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At Jalapeno Business Services, we’re keen to help our clients save money and run their businesses more efficiently by investing in the right IT systems for their needs. One area where many companies could make significant savings is printing and copying. This article takes a look at a few of the steps you can take to reduce your costs – often with immediate effect.

  1. Get the right hardware in place

Do the printers and copiers you use at the moment actually meet your needs? If your business has grown rapidly in recent years, you could well have outgrown your print fleet. All printers have a ‘duty cycle’, or a maximum number of pages they can be expected to print in a month. Smaller, cheaper printers simply can’t cope with high print volumes, leading to breakdowns and soaring maintenance costs. This then wipes out any savings you may have made on the hardware in the first place!

If this sounds familiar, audit your printing to work out how many pages you’re getting through in a month (see point 2 below first, though). Then match this to a print fleet that can meet your needs. You can buy new machines upfront, or take out a lease agreement that offers the added benefit of an ongoing maintenance contract so any problems will be resolved quickly. You can also negotiate a favourable ‘price per page’ rate for your printing.

By upgrading your print hardware to modern, multi-function equipment, you could end up with fewer machines – offering additional savings in energy costs and office space. New printers are also faster and more efficient, helping boost your business productivity. What’s more, by streamlining your fleet, you’ll spend less on replacement ink and toner cartridges in the long term.

  1. Audit what you print to cut out waste

As part of the audit mentioned above, take the time to identify how many documents are being needlessly printed. Despite the rise of the paperless office, there’ll always be some paperwork that needs printing out, but you’ll probably find some areas where you could cut down or stop printing altogether.

For example, you could start sending customer newsletters by email rather than post. If you send out quotation or welcome packs, put these on your website and send the customer an email with a link. And if you hold a lot of meetings, encourage staff to bring their laptops, tablets or smartphones along, so they don’t need to print out the agenda or discussion papers.

  1. Change your default print settings

Just a few simple changes to your default settings could make a big difference to how much you spend on printing, paper and ink. These include:

  • Printing in mono (black and white). This is considerably cheaper than printing in colour.
  • Printing and copying in duplex (double-sided). This will save you a great deal of paper, helping protect the environment as well as saving you money.
  • Printing in draft. Unless your documents are being used externally, draft print quality will often suffice – and uses a lot less ink.
  • Pull printing. This setting means your staff need to activate their print jobs when they’re physically at the printer. As a result, they’ll be less likely to forget about their print jobs and needlessly redo them, or take other people’s documents by mistake.
  • Many of these settings can be centrally controlled so as to enforce any corporate policies.
  1. Change your printing behaviour

There are a couple more easy ways you and your staff can do to further reduce costs. Firstly you could reduce the font size on your documents so you use less paper and ink. Avoid using big headings, underlines and bold text as well. You could even consider changing your corporate font to one that uses less ink, for example, Calibri instead of Impact.

Finally, you could take a little more time to proofread your work on-screen and take a look at the Print Preview function before sending it off to the printer. After all, how many times have you thrown documents away because the layout is wrong for the page, or you’ve missed an error or typo?

Jalapeno can help cut your print costs

If you’d like to know how we can help reduce your printing and copy costs, take a look at this case study. We saved our client, Carmalor, an impressive £1,000 a year by changing their printer supplier and hardware, and ironing out a number of inefficiencies. We’d be pleased to assist your business in the same way, so get in touch today to find out more.