Because most companies don’t think strategically about their printing fleet (the copiers and laser printers in their office), there are many hidden costs that they don’t recognize.
Think of these as “paper cuts” to your bottom line.
I’m going to share a few overlooked aspects of using printers and copiers that – if not taken into consideration – can cost your business money.
1. Copiers Can Be Underused
It’s obvious if you overuse a copier, it will require more maintenance and the equipment will wear out sooner than expected. You can find a general guideline for your printer’s monthly output on the “recommended monthly pages” in your device’s spec sheet.
What isn’t as well-known is underused equipment can also require more frequent maintenance because the machine isn’t being used regularly.
What should you do? Make sure you take the time to select the best printer for you; one that matches your office’s needed print/copy volume.
2. You Don’t Need to Manage Your Printers Yourself
How often have you run out of toner? Does your IT support staff cringe like they’re hearing fingernails on a blackboard when someone stops by their desk to say, “the printer isn’t working”?
Like anything these days, you can outsource the management of your print fleet to a third-party expert called managed print services (MPS). Your MPS partner will help you identify the exact mix of equipment you need, proactively monitor toner levels and deliver you more before you run out, provide proactive maintenance and, most importantly, allow your IT team to focus on IT.
For a monthly fee, all you have to do is press print - your MPS partner takes care of everything else.*
*You will have to buy your own paper.
What should you do? Talk to a managed print services company (like Benchmark) and have them perform a print assessment to see if MPS could be a good fit for your business. In most cases, MPS can help you save time and money.
3. Security Breaches -- The Copier Hard Drive
Anything connected to a network can be hacked. Your printer is a combination of machinery and computer (especially more recent models). As you print and copy, documents are often stored in the printer’s cache and/or hard drive. If hacked, these documents are a goldmine of data for cybercriminals -everything from social security numbers to credit card information passes through your device. You can read more about this issue and how to protect yourself here:
A successful ransomware attack could lock down your business’ data for hours or days until the ransom is paid (and then there’s no guarantee you’ll receive the key to retrieve your data). Security threats for businesses of every size are real -- don’t ignore them.
What should you do? Include your printers in your company’s security strategy.
4. Security Breaches -- Confidential Documents in Print Trays
A confidential document in a print tray is a recipe for a data breach. Anyone can come by and pick up a document. If a document containing salary information is out in the open for all to see, it’s only embarrassing. If a document contains protected personal information (such as healthcare details), that could be a compliance breach under HIPAA rules. Fines can run into thousands or millions. Damage to your reputation could cause you to lose customers.
What should you do? Use print rules to implement secure print across your print fleet. For more details, read Keep Prying Eyes Away From Printed Documents With Secure Print.
5. Allowing Anyone to Print Anywhere
Up to half of print jobs are thrown away without being used. People print multiple copies of the same document because they sent a document to the wrong printer. This is wasted money. While it only costs pennies to copy a document or print a page, those pennies add up to real money over time.
What should you do? Most Xerox copiers allow you to implement print rules that track and limit various aspects of print jobs -- sending large jobs to the lowest cost printer or restricting color printing to only the marketing department, for example. Read more about print rules and see more examples here, 11 Print Rules You Can Use to Cut Document Costs and Waste -- It’s Easy!
These five printing aspects can cause real harm to your business if ignored. The good news is now that you know about these things, there are steps you can take to address all of them.