Posted by Glenn Gibson
Printing is an essential part of every business. But if not properly regulated and controlled, it can also be a hidden drain on the profits of small business.
The Fuji Xerox Office Printing Habits Report found that printing costs can account for up to four per cent of revenue for 90 per cent of Australian small business. For a business turning over $800,000 per annum, that’s $32,000 a year!
More alarmingly, two out of every three small business employers are unaware of their printing costs.
But if you’re the Financial Controller of a small business there are three simple things you can do to slash those unchecked printing costs and pour those profits to the bank balance, not ink cartridges.
The first step in effectively managing printing costs is to identify where they are coming from.
Keeping track of who is printing what and when is critical, but it can be a daunting task. If there are more than a handful of staff, several floors or members of the team working flexible hours, it’s easy to miss the visual cues of excessive or costly printing habits (such as someone waiting at the printer for 10 minutes or walking around with piles of printed pages).
Once you’re able to capture details on who is printing what and when, producing an activity report will provide valuable insights into the business’ printing habits and trends.
Printing activity reports can offer an overview of print volumes, colour versus mono pages, the cost per page, and the name of documents printed for a specified period. You may also be able to organise information by date, printer, employee, department or client code. Once you understand the business’ requirements, you can create custom reports to provide a better understanding of printer usage.Using the report findings, you can develop a suitable print policy and establish a benchmark from which to improve. Generating a regular and accurate activity report can help to manage printing costs by:
The office print policy is an important part of controlling printing costs and usage. It is a set of guidelines that stipulates the expectations, rules and behaviours for office printing. It explains procedures for black and white versus colour printing, double versus single sided printouts and personal printing.
The absence of a print policy can give rise to unproductive attitudes about printing, which ultimately drive up printing costs. If nobody’s watching, some may think it’s acceptable to print 50 family photographs or print in colour whenever they want.
Using the insights you’ve gleaned from capturing and monitoring print behaviour, you can introduce changes to the print policy that can deliver significant cost savings for the business.
Find out more about reducing your printing costs and boosting profits for your small business with our free eBook.