Are printing costs bloating your budget
This report outlines what to look out for and address to help bring the cost of business printing down within your organisation. You will of course have questions - We highly recommend that you book an appointment to meet with one of our specialists.
Any of the documents on this page can be opened by just clicking anywhere on the page; the mouse cursor then becomes a magnifying glass enabling closer review of the reports.
You have seen all the sales blurb about "print coverage" and "cost per copy" but all of this means nothing without some clear examples of what 141% coverage actually means. This document helps dispell any myths surrounding the subject of print coverage. DMC are able to accurately measure the exact coverage of any document that you have in your business to enable us to predict the exact savings you can make by migrating your laser prints to one of our MFD's.
The True Cost of Printing
The IT Manager’s Guide to: Waste Reduction & Cost Efficiency
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
3. WHO’S IN CHARGE OF PRINT OPTIMISATION IN YOUR ORGANISATION?
4. FOLLOW THE MONEY
5. A MOUNTAIN OF WASTE
6. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
7. DON’T PUT THE FOXES IN CHARGE OF THE CHICKEN COOP
8. CREATING A CULTURE SHIFT THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
1. Executive Summary
"Implementing a waste monitoring print management solution can reduce printing spend by at least 20%"
The aim of this document is to highlight the inefficient printing habits which are rife in UK organisations and the cost savings and environmental benefits that can be harnessed through proper print management.
It is designed to address the needs of three distinct audiences;
Those who don't know they have a problem
Those who are aware there is an issue but are unsure of the next steps to take
Those who have already taken steps to address the issue (such as a printer refresh and consolidation) and are looking to make further savings.
These are the facts…..
Reducing your printing costs can therefore make a significant impact on the bottom line.
Many businesses will carefully manage the supply chain for all devices and consumables centrally, optimising the supply chain but not the printer use, but fail to actually tackle the source of the problem – the creation of waste.
Print Audit is a leading print management solution which came to the UK in 2005. By monitoring, tracking and reporting on the print estate usage and the associated costs it allows a customer to understand their actual print requirements, identify areas of waste and use their print environment more effectively.
The software can then be used to create very granular policies to target those areas of inefficiency and waste and monitor the impact and savings. In addition to this cost saving the software also allows for chargeback to cost centres, printing to the nearest networked printer automatically and monitors the status of networked devices for paper, toner, ink, power mode and errors making overall management of printing an easy and manageable task.
This document will delve deeper into the print waste issue showing how you can optimise your printer estate to ensure you are gaining the most value from your printing hardware, identify and dramatically reduce waste by raising awareness of printing issues within your organisation and create a culture shift towards more responsible printing thereby reducing your printing expenses.
To find out how you could reduce your costs, read on…
"65% of print-outs and photocopies, many of which could be read on screen, land in the bin before the end of the day"
Mandy Haggith, European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN)
This will undoubtedly be a critical few years for companies and seemingly small cost efficiencies can make big differences, possibly meaning make or break for some organisations. Most companies are searching for ways to decrease costs; however, printing often falls under the radar.
Perhaps print consumption does not instigate a heated debate at every board room table, but when you consider the facts, printing suddenly starts to look a lot more interesting, particularly if you are the financial director !
Gartner estimate organisations spend 13% of revenue on printing. In 2004 both Gartner and Forrester made consistent predictions, highlighting the need for companies to take control of their print estates, and as a result many have taken heed.
Today, there is more awareness of printing issues and vendors have taken the issue to heart, developing highly effective Multi-Functional Devices (MFD's) that dramatically reduce the cost per printed page, energy consumption and the number of machines
needed in an office.
According to Gartner, MFD's can reduce printing costs by up to 30% and energy costs by up to 50%.This is an impressive start, delivering a positive impact on the environment, but the story should not end there. Most companies have yet to maximise potential for cost saving by taking sufficient steps to address the root cause of the problem. Why not just print less to begin with? Implementing a waste monitoring print management solution can further reduce printing spend by up to 20%.
Therefore by combining these actions, print spend can be reduced by over 50%, which could be as much as 1.5% of total revenue. If you want to find out how to decrease costs, improve efficiency and reduce both waste and power consumption and your impact on the environment, keep reading...
3. Who’s in charge of print optimisation in your organisation
“It [printing] tends to get overlooked because it’s not sexy or upfront”
Don Dixon, Gartner’s research director for printing markets
In some organisations printing is not perceived as a priority and can often go overlooked. Despite the fact that printers play a critical function in organisations, costs are often accepted and not investigated closely.
The low cost of acquisition can lead to an inefficient proliferation of devices, resulting in an organisation being unaware of how many actual assets it has and how these devices are being used.
A 2004 survey showed that board-level managers are alarmingly ignorant about the cost of print. Overall 61% of finance directors had no idea at all of the cost of document production in their business.This increased to 71% for firms with a turnover of more than £20m.
Often printing costs are not questioned. Printing is considered to be a necessity rather than a luxury. As a result many finance directors neither plan to cut print costs, nor do they see document production costs as critical to financial budgeting.
However, taking control of the print estate can help organisations to: drive down costs, improve organisational efficiency, help the environment & the green agenda and improve cultural and operational issues.
The problem often lies in the fact that in many organisations the printer estate is not centrally managed. I.T. management may specify the printer models and purchasing departments may source them at the lowest cost, but who checks if the printer is actually needed or what policies are in place to track and allocate costs? If a user requests a new printer, how does the business make a decision? Is there another printer that can be re-allocated ? What use would that printer be put to? Is it the right device for the job? Is this the best solution for the business as a whole?
This lack of control and management produces an environment where cost and waste can grow exponentially with little or no control. For a waste reduction programme to be successful there is a need for someone in the organisations to take ownership of the problem, to install a decent print management solution to monitor device usage, and to fully optimise the print estate.
Read on to find out how you can do this…
4. Follow the money
Behavioural research found office workers throw away 45 % of everything they print within a day, equivalent to more than a trillion pages every year. (2007)
Vendors have effectively publicised the numerous benefits that can be reaped from consolidating printer estates and installing MFDs'. In Q1 2009 sales of colour MFDs led the global printer market with sales growing 6% annually. According to IDC, MFD' dominate the market with a 62% share and 16.3 million units shipped in the quarter.
However, when making a printer purchase, buying criteria is often disproportionately influenced by the initial acquisition cost of the hardware. It is estimated that the average company’s printing costs amount to £436 per employee per year, but the hardware costs are relatively small.
Here is a breakdown of the costs (over a 36 month period of use according to Gartner Group) :
Hardware – the actual cost of the hardware makes up just 5% of the total cost of ownership (TCO) for a device.
Consumables - this amounts to 45% of the total TCO and includes: Toner, cartridges, drums, energy, ink and paper, which are referred to as the consumables and also the direct cost of spare parts.
Support and Maintenance – this is the largest one with 50% of the TCO. There can be huge efficiency losses should a device break down causing people to be unable to print, or lodging calls to a help desk, or clogging up the network.
According to IDC, more than 30% of calls to help-desk are concerning printer cases. We are talking here of lost productivity, lack (and cost) of training and overall management. Added to that there are the physical costs of either paying for a maintenance contract, which will be more expensive depending on how much you print, or you can risk it without (although in the event of a machine breaking it can cost £100 per service call).
Almost every business focuses on the capital purchase of the printer infrastructure and a much smaller number focus on the running costs. In effect this results in the management of a very small percentage of the overall costs being controlled. A print management solution can help a business addresses the other 95% of the costs in one step.
In reality, the costs incurred from printing are actually driven by the users themselves. If a user can access a colour device then they will usually print a large proportion of their documents (email, Word, PowerPoint, web etc) using the most expensive settings. Colour printing is increasing by 35% per year, with a unit cost over 8 to 10 times higher than a black and white printed page. However, disabling colour printing en masse is not a viable solution, as the use of colour is a valuable communication tool and is critical for some documents.
Fujitsu Siemens Computers found the average British office worker prints 22 pages every working day and more than half admitted to having printed the same document several times by mistake.
Two in five have picked up someone else's printout by mistake and 8 per cent admit to printing emails before they've even read them.To impact the overall cost of printing documents, the behaviour of the user needs to change.
Installing a print management solution can help to make users aware of their printing use. Having the ability to alert a user about the impact of their actions can enable a move to more ‘responsible printing’.
A survey, “State of printing” 2009 reported that more than three quarters of 10,000 respondents said they feel guilty about wasted pages, regardless of home or office, and 85% said they would opt for an environmentally conscious printing option if one was available. Therefore by giving users awareness of their actions and ‘personal responsibility’, they can then make better choices about their printing and drive more responsible printing behaviour. This in turn drives down waste and the associated costs and impact on the environment.
5. A mountain of waste
“An average person prints 31 pages per day and more than a third are thrown in the bin without being read”
The UK are the worst offenders in Europe.
British offices print up to 120 billion pieces of paper every year, the equivalent of a paper mountain more than 8,000 miles high. Needless printing undoubtedly has financial repercussions, but environmental concerns also need to be addressed, printer consolidation and outsourcing alone will not deliver the complete solution.
Personal responsibility and accountability of those using printers is fundamental.
The economy is focusing attention on cost saving in all markets. Business decisions regarding environmental impact rely on a strong return on investment element.
Green issues are still hot on the agenda for many organisations. Being environmentally friendly can boost a company’s market appeal and act as a differentiator against competitors. Many organisations proudly brand themselves ‘green’, and having evidence of projects and savings that you have made can make good for marketing campaigns and result in positive PR. Therefore print reduction also provides a company with a good chance to show off its green credentials.
Additionally, it can be an incentive to a company’s employees. Getting staff involved in making the business greener and the office more energy efficient can motivate and cement a sense of a team environment. This could also help in recruiting the best staff, as it gives an impression of the organisation as a caring company.
Traditionally becoming more environmentally responsible has meant an increase in spending. The latest generation of technology that targets waste provides an immediate cost reduction that also results in a measurable reduction on the environmental impact. Print management solutions are a prime example of this. A project to understand, target and track areas of waste saves valuable cash straight away and provide a reduced environmental impact. In summary, reduced waste equals less cost and lower waste and CO2 emissions; it is possible to have both.
6. Knowledge is power
“90% of companies don’t have a clear picture of their printing or copying consumables”
Methods to target print costs include:
A. Printer consolidation
Remove older, more expensive machines and reallocate the remaining estate
B. Printer refresh
Refresh the entire printer estate with new, faster, cheaper MFD's
C. Outsource contracts
Pay a flat fee to buy a print service
D. Pay per Print contracts
Take a number of high volume MFD's from a supplier on a contract, payment is invoiced per page printed
E. Printer management software
Manage usage and printers centrally to reduce costs and increase service levels to end users
F. Printer polices which reduce waste
Educate the users on the impact of printing and put policies in place to encourage best practice
Only option F will actually reduce the amount being printed, all the others target the cost per page. If you print a million pages a month, as a business you’ll still pay for the 20% of pages produced in error and wasted.
Why specify a solution to handle the pages you shouldn’t be printing in the first place?
At the core of the solution there should be a shared ethos regarding the professional, accountable print decisions of all employees. Companies should take control of the printer estate and its costs by understanding current use and costs then evaluate the solutions implemented.
7. Don’t put the foxes in charge of the chicken coop
North Americans and Europeans use more than 200kg of paper each per year, while the average African uses just 6.5kg
Information is power. When taking on a project such as this, the first thing a company needs to do is work out what they already have by taking an inventory of devices and establish methods of measuring the usage of consumables and waste for monitoring purposes. This information can then form a baseline from which to measure the effectiveness of the printer project.
DMC can come into an organisation and do this. We will look at what you print and offer solutions according to your requirements. This means getting an evaluation on how the devices are being used, not just the actual amount of printing produced. This is crucial to you getting the right assessment for your requirements.
Through monitoring your print environment and the waste produced to identify its quantity, its type and the environmental effects, you can effectively identify and cut out the waste, allowing you to set targets and support the printing that’s actually needed, and not buy expensive infrastructure for the printing that isn’t.
DMC will produce a proposal based on requirement from the customer and use our expertise to propose a solution using this data and a transparent picture of the printing requirements.
The most effective strategy is to approach the project with a clear understanding of the companies real print profile and requirements. An ideal project plan would include:
8. Creating a culture shift through technology
DMC/Print Audit can save companies over 20% of their printing costs by reducing waste and driving efficiency, typically delivering ROI in less than six months
At the heart of the issue are the cultural and operational issues surrounding printing. A YouGov poll of 2,011 adults showed that fewer than half of office staff say they are careful about printing documents and avoid printing hard copies unless absolutely necessary. A quarter admit not giving much thought to printing documents and a further 13 per cent do not worry about how many documents they print as long as they recycle them. Only 16 per cent of workers said that their company emails carry a footnote asking the recipient whether it is necessary to print out the email, and only two thirds of companies provide recycling bins for paper.
In the study, “State of printing” (2009), it identified that more than a third of the 10,000 respondents surveyed said they feel guilty about wasted pages and 85% said they would opt for an environmentally conscious printing option if one was available.
However the survey also found that while 58% noticed extensive paper waste in their office, only 26% see themselves as personally contributing to this. This demonstrates the need for employees to take ownership of the waste issue and recognise their personal stake in improving the situation.
Print Audit is fundamental to help in this process. Information gathered by Print Audit can create very granular policies and procedures to target specific areas of Inefficiency and waste, then continually monitor the impact and savings.
Policies and procedures can drive, implement and monitor changes in behaviour. Print Audit facilitates a culture shift regarding printing. It helps organisations to take responsibility for their printing habits and associated costs, reducing energy and water consumption. Return on Investment (ROI) for those organisations that have implemented Print Audit, in most cases, is under six months.
Print Audit can deliver improved operational efficiencies. In addition to this cost saving the software also allows for chargeback to cost centres, printing to the nearest networked printer automatically and monitor the status of networked devices for paper, toner, ink, power mode etc. making overall management of printing an easy and manageable task.
Additionally, while the cost per sheet on its own may not seem groundbreaking the cumulative results across an organisation can be both astounding and motivating when people see that a difference is being made and this is translated into genuine environmental savings.
Taking control of your printing is a valuable cost saving exercise, as well as being an environmentally responsible way of improving your brand and engaging your staff. As this document has demonstrated, there are a number of steps which an organisation can take to bring these benefits to the bottom line and stop the senseless waste that can proliferate throughout UK organisations.
To recap, here are the key steps that companies looking to make the change should take:
By following these steps you can make a genuine difference to the bottom line. You don’t necessarily have to replace all of your existing printer estate to make significant savings, by understanding and targeting areas of waste and bad practice, any business can save over 20% of its print costs.
To find out more about Print Audit and how DMC can help you to transform your print environment, please browse the rest of the website, take a look at our sister site for our Corporate Solutions www.dmcplc.info or contact the UK team on: 0800 413 953 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org