Did you know that desktop printer ink costs $4,731 per gallon, on average? 
As personal consumers, we maintain acute awareness of the price of household staples—such as milk and gasoline—and are mindful of the impact to our budgets. However, when it comes to the cost associated with necessities of a business environment most managers are unaware of the total impact to the bottom line. Printing costs are one of the largest unreported business expenses and can eat up as much as 15% in annual spending. 
Printers consume a huge amount of paper, ink and other soft resources. It is the lack of attention in managing those printing costs that is draining your profits. The huge cost of printing related resources can quickly add up, considering desktop printer ink is only one element of an organization’s total printing cost. Printing costs are not clearly defined by most businesses, not realizing costs also include paper produced by workers, outsourced printing, desktop printers, copiers, faxes, scanners, and large volume printers, along with IT help desk requests, maintenance, supplies and parts.
- Up to 90% of companies do not track how much they spend on producing and maintaining documents. 
- Employee printing habits are a large portion of those costs. The average worker prints an astonishing 10,000 sheets of paper per year!  And, most of that paper ends up as waste and taking a portion of your profits with it.
- With printers trying to keep up with employee printing demand, it’s no wonder calls made to tech support centers are mainly printer related. Printing related help desk calls make up 10 to 50% of the user traffic that crosses IT manager’s desk.
- Because of mismanaged printing costs, as much as 1-3% of business revenue is being funneled straight from the bottom line. 
Don’t let printing costs siphon your profits.
 PC World, How Much Ink Is Left In That Dead Cartridge, http://www.pcworld.com/article/152953/printer_ink_costs.html .
2 Computer Economics, IT Fails to Restrain Rising Print Costs,
3 Coopers and Lybrand
4 US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Gartner Group
6 Lexmark International
Is the key to your next budgeting solve at your fingertips? The same multi-functional printing devices that scan, print and copy should also be working to help you save money and accurately budget with the implementation of widely available output management tools.
Output management tools assist in managing and controlling paper output at the MFD. Below are four output management strategies to ensure your MFD is working to save you money:
1. Track & Report Usage
Output management software allows for reporting on all printing, copying scanning and faxing activity for every device, user and the entire organization. This includes printing user volumes including color usage, printer costs, document names and more. This tool allows managers to monitor usage, analyze results and identify opportunities to reduce costs and plan for future needs.
2. Allocate Costs
Assigning costs to users and/or groups of users for print jobs at set costs allows organizations to accurately and automatically allocate actual costs to appropriate departments and cost centers.
3. Secure Printing Release
Requiring user-authentication at networked devices for a job to be released, decreases the number of wasted print jobs by eliminating abandon print jobs or mixed jobs. This also increases security of printed information.
4. Print Policies
Printing rules may be applied organization wide to control printing. For example, forced two-sided printing, auto-routing to the most cost efficient device for larger jobs and mono printing of emails.
All modern MFD manufacturers and service providers should offer these capabilities to help you manage your business and your budgets proactively. Manage your output to ensure you are making every dollar count.
Every business has overhead expenses—coffee service in the break room, employee benefits, office space lease—that are easily identifiable and turnkey to put price tags on during the annual budgeting season. Then, there are the items that are not explicitly budgeted, but represent expenses that eat at a budget, causing small amounts to leak from the budget consistently through the year. Total Printing Costs is one of these expenses.
Gartner research tells us that total printing costs is the last unmanaged business expense for companies, although it accounts for between one and three percent of a company’s annual revenue. Increasingly organizations are implementing managed print services programs to identify, or define, total printing costs and take control of their printing costs, saving 30% or more annually.
Click here to download infographic.
There is an old saying that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Of course this saying refers to what many would call junk or items that have little or no useful value to the owner. When it comes to recycling ink and toner cartridges the saying takes on an entirely different meaning. Whether a person is recycling these cartridges for an environmental reason or as a method to offset the cost of toner, there are several very solid reasons to recycle.
Each year over 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are thrown away with most ending up in landfills or in incinerators. That is about 11 cartridges per second and if you put those cartridges end-to-end they would circle the world three times. The large amount of waste can be reduced through simple reuse and recycling yet approximately only 30% of all ink cartridges and 50% of all toner cartridges are recycled today. The plastics used in printer cartridges are made of an engineering grade polymer that can take between 450 to 1,000 years to decompose. Also carbon black toner has been classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
By recycling printer cartridges, we conserve natural resources and energy by reducing the need for virgin materials. Up to 97 percent of the materials that make up a printer cartridge can be recycled or reused if taken care of. Printer cartridges can in extreme cases be refilled up to 15 times before reaching the end of their life and though most average between 5-7 refills.
There are numerous companies that focus on return programs that will help you return your used ink and toner cartridges at absolutely no cost. One such company is Green Cartridge Recycling which specializes in the collection and recycling of ink and toner cartridges. This company has truly found the “Treasure in the Trash” but more importantly is helping us improve the environment.
Take your efforts beyond the recycling bin.
April 22 will mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day marked to boost awareness about environmental responsibility. Earth Day has given many friends of the environment a platform from which to launch recommendations for being more green—at home and in their workspaces.
At the office, a greener workplace can mean a smaller environmental footprint, increased perception of corporate responsibility and even good news for the bottom line for many businesses, specifically when it comes to automating and digitizing paper based processes.
As we approach Earth Day, we want to give you seven great ways to make your office a greener, earth friendly environment, beyond the paper recycling bin.
1. Go Paperless
Digitize paper-based document information for digital storage, retrieval and access to information, reducing the dependency on paper and filing cabinets.
2. Energy Efficient Office Equipment
Advances in technology make for more energy efficient equipment and most equipment has energy saving functionality. Ask about these options when leasing or purchasing office equipment.
3. Eco-Friendly Toner & Toner Recycling Programs
Remanufactured toner cartridges and remanufactured ink cartridges are inspected and assembled to high quality standards for optimal performance in your equipment. Ask about recycled products as well as outlets to recycle your ink and toner cartridges.
This software integrates with your company’s print software and measure paper consumption in real time. Automatically offset your paper consumption through reforestation projects across the planet.
5. Print Output Management Solutions
Control paper at the point of printing with badge-swipe and user-authentication technology, requiring users to release print jobs and reducing wasted non-business critical printing.
6. On-Demand Printing
In-house digital printing capabilities have advanced to allow many print jobs previously outsourced to be completed in-house, and on-demand. Short, small run quantities of printed collateral eliminates the waste associated with printing large volumes of warehoused materials.
7. Manage Total Printing Costs with MPS
Evaluate your printing environment, develop the optimal plan for efficiently printing in your organization and control printing costs with a managed print services program. These programs require you to pay a flat monthly fee for equipment, service and supplies, and in return partners maximize efficiency of you print fleet.
It’s easy to start with reducing and recycling your paper consumption to go green. However, we encourage you to work with your office solutions provider to see how you can go beyond the recycling bin with your efforts to improve corporate responsibility and the corporate bottom line.
Here are some very interesting statistics when it comes to our paper documents and how they are handled.
- The average executive wastes six weeks annually searching for important documents lost in among the clutter. Wall Street Journal
- US employees waste more than two hours a week finding, sharing and storing documents. smartbusinessmag.com
- A full four-drawer file cabinet holds 18,000 pages. NAPO
- It costs about $25,000 to fill a four drawer filing cabinet and over $2,100 per year to maintain it. Gartner Group, Coopers & Lybrand, Ernst & Young
- The average office spends $20 in labor to file each document, $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document, loses one out of every 20 documents and spends 25 hours recreating each lost document. PricewaterhouseCoopers
With tax time just around the corner most individuals and companies are pulling all of their paper documents together to prepare their returns. Now is a perfect time to convert all of the paper into digital files and store them. Not only will this process make it easier when tax time rolls around, but you can also realize savings in file space and the time it takes to locate a document that is filed and indexed digitally.
If you have not planned ahead then you may find yourself looking for lost documents, which is a very inefficient way to spend your valuable time. Tax time is strenuous enough without having the added stress of a system that does not store and manage your files digitally. Many will ask when the best time to implement a document management system is. It appears the sooner the better because it will make the workload easier for everyone and result in increased efficiencies with lower costs.
Hunter McCarty – COO
Click here to view Hunter’s bio.
A paperless world? Maybe not, but we sure see more companies trying to manage their information more efficiently. Maybe it’s because we have such advanced technology out there that it seems ridiculous when you find yourself searching for a piece of paper in a dark room for several hours. Perhaps it’s the business climate to do more with less or a push from the government to convert to digital files. Regardless of your inspiration, we do see a huge movement towards a paperless office.
We know that many of you have already found this to be helpful and have taken the leap, hooray! So we got to thinking… what will people do with all their old file cabinets? We had fun with this and found people have many interesting ideas. So we decided to produce a media campaign based around this concept and boy did we have a blast revamping our old file cabinets.
Our first project was derby cars, then a boat, a smoker, an animal feeder and of course a scarecrow! Thanks to Nashville’s Comcast Production team we were able to convert these paper hoarders and reuse them in nontraditional ways. Take a look at our creations!
So… what will you do with yours?
Not paperless yet? We can help you scan all your documents into a customized software program so you can search for your electronic documents by key word and also keep that important information secure. We can come visit you or come to one of our lunch and learns in your area.