Printing always comprises a major business cost, but end-of-year, with reports, performance management, accounting, and forecasts is a peak period for print. Most organizations see rampant increases in costs, with some even choosing to outsource printing for annual reports for the season. While it’s understandable that print costs will increase during peak periods like end-of-year, you can take deliberate steps to reduce total costs and associated waste. Most importantly, most MPS providers will be able to reduce those costs for you, as part of an existing contract.
Whether you have an MPS contract and want to know what to ask for or are looking for ways to reduce costs, an MPS provider can help. In most cases, you should start before year end, giving the provider enough time to review usage, predict needs, and offer employee training to ensure that everyone can utilize those solutions.
Reducing Cost Per Page
A study by CitiGroup shows that most organizations pay 13-35x the cost of a page of paper in actual print costs. This works out to somewhere between $0.06 and $0.13 cents per page.
On a normal day, the average employee prints 31 pages per day. But, at the end of the year, key departments like Accounts Payable and HR will print thousands of pages per person. Most of these will end up in the trash on the same day. Why? Many are draft versions, copies to be taken to meetings, and duplicates of files for meetings and handout. Simply reducing total cost per page can dramatically cut costs when you’re looking at 10s of thousands of printed pages.
Managed Print Services implement software and cloud management as part of your print solution. This allows you to force cost-saving standards like font size and type, black and white printing, duplex printing, reducing print density, and maintaining specific margin size and width.
While this will only save a few cents at most per page, this can add up dramatically over the full course of printing tens of thousands of pages over the course of a few months.
Introducing Digitization and Digital Workflows
Most organizations use some digitization and digital workflows, but data shows that more than 60% of organizations don’t. An MPS will identify where business processes in accounts payable are wasting paper, which will impact budget and printing costs throughout the year. At end-of-year, when reports, pay slips, accounting reports, bonuses, and tax documentation requires printing, those savings can be compounded many times over.
How does that work? Traditionally, files are printed, sent for verification, updated digitally, and printed again, and so on. Sometimes this process is repeated multiple times over, meaning you might print 20-30 pages per employee for every billing season, and then again for reporting and performance periods.
Digitizing these processes means that every process until the final print is handled digitally. All reports, confirmations, edits, and process of approval are handled digitally and only the final draft of any piece is ever printed. In many cases, digital workflows also mean that files needed for records-keeping and documentation are simply never printed. Instead, those files are stored digitally on servers and backed up to the cloud, where they can be searched electronically.
Why does a managed print services provider work to reduce your total print? Your provider doesn’t make money off how much you print. Instead, most managed print services function to save you as much money as possible, because that’s a large part of what you are paying for.
Optimizing Printers to Meet Needs
Most organizations don’t have printers that fully meet needs. Whether that means printers are too large or too small to appropriately meet needs or don’t meet specific needs like printing flyers and end of year reports doesn’t matter, it means you’re paying more than necessary to print files. Managed Print Services can be extremely helpful here, both for meeting specific peak print needs and for meeting one-off needs like end of year reports. For example, your provider can likely ensure you have an in-house printer capable of printing and binding documents, even if it’s only for end of year.
Implementing Pull Printing
While employees aren’t the sole reason organizations spend as much as 3% of revenue on print, they are one of the reasons. Individuals often print documents to see how they look, to check quality, to test fonts, check readability, and print copies to hand out. Often, these files are extraneous, many are thrown away on the same day.
In fact, some studies suggest more than 30% of all print files are thrown away on the same day. That adds up when it involves copies of documents that are sometimes hundreds of pages long, especially when copies are usually available to be distributed at meetings and in offices.
Pull printing forces individuals to access the printer and be at the printer when they print a file, meaning files are less likely to be left in the tray, less likely to be forgotten about and printed again, and less likely to be thrown away. You can combine this with employee education programs to reduce waste printing (like printing unnecessary copies or printing multiple copies for individuals at meetings) which your managed print services provider will often be able to handle for you.
Re-Assessing What Needs to Be Printed
If your managed print services provider conducts a print needs assessment for you, they can likely easily identify where you are printing too much. For example, most organizations print thousands of extra copies of end of year reports, which simply end up being stored in back rooms over the year and then thrown away when new copies take their place.
Your MPS provider will likely offer cost-saving print recommendations, such as print-on-demand for reports and other large documents. Here, you ensure you have a printer capable of meeting print needs in-office, and then simply print a copy of a large document when you need it, rather than spending thousands on extraneous copies.
Managed print services will help you reduce total print costs by assessing where and how you print, ensuring that hardware meets your needs so you don’t have to outsource or waste money on paying for more than you need, and by reducing waste printing, including paper waste.