Can You Reduce Your Printing Costs with a Rules Based Printing Strategy?
Time and again businesses have found that by having a structured and regimented process in place companies are able to increase their productivity while also lowering their operating costs. From manufacturer assembly lines to legal practices to retail operations there should be well defined process steps along with business rules that are established to help the company to achieve its sales and profit objectives.
Surprisingly, a great deal of businesses overlook a very common business function as part of their defined processes and business rules. Printing occurs in virtually every business in one form or another. The costs associated with printing can be quite astonishing. When there are no clearly defined print rules in place it is very easy for print costs to get dramatically out of control, which will diminish a company’s bottom line profitability.
Some of the factors to consider relating to printing costs include:
- Types of paper used
- Consumables such as cartridges and toner
- Number of printers, faxes, copiers and scanners including desktop devices
- Age of print devices – older units are less energy efficient and require higher maintenance
- Color printing, which can be as much as three times more expensive than black and white
- Energy consumption
- Maintenance and repair fees
- Cost of downtime when a device is inoperable
Defined print rules will help your business to get more control over printing expenses while also improving overall efficiency in your office. Some examples of well executed print rules include:
- Take inventory of all print devices including desktop printers, copiers, faxes, and scanners
- Downsize the number of devices by consolidating into more efficient and higher quality multi-function printers (MFP’s)
- Review your existing print maintenance agreements and determine if it is time to revise
- Set defaults on printers to use draft print quality and dual-sided printing
- Authorize only selected persons to have the ability to print in color
- Establish monitoring of printing with a print management policy
- Review your process flow for common documents and determine if there are better ways to accomplish the task that reduce the amount of printing
By working with trained print management experts, you can identify key areas of your business where you can reduce printing costs as well as improve efficiency. For example, many MFP’s can work as an electronic workflow tool where a document can be scanned and sent to the next department instead of making a copy and sending paper through interoffice mail.
Print rules are an often overlooked but a much needed part of any office optimization project. Like all business rules they are unique to your company but can be integral in saving money while also improving productivity.
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