Easy Ways to Cut Printing Costs

Our businesses and organizations generate more paper than ever and everyone struggles to control the blizzard of paper we all consume daily. Managing printing whether using HP's or other solutions can save real money. We help manage the printing costs of numerous local organizations. Let us help you.

It’s relatively easy to take your office printers for granted. Did you know that there is often a significant opportunity to reduce costs and IT workload by making simple changes to your office printing environment?

Here are five ways your business can start reducing printing costs today:
 
1. See things from both sides
Saving on printing costs doesn’t mean you should stop printing altogether—it just means being strategic about hitting “print.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average office worker in the U.S. prints 10,000 sheets of paper each year. By taking advantage of your printer’s duplex printing function, you instantly cut your paper usage. Coupled with other smart printing habits, the savings add up quickly.

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Myths regarding the use of refilled toner cartridges

There is a lot of debate surrounding the myths and facts regarding the use of refilled and remanufactured or non-OEM (original equipment manufacturer) toner cartidges. While most of our clients use HP, Xerox, and other OEM toners, some use compatible cartridges very successfully, while others have had significant issues using them.  

On the surface refilled or remanufactured print cartridges at lower price points might seem like a cheap alternative to the use of OEM print cartridges. But in the long run, they may end up costing more. From Hewlett Packard's perspective, here are four common myths surrounding remanufactured print cartridges, and then decide for yourself which is the better bargain.

Myth #1: Refilled or remanufactured cartridges save money

Fact: While it’s true that the initial purchase price may be less, unreliable cartridges can waste supplies because many may quit working, stranding toner in the cartridge. "Bargain"0910_SMB_fturl_Tonercartridgefamily315299356122.1665  cartridges may produce lower quality prints: smudging, streaking and ghosting are not uncommon. This may force reprinting or replacing cartridges, causing a drain on productivity and creating hidden costs that add up.

In fact, non-HP LaserJet cartridge(s) can cost more than double the price of an Original HP LaserJet print cartridge. When you take into account the extra costs associated with inferior reliability and being forced to reprint poor-quality pages, it’s easy to see how Original HP LaserJet print cartridges can lower your total cost of printing.

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Are you wasting money on Printing?

Editors note: Although this article is Hewlett Packard centric, it makes many good points regarding better managing printers within your organization.  The Computing Center manages hundreds of printers for many different companies. We can help you better manage your printers and save you money regardless of printer manufacturer.
Office printers are a staple of any workplace. We plug them in, connect them to our network, send files to be printed and alert the IT department if anything goes wrong. It seems simple enough, but it’s likely that you’re not giving your printing methods and devices the attention they deserve. In fact, failing to manage your office printing could be costing your business dearly.
 
Without closely managing your print services, your business could be committing costly printing blunders and not even know it. The following are common ways that unmanaged printing could be bringing your business down.
 
No print strategy
Have you taken the time to devise a strategy that optimizes printing in your office? If not, you could be wasting valuable time and money. Implementing a print strategy will help you gain an understanding of the connections between costs, controls and solutions that will benefit your business. It’s important to carefully assess your print environment and gather information from all of your devices. Then, figure out which solutions will best assist in implementing your overall strategy.

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Get savvy on sustainable printing

In the digital age, people often try to steer clear of printing hard copies in the office. Printing page after page can seem wasteful—but it doesn’t have to be. When your business makes an effort to practice sustainable printing, you’ll see a positive impact on your bottom line, reputation and environmental footprint.

Recycle your used cartridges
If you’re not currently recycling your used ink and toner cartridges, now is the time to start. It’s free and easy—not to mention responsible—and there’s really no reason not to do it.

Through the HP Planet Partners program, you can recycle Original HP cartridges for free and keep them out of landfills for good [1]. Original HP cartridges returned to HP through the Planet Partners program go through a multiphase recycling process. They are reduced to raw materials, which can then be used to make new metal and plastic products, such as new HP cartridges.

Fun fact: If all the HP ink and LaserJet toner cartridges that customers have recycled through HP Planet Partners were laid end to end along the equator, they would circle the earth 1.8 times—so a little recycling can go a long way!

Reconsider remanufactured cartridges
Thinking about using remanufactured or refilled cartridges? Think again. The truth is, remanufacturing is not necessarily good for the environment since it rarely prevents cartridges from ultimately ending up in landfills. According to a 2011 study, more than 90 percent of the ink and toner cartridges sold from the remanufacturers surveyed will ultimately be thrown away because most remanufacturers fail to collect their own products [2].

Remanufactured cartridges are also not the way to save money. Since they are often unreliable, they can create hidden costs in the form of support calls, reprints and wasted supplies that really start to add up.

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Et tu, printer?

When you think about protecting your business from security risks, what comes to mind? Most likely, you're not thinking about your office printers. But you should. 

Printers found in many businesses these days do more than just print. Many of them also scan, copy, fax and receive print jobs through a network connection. Like a computer, printers are equipped with processors, hard drives and operating systems—and are thus susceptible to the same threats that commonly plague PCs. 

Watch out for these threats
There are many different ways your printer might be compromising the security of your business. Here are several threats you should make sure you're defending against: 

Document theft: This is the most obvious threat and applies to all printers. If printed documents are sent to the printer and left there for a period of time, it's very easy for someone to come by and take them, or at least look through them. This is an easy way for sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands.
Defense: Keep office printers in a visible open area instead of in a separate room where they can't be monitored. HP Access Control Secure Pull Printing helps reduce unclaimed prints and increases efficiency. Users can print to a secure network, authenticate with ease, and retrieve jobs when necessary. Another good idea is to designate separate printers for departments that deal with sensitive information.

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