Ryan Stickel

By: Ryan Stickel on March 14th, 2023

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How to Reduce Office Printing and Copying Costs

Business Strategy | Printers & Copiers

So, you’ve discovered your printing and copying costs are through the roof and you need a solution to bring the costs down. Maybe you’re here because you don’t know what your printing and copying costs are, and the whole operation feels disjointed and wasteful.

Either way, it’s a stressful situation that needs fixing. You’re looking for answers. Well, look no further!

Before we really dive into this article, we just want to point out that most of the suggestions and solutions we talk about here will be things we can offer to clients. While that’s no coincidence, we don’t want you to think this is a sales pitch.

Implement the solutions and strategies that work best for your business goals. We understand that not every solution is for everyone. We’re just here to let you know what’s worked best for us and our clients and what might work for you.

Also, when we use the word “printing” in this article, we’re actually referring to your printing and copying processes for all your printers, copiers and multi-function printers (MFPs). Encompassing all of it with one word allows us to be more succinct and get to the stuff that matters to you, rather than explaining ourselves repeatedly.

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, let’s get into the information you’re here for!

Print Management and IT Together

Being an IT company, we can’t help but recommend having your managed print and IT services from the same service provider. It comes with some advantages that help centralize your overall IT strategy.

One advantage of having these services together is access and understanding. If your print management and IT services are separate entities, they’ll both likely only have access to certain features or components of your IT infrastructure and might lack expertise if it’s out of their usual scope.

For example, if you’re having trouble with your copier, it might be due to an issue with a driver or a network configuration. Let’s say the issue is on the network. You might not know that without an expert coming in and diagnosing it. The question is, which expert do you call?

If the copier is managed by the printer company and the network is managed by the IT company, you’re stuck in the middle of which to contact. If you call the printer company and they can’t do anything about your network configuration, you then have to make another phone call to the IT company.

Not only would this be a massive headache, but it’s also increased downtime for one of your devices, and time is money! Plus, you need to factor into the mix that two vendors would mean two bills. You probably don’t want to be paying two companies to try and solve the same issue.

It’s possible you’re already in a situation like this, and while that confusion does exist, you still value what each company brings to the table. That’s great, but at the end of the day, their individual processes and workflows are going to be less efficient than having one company solve issues on both the IT and printing ends of the equation.

All of that IT knowledge and expertise being under one umbrella will lead to more fluid maintenance and management, whether that be with your copier or your computer.

Here at Innovative, we’re all about solutions and software integrations. The continuity of having your print and IT be a one-stop shop will make life easier and save you time.

Print Assessments

Innovative’s managed print and copy offering starts with a print assessment. A print assessment is an overview of all your printing processes. We’ll look at the who, what, when, where and why of your company’s printing in order to make strategic, cost-saving decisions.

A print assessment is done during the pre-sales engineering stage of every managed print conversation with a client. It gives us a good idea of the right solutions to propose, and ultimately implement.

If you’re a managed client with us already, you can talk to your account manager about getting a print assessment done.

Even if you’re not working with a company like Innovative, you could take some of these steps on your own to assess your current printing functions and expenses. This insight could reveal new opportunities for your company to save money on printing.

This assessment could include physically documenting all your copiers and printers and deciding if a more efficient setup is possible, or even looking at where your print expenses are coming from and centralizing them.

Software and Solutions

While proper management and maintenance are crucial parts of keeping printing costs down, it doesn’t stop at the copiers and printers. Print management and productivity software can help save you money as well.

Print Management Software

Print management software like PaperCut will help save you money by giving you detailed reports and a better understanding of your printing. The reports can be used to identify any printing processes that might be wasteful or unnecessary.

This software also gives you the option to validate your print jobs at the printer or copier, all but eliminating finished prints sitting out in the open. You won’t have to worry about printing a document and then forgetting about it in the tray. Say goodbye to forgotten prints getting thrown in the trash!

Productivity Software and Cloud Workspaces

Through productivity software and cloud workspaces like the Microsoft 365 suite, you can help eliminate certain paper-intensive processes altogether.

For example, if you have a weekly meeting with your department where everyone gets a printed agenda, you could eliminate those prints by using a shared OneNote document. The OneNote document can be edited by the group in real-time, allowing for collaboration before, during and after the meeting.

This removes the hassle of having one person draft a meeting agenda and printing one for every person in the group. When you multiply the number of sheets per person by the number of meetings you have per year, the amount of paper adds up quickly.

This collaboration doesn’t stop at OneNote. Word documents and excel sheets can be edited in real-time through SharePoint, saving you from printing any documents until they’re edited and completed by anyone involved.

Other Tips and Tools

If you’re not quite ready for a managed print service or are just looking for ways your company can start to cut costs today, here are some other plans you can put into action.

Identify and Centralize Printing Expenses

One way you can gain a better understanding of your printing expenses is by centralizing the costs. You can’t cut costs if you don’t know what the costs are!

Printing and copying expenses are often split between multiple departments and budgets and don’t get looked at as a whole.

For example, a copier contract usually includes big multi-function copiers, and potentially some smaller desktop MFPs. But other print/copy expenses could be living in departmental budgets.

Here are some questions your company can ask itself as you look to centralize and shrink those printing costs:

  • Do you have an office admin buying toner or (gasp) ink cartridges from an office supplies budget?
  • Are any of your employees printing from home and submitting toner/ink cartridge purchases on expense reports?
  • Do you have employees working in the field and running to Staples or Kinkos to print remotely and submit those costs on departmental expense reports?

These are all expenses that should be pulled together and evaluated for potential cost-saving opportunities.

Using Multiple Computer Monitors

Another way you can cut down on printing costs is by using a second monitor. You might be wondering what a monitor has to do with printing, but the answer is surprisingly simple.

When you use just one monitor, your screen space is limited. You can only look at one thing at a time. If you need to look at multiple windows, you either have to condense them or click back and forth. It ends up being a chore.

One way some people get around this issue is by printing out one page and using their screen for another. Whether they’re editing or comparing documents, or just taking down notes, it’s a convoluted workflow. This whole issue can be eliminated by having multiple monitors.

An extra monitor not only makes multitasking easier but can also save you from unnecessarily printing out any private or sensitive information. There are so many screens around us these days. Let’s get the most out of them and save some money on printing.

Put a Plan into Action

Now that you have these useful tips for cutting down on printing costs, you should have a better idea of what the next steps for your business should be.

Remember, it’s not enough for just one person to be aware of these cost-saving measures. You need a plan, and you need buy-in organization-wide, otherwise, you probably won’t see much of a difference in your company’s bank account.

It’s the reason we push so hard for managed IT and managed print. Having these processes overseen with a goal-driven strategy in place will allow for better execution and should save you money in the long run.


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