Almost every business with more than two employees has the uphill task of trying to balance work efficiency and cost savings. One of the black holes of company money tends to be stationery – more specifically, printing costs. From the cost of the printer itself, the ink, maintenance and of course, the paper – this little machine can suck the profits from a company over time.
How can we encourage our team to work together to reduce printing costs?
Of course, understanding that there is a problem as well as knowing the scale of the problem is the first step in rectifying it.
One U.S study showed that the average office employee will go through a staggering 10 000 sheets of copy paper each year. While we may think that they’re terribly productive, the sad fact is that around 70 percent of that ends up in the bin.
A good exercise would be to ask your team to log the amount of printing that they do over a period of a week or so, and establish how much of this was necessary, and how much of it could have been avoided by making use of alternative communication options.
Ask yourself, can this document be emailed to the recipients? Can I get away with one copy instead of ten? Can this information be placed safely in the cloud?
If you do have to print a document, can you make use of both sides of the paper? Most printers will do the double-sided legwork for you with a simple click of a button, with the result that you can halve the amount of paper used with this one step alone.
Does this document need to be in colour, or can you get away with a black, draft quality document?
Automate Your Savings
Your team are very likely to get on board with helping to reduce printing costs, especially when they are made aware of the fact that this is also a green issue – one which we can all get on board with.
However, to make it just that little bit easier, why not get your IT guys in to make a few small changes to the default settings on your printers and computers? For example, why not narrow the margins on all documents? That may only equate to a few extra lines on a page, but over time – well – pennies make pounds as they say. Perhaps you can set your systems up to print double-sided and greyscale by default? Even changing the font that you use can make a small but significant difference – with serif fonts using more ink than others.
As you can see, reducing printing costs is a team effort, but a simple and effective way to cut costs and boost profits in the long term.