Okay, it’s not Thursday…I know. We have been busy around here! So this is Friday Thoughts. (Yeah, that just doesn’t sound right. Umm, Friday Fancies? Forget it, let’s get to the point.) Point: printing is expensive. And tough to understand. Between 1-3% of a businesses’ yearly revenues is spent on document generation (printing, copying, faxing) and it would be nice to cut that number down so everyone can take more to the bottom line. How can you save some of your hard-earned dough? We thought you’d never ask…
1. Know your current costs.
Too many organizations simply don’t know what they are spending on copying/printing. Remember the old adage: you can’t improve what you can’t measure. It is critical to know where you are, so you can set goals on where you are going. Chart what your organization spends on toner, paper, repairs, and the purchase of devices themselves. At LRI, we offer a managed print services that monitors supplies and usage for you, and it provides a quarterly report to identify inefficiencies and places where your organization can improve. The first step to cutting your costs is knowing where they are to begin with.
Some people fall into the trap of believing its easier to buy their own desktop printer and just buying ink or toner as they need it. Sure, the original device is cheap, but buying supplies at full price at stores like Office Depot and Staples gets really costly, in several ways. If you’ve been monitoring your costs you will see this very quickly, as 40 different people pay 40 different prices and waste 40 valuable hours shopping for deals online. C’MON! By consolidating your printing efforts into multifunction machines, you instantly save money and time by ordering supplies for just one machine. Or if you really need desktop printers, utilize a managed print service (hint hint) that automatically orders and ships supplies at a steep discount when machines signal that they are low. By ordering through companies like LRI, your organization can take advantage of the discounts they get with suppliers, saving you money and headaches.
Brian Abeling, Director of Technology at a local school district serving over 9,000 students, was frustrated with their excess amount of desktop printers and the amount of money it was wasting. “We had 25 people shopping for ink and they weren’t getting good deals. People were doing their own shopping. Consider the time factor here also, as 25 people were dealing with shopping, invoices, and payment. LRI came in and said they would monitor all our printers, district-wide,” Ableing said. “It’s a huge time saver on top of the dollars saved on the price of the toner. We now have just one person in accounting to work with, compared to 25 different people dealing with 25 different vendors. Accounting loves it.”
3. Know your output.
Your organization needs to know how much you actually print. This goes hand-in-hand with step 2, so really this is 2.5 quick steps (even easier!). According to Abeling, knowing your output is absolutely critical to cutting printing costs. If you have printers that are overworked, they will constantly run out of supplies too quickly, and they will break down more frequently because they aren’t built to do what your organization is asking them to do. On the flip side, if you have copiers or printers that aren’t being used to their potential, it’s not cost-effective to keep paying for them or their supplies. You need to know how to use your resources in the most efficient way possible, according to your actual output. LRI can identify the proper equipment for your specific needs and get you set up with the best option for you and your organization.
There you have it, 2.5 quick steps! Now get out there and save some money! Starting Monday, that is…