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How to reduce print costs in your workplace

So, you’re looking to reduce print costs in the workplace, hey? In fact, you’re wondering to yourself right now, “Why? Why does this happen and how do I avoid spending a fortune on toner / ink / paper?”

Luckily for you, there are three stages to resolving the eternal challenge of avoiding spending loads of money on print costs. And the good news is you can choose any stage you’re comfortable with (and can afford)!

Let’s explore…

Find out where your print costs are coming from

To save money, it pays to know where you’re spending it. So first things first, you need to know where your print costs are coming from. Is it a particular person? Is it a particular style of printing? Is it people pressing CTRL-P and documents not getting picked up after being printed?

To resolve this, you need something that tracks what’s happening on your printers. A helpful bit of software that says, “Er, listen, I don’t mean to be a nark, but I just noticed Bob printed a bunch of flyers for his kids’ school dance. In full colour!”

If you want to see where everything’s going, you want to install something like PaperCut Views - a free service that tracks what’s going on in your print environment. Super, super easy and a real hero when you just want to know where your money’s going.

With this approach, you’ll need to talk with your teammates about the reports you’ll receive from PaperCut Views so you can start to lower your print costs.

Restrict your users from doing certain things on your printers

It’s one thing to know what people are doing to your printers, it’s quite another to change their behaviour. That’s where print management comes in. You want to be able to control what sorts of things your team can print and how, automatically.

There’s a bunch of ways to do this, but probably the easiest is using a simple print management tool like PaperCut Pocket. Now this clever piece of software (that you install yourself) can do things like suggest only black and white printing, and ensure documents are printed double sided. Instant cost savings right there!

You can even tell it to only print out documents when your team member is actually standing at the printer with their mobile phone to release their printouts (that stops the annoying wasted paper in the document tray that no one ever claims or collects).

It’s fancier than all that, by the way, because it even predicts when you’ll need to top up on toner. You won’t just save on toner, you won’t run out!

Become overlord of all your print domain

If you want to get REALLY serious about your print environment, you take control of all aspects of the process with software like PaperCut Hive. Now, with this software, we’re talking total control over who prints what and when and how. You get a common experience on every printer in your workplace, regardless of the make or model.

Basically, you get full control over every last piece of the print (and scanning and document storage) process.

You really want to have a few of those bigger MFDs (multifunction devices/printers) to go down this path, but you’ll be SO glad when you see what control you get over costs and security (and sustainability, too).

So there you go - from the simplest (and freest) to the fanciest (and most expensive) ways to track and limit your print costs.

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