Mention the topic of printing to any business owner and you will hear a litany of woes about the exorbitant cost of paper, ink cartridges and toners. While the cost of your printers is a one-off that is soon forgotten, those consumables present a constant drain on your resources and are like a nagging toothache that reminds you that printing is not cheap.
Those with a little knowledge will simply say “go paper free,” and then walk off with the smugness of someone who has just invented the wheel, but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Sure, in the modern era, we don’t need to print anywhere near as many documents as we used to, and paper-free billing and payment processes are a huge step forward. But we all know that there are still plenty of things that we cannot avoid printing, and a 100 percent paper free office is still a holy grail that exists somewhere in the future.
Nevertheless, there are practical measures we can all take to reduce office printing costs. The following tips could make a big difference, which will go straight onto your bottom line.
Think ahead with the hardware
When buying a new or replacement printer, the cheapest option can be a false economy, and as a rule, the lower the purchase price, the higher the running costs. For example, a more expensive machine that has features like duplex printing and multiple pages per sheet will work out cheaper in the long run. Think about how many pages you are likely to print per year, run some projections and make an informed decision.
Shop around for consumables
Where do you buy your toners and cartridges? Why do you get them from there? If the answer to the second question is along the lines of because that’s where I always get my stationery supplies, it is time to check if you are getting the best deal. There are a whole lot of different suppliers out there, so compare the best ink cartridges on printerinks.com and just see how the prices compare. You will almost certainly find you have been paying well over the odds.
We mentioned duplex and multi page print earlier. These are great functions, but only help if people use them. By printing on both sides and using multi page, where each sheet of A4 effectively contains two A5-sized pages of text, you will reduce paper consumption by around 75 percent on average. For large, multi-page documents, it also makes them far less unwieldly and easier to read and handle when they are presented in this way.
Even if your printer does not support duplex printing, it does not stop you from re-using waste sheets to print on the reverse. Obviously, this will not be appropriate for documents being sent to clients, but for internal office documents, it makes perfect sense. Once everyone’s in the habit of putting suitable sheets to one side to feed back into the printer tray, it becomes second nature.