Most businesses have accepted that the long-ago promised paperless office is unlikely to ever become a reality. Hardcopy documents remain far too important to most businesses for them to be able to forgo their printers anytime soon.
Unfortunately, according to IDC, most (59 per cent) Australian small businesses don’t have a company directive to reduce print costs as part of their cost reduction agenda, even though 43 per cent of businesses list ‘cost’ as their top concern. (1) And printing is one of the highest expenses for many organisations, alongside rent and payroll. Everyday print activities can add up quickly and costs can easily spiral out of control.
Therefore, gaining insight into and control over print management and expenses is essential for organisations looking to cut costs. This lack of attention to print costs means many Australian small businesses are missing out on significant opportunities to save money.
It is possible for small businesses to cut printing costs without compromising on quality, access to printers, or performance. It’s almost counter-intuitive but the same measures that can reduce print costs will also help enhance workflows and help staff complete projects faster and more accurately.
Here are five of the best ways small businesses can reduce print costs:
Putting rules in place such as defaulting to black and white and double-sided printing can help save toner and paper. It’s also possible for managers to restrict the number of pages employees can print, which can help encourage workers to really consider whether they need to print certain documents.
People often send a document to the printer, then get distracted and forget to pick it up. Sometimes this means they send the job again, leading to duplicate print outs. This wasted paper and ink can be saved with pull-printing solutions that require workers to enter a code or swipe a card at the printer to collect their print jobs. This can also help overcome security issues created when sensitive documents are printed out unattended. As the digital world evolves further every day, pull-printing enables printing using mobile devices, in the same way as printing from a computer.
Many small businesses have more printers than they need. This is inefficient and costly, and usually means that some devices are underutilised, such as the ones that sit on the managing director’s desk and the financial controller’s desk. At the same time, the queue for other printers could create wasted time as people wait for their documents to appear. Eliminating unnecessary printers saves costs. And, using pull-printing technology, managers can print sensitive documents to shared printers without concerns about confidentiality.
4. Print tracking
Implementing a managed print services program with comprehensive monitoring lets small businesses see where money is being spent on printing, helping to identify where savings can be achieved.
Recouping the cost of printing from clients is a great way to cut costs. Chargeback solutions integrate seamlessly with streamlined printer fleets and provide a fast return on investment.
Introducing new print technologies and rules can help small businesses achieve profound savings, which can be redirected towards innovation and growth initiatives.
About the author
Shane Blandford, director of marketing and innovation, Konica Minolta
(1) – IDC Australia and New Zealand: Small Business Research 2017