You have better things to spend your money on.
Did you know a gallon of black printer ink would cost $3,330.14? Printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids on the planet. Printers are relatively cheap for the same reasons razors are – because you need to print (and shave) you’ll need to keep buying the ink cartridges (and those razor blades). There are also various estimates that roughly 50% of pages printed are never even looked at.
There are productivity costs when your equipment goes down – whether because the device was inadequately maintained or because it wasn’t fit for the task you were using it for (for instance, a low-volume or slow printer being used where speed and volume are required). There is nothing worse than rushing to complete the packets for the board meeting and discovering the printer is down due to misuse. Office equipment comes in a range of speeds, sizes (fits on the corner of your desk to couch-sized), and capabilities. Sometimes you need black and white; sometimes you need color. Identifying what you need and then identifying the equipment that will meet those needs is not a trivial task.
Digital printers and copiers are still complicated machines, with up to thousands of parts. Those machine parts wear over time. Even from the best manufacturers, office machines will break at some point. Finding someone (that you trust) to fix your equipment can be a hassle on top of your already-overloaded schedule. Matching equipment to need will also ease routine maintenance (you are doing preventative maintenance on your office equipment now, right) and extend the life of the equipment.
The first step on the path to getting a grip on your print cost is to find out how much you’re already printing.
How Much Do You Print? Do You Know What You Pay?
To determine how much more efficient you can be with managed print services, you need to know where you are. You need to know:
Print discovery software can be installed on your network, which provides immediate visibility into the full inventory of printers on your network. It's a secure, one-way stream of communication that simply sends reports on your networked devices. The software also records the usage of these devices. When you measure usage over a few weeks or a month, you can get a fairly accurate representation of your usage by device. You should also walk-around and check for printers not attached to the network, but directly attached via USB to a single person’s computer.
Next, determine your total cost of ownership for each printer and total printer fleet. This can be done in one of two ways. Many print management software tools provide a database of supply costs for printers that can give you an accurate estimate of your cost of ownership. If you want an even more precise measurement, you can pull up your printer cartridge invoices and enter your actual cost of each supply item (and any repair work for a particular device, if applicable).
Armed with this knowledge of how much you’re printing and how much the ink and toner costs; you’re now ready to begin managing your fleet.