IT Trenches

Feb 6 2009   6:31PM GMT

Cost saving measures – printing? Really?

Troy Tate Profile: Troy Tate

I don’t know about your organizations but the one I work for is doing as much as possible to reduce costs in these hard times. We have gone through the staffing reductions, travel restrictions, site closures, salary reductions like most other organizations. Now an outside vendor has come to us saying they can help save us money in printing. Granted, there may be some cost savings there and I hope there is. However, some of the statistical information they provided has me wondering about the accuracy and scope.

I don’t have full details yet of how the survey was done, but the vendor reported that the average user in this office exceeds 26 printed pages per day. So, for an office of about 80 people, this is over 2080 pages per day – or over 4 reams of paper. The survey also says that black/white costs are 2.5 cents per page and color is 17.2 cents per page. Do these number seem reasonable or has your organization done a similar printing survey?

One of the issues I have with this is if the volume survey was done in January, that is not really the most representative month for printing volumes. That is the month when month-end, quarter-end and year-end financial statements are produced. There is a lot of “unusual” print volume during the first month of the year.

A cost saving recommendation, of course to come back from the vendor, is to use duplex printing where possible. Most of the printers in this office have been here for well over 5 years. They were not purchased with the duplex print options to save costs at the initial purchase time. So, this is not really an available option on most of the printers. The users of course could print 2 pages per page (as I typically try to do), but then the print is very small and can be difficult to read which can create errors or cause stress. So, is this a good option either?

I’d like to hear from some IT-Trenches readers – please share with me your experiences with printing cost saving measures. I’m sure other readers would appreciate your tips, tricks and insights.

Thanks for reading & let’s continue to be good network citizens.

3  Comments on this Post

 
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  • SJC
    I just recently went through a clients reports with an eye toward re-design by either eliminating fields that were printed, or, in general "tightening up" on the formatting to maintain easy readability but use less paper. With one of the reports I reduced paper consumption by 20%.
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  • SAPjava74
    You know... that is probably one of the best places to start! Is the report really needed? Is all of the information on the report required? If not, what information can be removed from the report to reduce volume. Thanks for the excellent comment!
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  • Suzanne Wheeler
    I like reducing fonts from 12pt to 11pt or even down to 10pt if you can get away with it. I also print documents for self-use 2-up because I bought eyeglasses for a reason, right? Printed reports are the best place to start, I agree. There is much that doesn't need to be printed, especially when folks are printing just because they're curious, not to produce output. Print to pdf instead. Good luck! And PS: I hardly trust vendors who suggest solutions my current equipment can't handle when the idea is to save money, not spend more.
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