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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 hard to isolate and combine print expenditures to get an accurate picture of your overall spend.

However, just because it's tricky doesn't give you an out to overlook it. Not understanding your print costs almost assuredly means that you're overspending—possibly by thousands each year.

Many of those costs tend to hide in places we don't expect making it even more likely to miss them. Let's break down some of the lesser-known areas where your printing costs are hiding.

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 more affordable and portable machines as sensible printing options, their low purchasing costs often come at the expense of the high cost of maintenance.

Desktop printers tend to be less efficient with more costly ink than office printers. Even if it feels cheaper from the start, you usually end up paying more long-term.

And 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 single misprint thrown in the trash, an extra piece of paper included in the print job, or toner thrown out too soon can feel like small potatoes. But these "little wastes" add up unnecessary print costs fast.

To make things worse, printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids in the world—did you know ink 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. Don’t let them get away with wasting toner either.

Implementing a pull-print system like PaperCut or PrinterLogic or establishing rules to limit unnecessary printing they can print per month can help lower these costs. Just think about how it'll free 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, check for 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 Printer 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. 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.

Want to dive deeper into the hidden costs of printing? Learn more in our eBook, 10 Steps to Finding Your True Printing Costs. Then let's chat about how imageOne can help you cut costs AND save money. Schedule a quick, no-obligation call today to get started.

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Andrea Ratajski

About Andrea Ratajski

Andrea Ratajski has been a Managed Print Specialist with imageOne since 1995. She’s passionate about helping her customers streamline and manage their internal printer fleet and transform manual paper-based processes into secure digital workflows. She’s also an avid golfer and mentors young ladies through Vista Maria.

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