesses and you’ll find thousands of dollars in un-managed supply inventory. Any other area of a business with this much inventory would be actively managed. However, most companies have no idea how many cartridges they have on site.
And let’s hope your printers have four cartridges and that you don’t have all in one CMY cartridges because when one color runs out, you have to buy a whole new cartridge.
2. Printer Cartridge Theft
Thousands of dollars in printer cartridges stored in supply closets may represent too much of a temptation for some employees. Do a quick search on eBay for printer cartridges and you will discover that there are many individuals selling cartridges. Printer cartridge theft costs businesses thousands of dollars a year.
3. Printer and Copier Repairs
Printers are mechanical devices. They will break regardless of how robust they are. When they break, that requires on-site service (or possibly drop-off service if the device is small enough to lift and carry). Typically when a printer goes down the end user calls the IT department. These high-value employees end up getting distracted from critical IT issues. When they go to the printer, they often discover the issue is a mechanical issue requiring a third-party company to do the repair. Printer repairs are often made on an ad-hoc basis, resulting in un-planned bills. With managed print services, your equipment is monitored for “health” relative to its duty cycle so that preventative maintenance can prevent the need for at least most repairs.
4. User Support
End users have questions about printers. They typically call your IT department or IT support partner, often accounting for over 30% of the calls to the helpdesk. The IT staff may not even have the specific printing expertise to answer the user's question. Plus, printer support calls can be a distraction for IT personnel, moving their focus away from critical IT initiatives.
Many employees buy inexpensive printers from office supply stores thinking that they are saving the company money. The irony of most printers is that the lower the cost of the printer, the higher the cost of operation. However, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of these devices ends up being much higher over time – you can easily exceed the cost of a multifunctional printer (MFP) by having to buy ink/toner for a “cheap” MFP you buy online or in an office supply store.
Bonus Reason: Lost Productivity
Broken printers frustrate end users while slow printers in high-volume areas cause people to stand around waiting for documents. Having the wrong printing devices in a location can rapidly accumulate hours of lost productivity that will have an impact on your business’ bottom line.
Remember, you don’t have to manage your office equipment.