In any nation, it's a common goal among workplaces to minimize paper waste and keep printing expenses in check. The total expenses can be overwhelming: research indicates that the typical office employee utilizes 10,000 pieces of photocopy paper annually, almost half of which is discarded.

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The extravagant use of paper doesn't just lead to waste but also incurs hefty costs. Are you pondering how to inspire your whole company to cut down on print expenses and paper waste, and what measures must be taken? Before hitting that print button, consider these straightforward and practical suggestions from our Managed Print specialists:

1. Make Your Paper Supply Simpler

Managing your paper supply doesn't have to be complicated. The variety of paper types can lead to waste and additional costs. Streamlining your options can result in significant savings.

A multipurpose paper is often a good choice for offices. It's typically less expensive than specific inkjet or laser printer paper, yet performs equally well. You can buy in bulk and save more by identifying a suitable multipurpose paper.
Specialty papers such as colored, heavyweight, or non-A4 sizes should be used sparingly. Keep them boxed and away from your printing services to prevent accidental use. This storage method helps reduce misprints on the wrong paper type.

2. Modify Your Print Settings

Altering your printing methods can be a straightforward route to curbing your printing expenses and waste, resulting in instant savings. Here are some printer adjustments you can make:

Restricting color usage: Color printing can add to a considerable expense. For most in-office print and copy tasks, black-and-white printing suffices. Even a small logo at the bottom of an email can incur color charges, so configure your printer's settings to print in color only when essential.
Double-sided printing: Also known as duplex printing, it's an efficient way to reduce printing costs. With this setting, one sheet of paper accommodates two printed pages. It's ideal for internal office correspondence and basic printing needs.
Printing multiple pages per sheet: If you frequently print presentations or documents with a lot of text, consider printing multiple pages on a single sheet. This can significantly cut down on paper usage. However, ensure that your font size is still legible when reduced.

3. Consolidate Printing Equipment

How many printing devices are there in your workspace? A common response from numerous companies is "excessive." It's typical for some firms to provide each worker with a personal printer or to have various printers where one would be adequate. They might also have separate printing, copying, and scanning machines. However, merging these devices can streamline your printing ecosystem and save time and money.

The initial phase in consolidating your devices involves determining the actual necessities. For instance, it's usually unnecessary for companies to assign individual printers to each employee. Transitioning from 10  personal printers to a single central unit conserves energy, minimizes technical complications, and simplifies cost monitoring. Additionally, you can replace independent appliances like scanners or fax machines with a solitary multifunction printer to incorporate these functionalities.

Select a multifunction printer that is tailored to meet your printing requirements. Look for devices with Energy Star certifications; these can help decrease your firm's environmental footprint while saving money on power expenses.

4. When Possible, Switch to Digital

Switch to digital - it's the call of the hour. Every year, American firms shell out billions on printed forms. Many become outdated within months. This leads to financial loss and a significant waste of employee time. Employees often spend hours searching for documents stashed away in filing cabinets. This lost productivity costs companies valuable time and money. It's a drain on resources that can be easily avoided.

Organized electronic forms, accessible online through a document management system, offer a smart alternative. Frequently used forms can be filled out and distributed swiftly and easily without hitting the print button. The result? You save both time and money.

The importance of maintaining digital assets cannot be overstated; it's estimated that 70% of businesses relying on paper-based records could fail incase of a fire or flood. With digital assets, you're not just streamlining processes, you're safeguarding your business's future.

5. Reduce Printing

Cutting down on printing isn't always straightforward. It may require a shift in how we deliver information in the workplace. Encourage employees to think before they print, using friendly reminders near each printer.

Excessive printing often happens for meetings and presentations. However, many participants might prefer viewing documents online or seeing multiple PowerPoint thumbnails on one page. Online documents offer the added benefit of being editable. Participants can view these during and after meetings, making notes or marking the next steps. It’s also worth reviewing distribution lists regularly. Make sure everyone listed still needs to receive the printed information. This simple step can significantly reduce unnecessary printing.

6. Replace Old Equipment

Consider upgrading your old office printer. Outdated printers can hinder productivity and increase expenses in numerous ways, such as:

Limited control: Newer printers offer features to track and report usage, efficiency, and other vital metrics. They also support custom rules and restrictions for better print control, features often missing in older models.
Compatibility issues: Your older device may not work well with newer hardware. Modern features like cloud scanning, wireless printing, and mobile print are often incompatible with older printers.
Inefficiency: Older models take printing longer and consume more ink or toner. This results in higher printing costs.
Regular repairs: Older devices often require frequent and expensive repairs. Investing this money in a new printer is a more cost-effective solution.
High energy consumption: Older printers use more power than newer, energy-certified models, leading to higher electricity bills and increased environmental impact.

7. Print in Draft Mode

Draft mode is a printer setting that conserves ink. It's ideal for documents that don't need high-quality resolution. This mode significantly reduces the cost of printing, as printer toner or ink is typically pricey. To use draft mode, you don't need extreme document detail. It's perfect for internal documents rather than client presentations or brochures. The result remains legible, despite the reduced resolution.

Bottom Line

With the right strategies for reducing business printing costs, any company can experience cost savings, whether big or small. Taking these tips into account can cut back on business printing costs considerably. For those looking to quickly reduce their business's printing costs without sacrificing quality, use the above tips to reduce business printing costs today.