Saving Money: Cutting printing costs by thousands

In an ever-challenging, competitive economy such as ours, optimization and efficiency are the names of the game. Managing expenses and avoiding unnecessary charges are essential to the short-term sustainability of any enterprise.

One major office expense that often goes unnoticed is the cost of printing. Estimates suggest that an average employee prints 1000 pages each year, with nearly a third of those printing commands entirely avoidable.

People react to the above-mentioned scenario in one of two ways. Either its bafflement at the quantity of paper used, or a dismissive attitude as the cost of paper alone is not considered a big enough expense head for a dedicated cost management commitment. 

The real cost of excessive printing paper in the workplace is more concerning than just the price of a single ream. While the paper is a major expense in and of itself, the cost of toners and cartridges in a single year can easily overshadow that of a new printer.

Using cheaper paper is often a go-to solution for small companies looking to control expenses, however, this can damage the life of a printer with constant jams and streaking lines creating a negative printing experience.

The actual cost of avoidable printing in the medium to long term is a substantial overhead part of the income statement that regularly frustrates even those businesses with a low printing requirement. 

Stuck? Here are a few solutions to effectively cull costs in the short run:

Thoroughly review your printing requirements

Oftentimes, technology only returns an incomplete result. We all have created a document, run it through a word processing spelling and grammar check, printed it, and submitted it to our line managers, only to find out that the spelling check failed to detect a simple mistake.

The embarrassment and frustration at technology’s failure can be mitigated by giving the final draft a glance for any errors. This way, the printing costs are bound to come down and more efficient utilization of resources is achievable.

Another issue is printing needs during research. Printing documents directly from the internet is a common trope in some research-based sectors, specifically in the legal and education niche.

The selection criteria for printing should remain stringent and only those sections that are necessary are printed. In case of help, users may turn to the print preview function to pick out the sections required for further consideration.

Utilize Email and Social media tools for updating customers and stakeholders

Many of our printing needs revolve around the dissemination of relevant information to third-party stakeholders. Sending invoices to customers, quotations to potential business partners, or simply confirmation of a draft for a contract between two corporate entities, the average company uses a lot of paper and ink to communicate information which could just as easily have been transferred via social media or email.

Whenever feasible, it is preferable to utilize the medium of email to officially share documents and information as it ultimately helps in restricting the cost associated with printing and paper.

Modern cloud storage like Google Drive and Dropbox are also a great alternative for collaboration.

Gone are the days where individuals completed their part of a particular project and forwarded it via print to someone else for editing/expansion.

Team collaboration in the modern era necessitates the use of collaboration tools such as cloud-based spreadsheets and word editing documents.

Configure Duplex setting 

While Technology can be problematic sometimes, generally it presents unique and elegant solutions to the problems we face. Most good-quality printers have the duplex option inbuilt that allows users to print on both sides of the paper.

This also leads back to the choice of your paper brand as choosing a low price brand might end up saving you money in the short run but it also limits the ability to utilize duplex printing as the text becomes illegible courtesy of the lower opacity of the paper.

By using duplex printing, users can cut down expenses related to printer paper and limit their filing needs

Save on high toner & cartridges cost

There are quite a few hacks that can essentially cut down on your printing expense by quite a substantial amount. Generally, printing is not limited to only complete office documents.

Oftentimes, we require approvals of drafts before they can be presented to the final authority.

In these instances, rough drafts or incomplete documents can be printed in a black and white-only feature functionality that allows the user to cut down on the color expenses.

It is to be noted that color cartridges cost almost 50% more than black toners and ink, leading to potentially substantial savings if using this strategy.

Another easy way to limit your expenses is to remove any diagrams, pictures, or infographics while printing draft documents. Images and tables are ink intensive and can be a significant contributor to the monthly toner and cartridge expense.

It might also help to resize documents so that 2-4 pages occupy a single page. This could further cut costs and lead to a more organized approach towards office management.

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