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Think fast: how much money did you spend on printing last year?

Chances are, it takes you more than a minute to come up with a number. When your costs are split up between multiple leases, maintenance from multiple vendors and supplies from different sources, it’s difficult to first isolate and then combine print expenditures to get an accurate picture of your overall spend.

Today, we’re giving you a preview into our new white paper, 10 Steps to Finding Your True Printing Costs, by breaking down some of the lesser-known areas where your printing costs are hiding. Read on to find out where your print money is going, and download the white paper at the end of this post.

1. Desktop printers

Does your fleet include desktop printers, copiers and scanners in addition to the industrial-size ones on every floor? While it’s tempting to see these cheap, portable machines as a sensible addition to your printing options, their low purchasing costs often come at the expense of the high cost of maintenance. Desktop printers tend to be less efficient and require more expensive ink than office printers, so you end up paying more long-term. What’s more, because these machines often require different ink, you may end up needing a new supplier to keep ink levels up—further diversifying your print costs and making them harder to track.

2. Wasted ink and toner

A misprint thrown in the trash, an extra piece of paper included in the print job or toner thrown out too soon can seem like small potatoes when it happens, but this waste adds up quickly. Just to make things worse, printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids in the world—did you know it can cost more per ounce than imported Russian caviar or a bottle of 1985 Krug champagne? Because of this, wasting printer ink is one of the easiest ways to deplete your budget quickly.

You’d never stand for your company’s employees throwing champagne and caviar straight into the trash (horrors!), so don’t let them get away with wasting toner either. Implementing a pull-print system or establishing rules to limit unnecessary printing they can print per month can help lower these costs, freeing up some money in your budget to splurge on that caviar for the office party.

3. External service agreements

Your printer service agreements may be hiding secret costs that attribute to a higher level of spending. Review your contracts to see if there’s a “cost of living” increase that automatically grows the cost of maintenance year-over-year or added costs if you request over a certain number of supplies to be delivered per month. If you’re automatically billed and not notified of extra charges, you may be surprised at what you’re actually paying.

4. Mix-and-match equipment

Did you purchase your printer fleet all at the same time, ensuring cohesion between devices, or is it a Frankensteined-together hodgepodge of new and old hardware? If it’s the latter, your old equipment can mean higher costs in terms of repairs and harder-to-find toner cartridges—so even if the lease is paid off, you’re still forking over a hefty monthly sum to keep these older devices running.

For less aged equipment, leases can be a whole other element to keep track of when figuring out your print costs. Especially if you acquired the machines in your print fleet at different times, it can be difficult to keep track of the terms of your different equipment leases. They may have varying lengths and interest rates, meaning different machines may be costing you wildly different amounts on a monthly basis—and you’ve got more paperwork to sift through to find out what’s costing what.

Already horrified at the hidden costs of printing? There’s more. In our new eBook, 10 Steps to Finding Your True Printing Costs, we've got further information on how to calculate how much your printer fleet is really costing you. Download it here!

See How Much You Can Save

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