There are many factors to consider if you want to calculate the true printing cost in your company’s office in order to know how to reduce it.

The expense of using an office printer isn’t just the purchase price of the machine. Total Cost of Ownership depends on the price of an appropriate toner or ink, the paper you use and maintenance expenses.  Further, you should include fitting replacement parts, the photoconductor drum in a laser printer for example.

For example, if your employees print about 3,000 pages per month, multiply this number by your per-page cost to determine the average monthly cost of laser your printing. For example, 3,000 multiplied by 2.47 cents (If the cost of paper is 1.2 cents per page, toner is 1 cent, and the printer drum is 0.27 cents) equals $74.92 per month.

Today, all of us are witnesses of a significant changes in corporate America in favour of bifold awareness of internal efficiency and impact on the environment.

At the same time, the price of energy and all other basic assets have significant impact on the costs of doing business so companies are necessitated to cut their expenses.

Companies of all shapes (industries) and sizes feel the pressure to streamline their operations in favor of saving money and meeting the growing need for environmental responsibility and accountability at the same time.

If you look more carefully in your company overall costs, you can notice that printing is a key area of unnecessary financial and environmental waste. This can be a big and an expensive problem that can be easily fixed.

Here is a list of 10 best practices for printing that will help you reduce printing costs:

1. Don’t use personal printers

When you want to buy printers for your company, you should consider minimizing or even eliminating use of personal printers. Instead, insist that your employees shared a larger and multi-function printers (MFPs). They are more efficient and easier to maintain and allow you to control who has access to sensitive data.

Tip: Look for the Energy Star label printers because they are 25% more efficient in comparison to non-Energy Star models.

2. Lease the printer and use Manage Print Services

If you want to purchase printers for your business, you should  using Managed Print Services (MPS). Using MPS, your company’s printing devices and practices are maintained well monitored, and optimized for maximum productivity  and efficiency. This way you can save up to 30% on overall printing expenses and improve the security of your company’s network.

MPS are managed by the vendor, and you can pay based on number of pages printer. Also it is recommended that companies don’t sign long term contracts with minimum monthly commits.

3. Use B&W vs. Color printers

Black and white or monochrome printers have only two “colors”, black (toner or ink) and white (no toner or ink). As your employees usually use the printer for text or other things that need to have a printed character to be black and the background white (unprinted).

Most Canon and HP laser printers continue to use color cartridges even though you tell them to only use black.  That way you can just slow down the usage of the color cartridges but not completely stop them.  So, if you really want to reduce your printing costs, your staff members should use  a color laser printer only when they really need to print something in color, while using a low cost black and white only printer for printing text and stuff like that.

4. Print on both sides

The average office worker in the US prints 10,000 sheets of paper (equals to two boxes of paper) per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. If double sided printing is used in companies this amount could be reduced by 50%, so as costs for that meter. That way of printing can have the big impact to whole world since it has influence on saving energy, water, and reduce the need to cut down trees to make new paper.

If you want to reduce your company’s waste, you should most definitely use of double sided printing whenever possible.

40% of the overall waste that can be found in landfills is actually paper, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. So, anything we do can do to save paper will certainly help in reducing the amount of trash going into landfills.

Days when you had to waiting for a document to print so you can turn it over to print on the other side and wondering if it will it come out upside down or backward are over few years ago. With modern printers, the process of printing double sided has become a lot easier and less time consuming.

In order to save paper (read $$$), you should set your printer to duplex printing. So, whenever you print, no matter of what type of document you are printing , or what program you are printing from, your documents will automatically print on both sides.

If you would like more instructions on how to set a multifunctional printer to automatically print double sided click here.

Hope this section has shown how double sided printing can be easy and both environmentally and financially beneficial.

5. Reduce print density in your printer or multi-function machine

If your employees use a multi-function (print/scan/fax) machine they should reduce ink /toner usage simply by reducing the density of copied documents.  Their copies may look a bit lighter, but may do the job just as well.

Some laser printer also have density settings even though they are not scanning or copying documents.  Same as multi-function machines,  playing with these settings on your printer will make your printing lighter but will save you toner in the long run.

Remember:  When your toner cartridge wears out you may need to increase the copy density for acceptable output.

6. Use ECO-friendly font

A European company called Ecofont has created a font that has small holes in the letters.  If you use this font, it can reduce toner or ink usage by up to 25%.  For simple use, you can just download a free font and use it in your documents.  If you are a more advanced user, you should download their professional package that converts any document to an ecofont.

Tip: Download and test ecofont using it directly in your documents and if you are happy with the results,  check out what their professional version has to offer.

7. Scan more and copy less

It’s 21st century, just use the modern technology and simply  scan the documents and send it in email instead of copying it and leaving it in someone’s mailbox or on their desk.

8. Print only the text you need

We all see that the most web sites we visit have loads of pictures, ads, banners, and other assorted content that go along with the actual text on each page. Because of that, printing out those web page can be extremely difficult and printing out the unnecessary banners and photos wastes ink.

On some sites, you can find a “print this page” option that removes much of the irrelevant content.  However, you can often find ads left in the printout.

If you want to help your employees to deal with this problem, you can ask them to copy and paste individual paragraphs from the web site into Notepad or Word, and print from there. That is very good idea but they don’t need to use that old fashioned way because now they can find much more sophisticated option.

There are few web sites that make printing a lot easier. For example, your staff can use websites like PrintWhatYouLike. They just need to go on the home page and enter the address of the page they want to print.  Moreover, the service is completely free, and they don’t have to register or log in. Once they entered the URL, the chosen web page will appear on screen and they should collect together all the areas that they want to print, or removed those they you don’t, and hit the Print button.

This can be a great idea that will save you time and money.

9. Print a Draft Copy

Users of word processing softwares like Microsoft Word (or others) can save both print time and ink simply by printing draft copies of their document as they edit them. In “Draft Output,” not all graphics,  formatting, and other features are printed, withal this feature can be useful for checking grammar, spelling, and content in a hard copy. You should check if your printer supports this feature. Then click “Options” in the print dialog box and check “Draft Output,” and click “OK.”

Note:  These steps can vary slightly based on which version you’re using.

10. N-Up Printing

Using “multiple pages per sheet” or the “n-up” option within Printing Preferences can be pretty effective way of including two or more pages on one sheet of paper. However, formality and readability can sometimes eliminate N-Up as an option for corporate use.

Reports by both The Recycler and The Gartner Group show businesses spend 1% – 3% of their annual earnings on printing. Most of companies underestimate their printing expenses, and don’t have any software for tracking these costs anyway.

That’s a big an expensive problem. The good news is that this problem can be fixed and your company can easily reduce printing costs by using some (if not all) of the tips listed in this article.