It’s pretty easy to ignore the printers around your office - until they run out of toner/ink, or jam, or just disappear from your network for seemingly no reason. Okay, it’s easy to ignore printers most of the time. Unfortunately, business owners do tend to ignore their printers, and this can get really expensive over time.
Every business has different needs for their printers. Your office might have a low-end consumer-based printer on a few desks, or you have a centralized network printer/copier/scanner that everyone can use. Some businesses might have several of these printers, and others might have gone paperless to free themselves from the expense of paper and toner.
Regardless of your situation, if you have printers, you should have them managed and controlled.
Printer ink and toner isn’t cheap. Unnecessary printing can really add up over time. That’s why some businesses have opted to go paperless with digital documentation solutions (among other reasons; it’s easier to store, search, share, and backup digital data compared to printed documentation too). A business that normally prints a few thousand documents a year will feel the cost savings after they eliminate printing altogether.
Reducing the amount that your users print can really make a difference over time. For example, enforcing users to only print in black and white unless color is necessary, and enforcing double-sided printing are a few small policies that will reduce your costs.
In a recent survey by Xerox, it was found that 64 percent of small businesses aren’t tracking their printer usage costs. The report also revealed that 47 percent of businesses felt that employees just printing out emails was a big part of their printer usage. There is clearly some waste happening here.
A small business can deploy tools to control, report on, and restrict printer usage throughout an office environment. As mentioned before, every business is going to have different requirements and needs, but simply establishing the policies that prevent users from wasting resources by printing out their emails will lead to savings over time.
Another often ignored aspect of owning a printer (or multiple printers) is that, like any device on your network, they are another endpoint. This means they need to be kept updated, maintained, and secure. There have been many cases over the last couple years where cybercriminals have utilized office printers as an entry-point for spreading malware or breaching data. These types of exploits can cost your business a lot more than another ream of paper or toner cartridge.
This might not always be an easy option for some businesses who rely on printed documents, but taking steps to reduce the amount of printing your business does can help reduce costs and actually make it easier to share, protect, and back up documents. Going fully digital means that documents can be searched, copied, organized, and shared securely, and backed up without requiring paper, toner, or bulky filing cabinets. Today, even contracts can be shared and signed digitally without a single sheet of paper being used.
If you want to learn more about how we can help your business cut costs and reduce the amount of resources you use, give us a call at (757) 420-5150.