Print Rules Save Businesses Money, Reduce Waste and Print Less
Mon Nov 28, 2016 | Lasers Resource
If you don't know how much you print or others print, it's impossible for you to control that cost. And it is a cost, often hidden, for businesses. After payroll and rent, printing and copier is the third largest expense for most businesses.
Maybe you should try to keep that expense as under control as possible, right?
Is This Really a Problem?
A few blogs ago, I did some rough, back of the envelope math to illustrate how much paper is wasted in most businesses. (Click here to read the entire post). Here it is again. The assumption is based on a variety of research that reveals somewhere between 30% and 50% of all pages printed are thrown out/never used at the end of the day.
Think about how you use documents. Do you print convenience copies for meetings? Print out a spreadsheet to review? Most people do and most of those copies are trashed.
Let's say you have 70 people in your business and each outputs 5,000 pieces of paper per year (print and copy). That's 350,000 pages each year. Let's split the difference and say 40% of that is discarded. That's 140,000 pages. Let's assume all of those pages are black and white and you pay four cents for each page. You've thrown away $5,600 dollars.
What's a Print Rule?
Using software, you create a set of enforceable rules and suggestions that manage what users can – or can't – print.
These can be rules that are enforced or simply suggestions.
Examples of Printing Rules
Rules can managed print jobs on any of your printers or copiers that are connected to the network. The set up differs by the specific software used (there are several). Rules can be created for the entire company, for departments (only marketing can print in color, for example), and for individuals.
An additional benefit of printing rules is the ability to track who's printing, when, and how much they're printing. For large companies with centralized printing, this simplifies the chargeback process. Who knows, as Christmas approaches, maybe you can even ask Bill over in accounting for reimbursement for all the Christmas newsletters he printed.
Here are some common examples:
- Print in duplex – either default or remind users via pop up (or force duplex printing for regular print jobs)
- Route print jobs to the most cost-effective printer or copier. For example, large print jobs are automatically routed to high-volume devices
- Don't print emails – either disable printing emails or create a pop up to appear when ever someone tries to print an email.
- Black and white printing is the default choice
- Restrict color printing to only those who need it
- Automatically detect and delete duplicate jobs
- Set a cap for individuals for how much they can print
- Stop printing of huge files automatically. For instance, if someone is in Excel and accidentally prints “accounts.xsl,” that could be thousands of pages.
Proactive alerts can also help to prevent unnecessary printing. By alerting users of issues with a printer. How many times have you accidentally printed the same job three or four times because of a paper jam or low toner prevented the initial print and then you never canceled the other jobs? Here are a few proactive alerts that can keep extra printing down:
- Printer error – paper jam, for example
- Toner level is low
- Alerts for invalid paper sizes
- Other errors that will prevent printing
Print Rules Are Green
Print rules also help your company become more environmentally friendly. This is an issue we care about. We have a partnership with Print Releaf to measure our (and our customers) environmental impact from printing paper and contributing to reforesting efforts. With Print Releaf, your paper consumption is counted and a tree is planted in an area of your choosing for every 8,333 pages. You can track your reforestation results with certificates that mark year to year growth.
You can also create pop ups that encourage green printing, separate from Print Releaf. The pop up can have details of the environmental impact and suggest “print in duplex to halve this impact.” Some of your employees will care! You can read more about Print Releaf here or download a brochure here.
Stop wasting money on prints and copies you don't need. Create and enforce print rules and add some of those pennies back to your bottom line.
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