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How to Reduce Printing Costs in Your Business

As much as we try to cut down our use of paper in the modern office of today, we still need to print invoices, picking notes, receipts and countless other pieces of business paperwork. The cost of printing is an issue at the forefront of any savings strategy within a company. It can be difficult to know how to tackle the issues of toner, paper and replacement parts costs, along with reducing waste, whilst juggling tight budget targets.

If you’re looking for help with printing costs, then here are a few pointers to help you to manage and reduce your monthly overheads:

Print less

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This may sound obvious, but it’s worth looking at exactly what your company is printing every month. As an employee, it’s easy to forget that printing something out costs money, because you are removed from the concept of it costing anything at all. A printing policy is a great way of making sure that colour printers are only being used when necessary, and that all other printing is in black and white only.

I used to work somewhere where only the company director had a colour printer, and I had to submit any documents for approval before he would print them out. I can remember many negotiations taking place, but it saved the company a lot of money, even if it did make him rather unpopular!

Another great way of saving ink or toner costs is to use Ecofont; a piece of software that puts tiny holes in your fonts so that you use less ink. The Ecofont website states that it can save up to 50% on printing costs, so it’s a worthwhile investment.

Calculate your page costs

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To establish whether cost savings can be made, you need to work out how much it is costing you to print each single page. Cost per page (CCP) can be calculated by doing the following:

1. Find out what cartridges the printer uses, their prices and how many pages they will print (page yield).

2. To calculate CCP for black and white printers you need to take the cost of the black cartridge and divide it by the page yield amount.

3. To calculate CCP for colour printers, work out the cost for each individual colour cartridge, then add this to the cost of the black cartridge and you will have your CCP figure.

For an accurate cost, you should also work out the cost of 1 sheet of paper and add this to your total. Now that you know how much a printed sheet costs, you can look at ways to reduce and manage your printing budget.

Reduce paper use

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Choosing an automatic duplex printer will help to reduce your costs by printing on both sides of the paper. Re-using the back of any redundant print outs will also help to cut down paper usage: they can be used for notes, rough drawings, or for “to do” lists.

There’s also a few simple ways of saving paper when you set the document to print. Make sure that you select the “fit to page” option from the menu as this means that any stray pieces of text or graphics will be kept within the confines of the page and don’t end up as stragglers on the next page. Also make sure that the print copy is set to rough draft, rather than best quality. Adjusting your printer margins can also help to get more text onto each page.

Update your printers

If your printers are a few years old, it’s worth considering replacing them as newer models will be more efficient. If you don’t want to replace your printers every few years then it’s worth considering leasing as an option. This will enable you to benefit from up-to-date technology which is maintained and regularly serviced for a monthly fee. All of the printing costs are included, and this can often result in a substantial cost saving. A bit of online research will help you to find a suitable company in your area, such as Ricoh London, who supply managed print services throughout the London area.

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