5 Easy-To-Do Steps To Reduce Printing Costs
Printing costs are something a lot of businesses overlook, even though they can end up effecting your bottom line more than you think. In this article I will explain 5 easy-to-do tips to reduce your printing costs. By making these small adjustments, you’ll be able to print smarter and better while saving on printing costs.
1. KEEP YOUR PRINTERS TURNED ON
Printers are designed to maintain themselves by running scheduled cleaning cycles in order to keep the printhead clean and ready to go. The two main benefits of leaving your printer running, comes down to saving ink and saving on repair costs.
Every time you turn your inkjet printer on, you can hear the print-head bouncing around from side to side. What’s it doing? The printer is running a cleaning cycle before the printing starts and this uses ink. By leaving your printer turned on, your printer will only run scheduled cleaning cycles instead of running one every time you need to print. In the long run this should decrease the amount of ink you use and thus, your printing costs.
Apart from saving ink, keeping the print-head clean is vital which is done during each cleaning cycle. Switching the printer off for an extended period of time can cause the ink in the print head to dry, causing a blockage. Replacing print-heads is expensive and in some cases it’s not even worth doing.
If your electricity usage is of concern to you, not to worry as almost all printers now have a power saving mode (sleep mode) that limits the printer’s electricity usage.
Laser printer on the other hand can be switched off when needed as the cartridges are filled with a toner powder. Laser printers do not require any cleaning cycles to take place after being turned on.
2. PREVIEW TO PRINT FEWER PAGES
Although this seems obvious, printing fewer pages will not only reduce the amount of paper you use, but your ink and/or toner as well. Here’s how and why:
Previewing documents allows you to correct any spacing flaws or spelling mistakes, limiting the amount of unnecessary or useless pages you will otherwise print. Almost every web-page you print from has one or more extra pages you don’t need. In short, you could be paying for 3 pages when you only need one.
Sharing soft copies is another way to reduce the amount of printing you do. Printing only what is necessary instead of what’s convenient can shave a great deal off your printing costs. A great way of reminding employees to only print the essential documents, is to have physical reminders on the printers and in the workplace.
3. BUYING THE RIGHT PRINTER FOR YOU
Now, before you run in to a shop and buy that printer that’s on special, there are a few more factors to consider that will put you on the pathway to reducing your printing costs.
The 3 main factors you should consider are this:
1. What are you going to be printing? Do you need to print mono (black) or colour documents? Do you need to be able to print A3?
2. What kind of volume do you generally print? Do you print 1 page a week or 250 pages a day? Does the printing speed of the printer match your needs?
3. Which features do you need? Printers come packed full of features which at first might sound amazing, which they are, but it could lead to spending your hard-earned cash on something you won’t make full use of.
After answering all these questions, you’ll have a printer buying blueprint. Use this blueprint to select at least three suitable printers. Don’t worry, the fun isn’t over just yet. Now that you’ve narrowed your selection down, you can compare the running cost of each printer.
Compare the ink or toner cartridges of these printers with one another. An easy way to get a ballpark figure is by doing this. Take the price of the cartridge (say $138) and divide that by the estimated yield of the cartridge (2600 pages). This will give you a cost per page figure of $0.053.
It’s definitely worth talking to an expert to see if your selected printers have compatible cartridges available, which you can use once your printer’s warranty runs out. Tip 4 covers this:
Calculate the running costs of all the viable printers based on your blueprint and voila! You’re now printing smarter, better and cheaper.
4. USE COMPATIBLE OR REFILLED CARTRIDGES.
Compatible cartridges can be a great way to reduce your printing costs. Most compatible cartridges only come in XL (extra-large) capacities, which means they have more ink and toner inside them compared to standard capacity cartridges (the physical size of the cartridge remains the same). They are a lot cheaper than the genuine cartridges as well, which in some cases could halve your printing expenses. Before switching over to the compatible side you should consider whether it’s right for you.
A common question regarding compatible cartridges has to do with the warranty of the printer. Using compatible cartridges does NOT automatically void your warranty, however, it could. You can learn more about this on the ACCC’s website.
We suggest considering the amount you will save switching to compatible cartridges and where you’ll be sourcing them from. Make sure your source is a responsible reseller, that supplies premium grade compatible cartridges and provides customers with technical support. Remember, seeing “Premium Cartridge” on this box doesn’t always mean it’s premium inside.
This chart compares the cost per print of 3 popular cartridges in the compatible and OEM versions. The prices used for the compatible cartridges are based on premium cartridge supplier prices.
As you can see, the Brother TN-3340 OEM cartridge prints at more that double the cost of a compatible. The compatible cartridges are expectedly cheaper per print, even though they’re premium compatibles form a trusted supplier.
5. PRINT DOCUMENTS ON MONO LASER PRINTERS
Colours play a vital role in a business, from the storefront vinyls to the logo on a receipt. This means you need a colour printer to print coloured logos on your A4 documents, right? Wrong… Having a colour printer, inkjet or laser, with the sole purpose of printing a coloured logo is not very economical. We recommend having a dedicated mono laser printer to handle the printing of all documents, receipts and statements you’re required to print on a daily basis.
If you prefer your business documents to contain a coloured logo, have letterheads printed in bulk by a commercial printer and feed them through your mono printer. By doing this, you eliminate any possible waste regarding coloured inks and toner. If having a colour logo on your documents is not important, set your printing settings to greyscale. Greyscale is a range of grey shades from white to black which will detail your logo better.
If you do however require a colour printer within your business, please keep in mind that printing black documents on a colour laser is not effective. One of the reasons for this is that the coloured printers make use of a belt to transfer paper through the printer. These belts have a limited life and printing black only on a colour laser unnecessarily reduces the belt’s life. Mono laser printers do not have this belt.
Although these costs might seem minuscule at first, calculating the unnecessary costs over the course of a year could amount to hundreds of dollars.
Implementing these tips can be challenging at first, but with the right information and constant application you can expect to see a decrease in your printing costs. We hope you find these tips useful and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local professionals.