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5 Simple Steps to Controlling Printing Costs (portfolio)
Get control of your printing to contain costs
and increase information security.
5 SIMPLE STEPSTO CONTROLLING PRINTING COSTS
Think about that statistic for a moment.
Now think about how much your office prints.
Not only are you seeing waste in that office recycle
bin, but you should be seeing dollar signs. You,
and everyone in your office, are literally throwing
In the back of your mind, you know this is wasteful
but accept it because you don’t know what it actually
costs. In this short eBook, we’re going to explain how
much all of this paper is costing you ‑ and talk about
And if you’re a small business and you print and copy
thousands, not millions, of documents each year and
are thinking this doesn’t matter; everything is relative
‑ especially when it comes to your bottom line.
On top of being wasteful, out-of-control printing can
also be a security problem for your business. How
many confidential documents are available for anyone
to view in printer and copier output trays?
It’s time to get control of your print spend and take
This eBook will quickly explain how analytics, print
policies and rules, habit changes, and follow me
printing are five easy steps ANY business can take to
secure and control print output.
50% of print jobs are thrown away without ever being used.
Before moving on to the four steps, why does this even matter?
Printing and copying are just part of the cost of doing business, right?
HERE ARE TWO EYE-POPPING PIECES OF DATA TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION:
1. After rent and payroll, print is the third-highest operating expense for businesses.
2. 90% of companies don’t know how many devices they have ‑ printers, copiers, etc.
Ignoring printing costs isn’t an option if you’re looking to make your business as efficient
as possible. Unless you’re the 1 in 10 business that knows how many devices you have, if
you’re reading this you have a huge opportunity to fatten up your bottom line.
Why Should You Care?
Step 1: Turn On Analytics
You can’t track it if you don’t measure it!
Xerox research shows that 90% of companies have the ability to track print, but that only 45% of them do.
So turn on your print analysis tools and USE THEM!
WHAT SHOULD YOU TRACK? TO START WITH:
• Print volume
• Percentage of color documents
• Who is printing (individuals and departments)
• Spikes in printing ‑ daily, weekly, monthly
• Devices used ‑ helps to identify devices that are over/under-used
Once you turn on tracking, you’ll begin to notice where paper use is high ‑ potential opportunities for automation
and improving business workflow.
When you notice pockets of high paper use in your business, a quick internal review can reveal why people are
printing so much. This can save you time and expense in consulting and give you a head start on identifying
areas where digitization and automation efforts could have the biggest bang for your buck.
Do you have a print policy? You should. A print policy
is a set of guidelines that outline acceptable office
Identify who is in charge of procurement (personal
desktop printers can be a huge drag on your bottom
line), who (and what departments) can print in color,
limit personal copying by tracking after-hours copying,
establish rules for double-sided printing, etc.
Without a policy to follow, users will continue to print
in color, copy after hours, print to the most convenient
but least cost-effective device, and print as much as
they want. Those extra pennies at a time add up over
Step 2 – Create a Print Policy
Step 3 – Create Print Rules
Print rules software helps to enforce your policy with print rules. Rules can be set up in multiple ways ‑ from
a simple alert (are you sure you want to print this in color) to a strictly enforced rule (this document will be
routed to a black and white printer).
COMMON PRINT RULES INCLUDE:
✓ Default to duplex printing
✓ Routing documents over XX number of pages to the most cost-effective device
✓ Restrict users or departments from printing in color
✓ Creating monthly copy/print limits for individuals and/or departments
✓ Pop ups and alerts to guide behavior
Most print rules engines allow you to create your own rules and modify default options to support any print policy.
Step 4 – Follow Me Printing
or phone), take a leisurely stroll and maybe even grab some coffee, authenticate yourself at any networked and
compatible digital copier (and some printers) in your office, and print your job when you’re ready. This improves
security and decreases costs.
IMPROVED DOCUMENT SECURITY
Follow me printing eliminates the security risk of confidential or private customer information from sitting in
the output tray, available for anyone to view or take. Using authentication at the point of print release (password,
swipe cards, or biometrics) helps with tracking costs and adds an additional audit trail element to see who
accessed a document which can be important for secure or confidential documents or records. When it comes
to HIPAA compliance, those audit trails can come in handy.
How many of us print something, forgot we printed it, and printed it again? Or printed a document and then
realized we didn’t need it. Because you release jobs at the device, these accidental and unneeded print jobs are
no longer printed. Granted, it’s pennies at a time, but as Ben Franklin says, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
And they do add up over time.
All the tools and rules available won’t help (as
much as they could) if you don’t change your
Encourage everyone in your office to ask themselves
this simple question before they click on print
“Do I really need to print this?”
You’ll find that you don’t really need many of the
convenience copies you print today. And if you need a
signature on a document, digital signature software can
eliminate the need for a wet signature too.
Step 5 Change Your Habits –
Think Before You Print
About That Bottom Line –
A Few Thoughts on Return on Investment
It’s impossible to say how much or what percentage of printing costs you could save by paying closer attention
to controlling print output.
But we can estimate.
You print 100,000 pages yearly for 8 cents/page (for simplicity, let’s include color and black and white
together). That’s $8,000. As we noted at the beginning, 50% of those pages will be thrown away, often unused.
So you’ve thrown away $4,000 in a year.
The average employee prints 10,000 pages yearly. If you have 30 people in your office, that’s
$12,000 you’ve thrown away.
These are estimates based on a laser printer using toner. Inkjet printer cost-per-page
is almost always higher.
Ready to Control Your Print Costs?
There are hidden printing costs in every business.
Ask yourself these 5 questions about your printing:
✓ Do you know how many printers, copiers, and fax machines you have in your office?
✓ Do you know how much you spend on supplies yearly?
✓ What about maintenance and repairs?
✓ Are confidential or private documents available for anyone to see in your output trays?
Violating HIPAA and other privacy rules can lead to fines and reputational damage.
✓ Do you have any idea how many pages your business prints yearly –
and how many of those pages are actually used?
If you don’t know the answers to those questions – or don’t like the answers! –
a print assessment can be the first step to cutting your costs by as much as one-third.
If you don’t want to do this yourself, we can help.
Contact Advanced Systems to schedule a print assessment now.
READY FOR A
ADVANCED SYSTEMS, INC.is an independent office technology leader
productive and efficient office environments that help customers manage, create, reproduce, and
store their company information. As an authorized reseller, we receive training and sales support
from our manufacturers. This helps us stay current on the latest innovations available so we can
recommend the best solution for our customers’ current and future document production needs.
We are headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa with over 80 employees in 11 office locations throughout
Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota.
VISIT US at www.asiowa.com or give us a call,
1.800.274.2047 and let us know how we can help.