Choose your language

Choose your login

Contact us


How to reduce print costs in your workplace

So, you’re looking to reduce print costs in the workplace. In fact, you’re wondering to yourself, “Why? Why does this happen? Why is it that we’re spending a fortune on toner, ink, and paper?” If it helps, you’re not alone: enterprise print spending hit roughly $121 billion in 2023. US offices use roughly 12.1 trillion sheets of paper every year. 

The good news is, there are tons of ways to reduce print costs. And it’s made simpler because office printing costs usually come down to just a few factors: supplies, waste and print management.

This means you can attack print costs from a few directions. You can purchase cheaper, or more efficient supplies. You can cut down on unnecessary printing and office waste. And you can manage your printing more effectively. Combined, these three things can dramatically cut down your office printing costs – we’ve found many of our clients, for example, have been able to slash their printing budgets by up to 75% !

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? A certain department? 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 <gasp> full color!”

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 easy, and a real hero when you just want to know where your money’s going.

Restrict your users

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. Preferably 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 the printouts (that stops the annoying wasted paper in the document tray that no one ever claims or collects). 

Click here to read more about Print Release.

Become overlord of your print domain

If you want to get really serious about your office printing costs, you need to take control of all aspects of the process with software like PaperCut MF or the fancy cloud native solution 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).

Use cost-friendly print techniques

To really cut down on office print costs, we recommend instituting some basic print policies. Users should only print in black and white, and duplex (double-sided) printing should be enabled automatically. Color cartridges cost, on average up to 40% more than black ones. Color printing also takes longer and consumes more power. And most of the time, it’s completely unnecessary! If that colourful presentation is so important, send it digitally, or make it a PowerPoint. In most offices, color printing is a luxury, and should be treated as such. 

Try multi-page printing

Duplex printing is a good start, but you can take it even further with multi-page printing. By printing two, four, or even eight A4 pages on a single page, you’re obviously shrinking your paper usage significantly. This won’t work for all documents, of course, but for internal memos, where people just need the basic bullet points and presentation doesn’t matter, multi-page printing is a great tool to use. Again, this can be enabled through print management software, such as PaperCut Hive.

Why print when you can scan?

It’s always a good idea to look for digital alternatives to printing. And we’re saying that as a print management company! The truth is, a lot of what gets printed could have been scanned, or emailed, or loaded onto a Google Drive. Printing still has its place, but it’s place shouldn’t be the default option. Scanning in particular is a great way to cut down on unnecessary copies. Instead of photocopying a document, try scanning and emailing instead.   

Eliminate print mistakes 

A Lexmark study once found that, of everything printed in the office environment, about 17% is considered waste. That means printed pages that aren’t even used! There are a few reasons for this – including documents forgotten at the MFD – but in our experience, printing error is a big contributor. Staff make mistakes in a document, and instead of checking, they just click CTRL + P. Mistakes are only picked up on the physical page, which means they need to print the actual document twice.

By using print management functions, like PaperCut’s pull printing , you can prevent jobs being released when there’s something wrong with the printer, and even allow users to check their jobs one last time before release. Right at the MFD! This gives everyone a chance to make sure the margins are correct, before committing to print. 

Choose the right devices 

Choosing the right device is an often-overlooked aspect of printing cost, and multi-function printers vary wildly in performance, ink consumption and energy efficiency. If you’re using a 20-year-old printer, chances are good you’re throwing good money down the drain. First, you need to weigh the costs and benefits of inkjet vs toner. Next, look for models that are famously un-thirsty (i.e. miserly with their ink). Some sites have helpfully tested and rounded up the best devices, to make your search easier.

Lastly, think about power use and energy efficiency. Ask your print supplier for their tips on the best models, and don’t be afraid to ask for more product information. Especially if you’re buying in bulk.

Reducing your print costs is a constant battle, and we recommend auditing your print environment every month or two, just to check it’s being used efficiently. Print management software, like PaperCut, can quickly spot waste and help your track your print activity. For more information on reducing costs, just give our friendly team a call .    


Subscribe for the latest in print management and product updates!

By filling out and submitting this form, you agree that you have read our Privacy Policy, and agree to PaperCut handling your data in accordance with its terms.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.