Top 5 Factors that Increase Print Cost

Top 5 Factors that drive up printing costs_Web Banner

Identifying areas that affect print spend can make a world of difference for your client’s office budget. Printing is often a significant portion of office budgets and can rack up hundreds to thousands of dollars per month for businesses. 

Unfortunately, most businesses have little to no idea how much they spend on print. Webinar Care reports that as many as 90% of companies don’t even track print spending!

Without proper tracking of print spending, businesses can waste loads of money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Print Partner works with hundreds of MSPs across the country, working side-by-side with them to provide our mutual clients with exceptional print service. We know what drives print spend up, and we want to share these tips with you.

This article will cover five of the most influential factors in determining print spend.

1. Business Size

Not sure where to start assessing your client’s print costs? Start with a headcount.

More people in the office means more people printing. It’s that simple.

But it isn’t just about the number of people using copiers and printers. Larger companies demand more functionality from their printers and copiers.

With a more extensive staff, your clients will likely need more sophisticated machines - copiers with utility beyond faxing, scanning, and printing.

Larger companies often require copiers with Internet connectivity, advanced print security, translation and transcription applications, and other features. 

They need a high-tech machine that can keep up with their evolving workplace - often, one that will require a significant upfront investment for all the bells and whistles.

Ultimately, more employees and locations mean more printing and more copier functionality required.

2. Type of Industry

There’s more to determining print spend than a simple headcount. Consider your client's line of work.

Nearly every industry uses print in some fashion - some more than others.  Places like schools, law offices and financial firms significantly emphasize copier use.

An article from Toner Buzz compiles a list of the industries that use the most print:

Are you surprised by the results? Lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors have roles requiring extensive documentation. And with a complex web of personal medical records, prescriptions, and insurance claims, it should surprise no one that the medical field ranks #3.

By far, the most prominent print users were in the education field. Printing an average of 2000 pages per day, educators are practically running circles around the rest of the top 5 in terms of the print load.

It must be from all that homework teachers love to give out so much…

“Educators use a lot of paper. The Reflective Educator reports an average school uses 360,000 sheets of paper per year,” reports Toner Buzz. “There are approximately 131,000 schools in the United States, meaning educators use over 47 billion sheets of paper each year.”

If you want to serve your clients properly, especially if they fall within one of these print-crazy industries, ensure they're getting what they need from their print service!

3. Color vs. Black & White Print

Is your client printing in black and white or in color?

Considering color printing can cost up to ten times the amount it costs to print in black & white, this can make a huge difference.

A managed print provider can help determine your client’s print color needs before any purchases have been made. Machines with color capabilities are more expensive than machines that only print in black and white. If color printing isn’t necessary, they can save money and buy a black and white machine.

For some businesses, color printing is necessary and valuable. In industries like sales, bright colors can grab attention, and in education, colors can help highlight and organize lesson material. But even in these industries, color printing should be used in moderation.

Employees need to know when it is (and isn't) appropriate to print in color for copiers that print in color.

And if a specific department is printing in color more frequently than they should, a managed print provider will be able to track where the waste originates. If a particular machine has five times the color prints compared to others, we know precisely where the problem is. 

Use of print management software like PaperCut can also help cut down on color printing when it’s not needed.

To summarize: when discussing print cost, the color of print must be discussed.

4. Lack of Print Standardization

If your client’s company fails to standardize its equipment, it becomes almost impossible to track print. To optimize print, a single print company should be managing a client’s print across all locations. This ensures that all equipment is in sync, and that the print manager has a bird’s-eye view over the entire print infrastructure.

One of the significant benefits of working with a single managed print service provider is that it actively tracks the print spend of clients’ printing fleets, which shines light on a fleet’s weak points.

For example, suppose a printer shows an abnormal amount spent on printing. A spike in print cost from one device can signal to a managed print provider that something is wrong with that system or that the department is using that equipment incorrectly. In response, policies can be changed, and machines can be replaced.

However, if your client has a bunch of different machines from different print vendors, these machines can all have different print-cost rates and run at varying levels of efficiency. This causes a larger headache for your MSP if they come to you for help with their malfunctioning copiers.

A standardized print fleet will make it easier for a single-managed print provider to identify critical areas where print savings are available.

For more information on the benefits of standardizing a print fleet, read: Why Your Multi-site Clients Should Use a Single Print Vendor

5. Poor User Printing Habits

Your client can have the sleekest, most high-tech fleet of print products on the market. But those machines are only as efficient as their users.

Another one of the most significant contributors to driving up print spend is user habits. If your client’s employees are wasting print, or printing incorrectly, they could be throwing away hundreds to thousands of dollars per month.

To combat this, we recommend a thorough training program for your client’s print devices, primarily upon installation. Many bad printing habits are mistakes, so proper print education can significantly reduce waste.

Here are some simple tips on how to use print more cost-effectively:

  • Only print documents when they are 100% complete. Unfinished documents can be shared with colleagues digitally for feedback.
  • Review energy-saving settings on copiers and printers. A simple setting change can create dramatic savings on energy bills.
  • Use both sides of the page to print! Doing so will save the trees and the office budget by halving the amount of paper used.

Awareness and education are the final keys to keeping print costs down.

Print Partner and Keeping Costs Down

Print is confusing, and your client should not have to struggle to learn about it on their own.

Luckily, Print Partner is here to help.

We’ve partnered with hundreds of MSPs across the US, actively managing their clients’ print spend and keeping costs low.

We’ll pay you for referrals! You’ll earn at least $250 per referral and $1000 per copier sold and a recurring 5% on their print allotment. Provide your clients with award-winning print management while you make extra earnings. Win-win.

Partner with us, a Print Partner you trust.

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