The TDSIT Blog

Uncover Printing's Hidden Costs

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Nov 26, 2015 @ 02:25 PM

hidden-printer-costs

When you think about the cost of a printer it’s only natural to think of the purchase or lease price. But the other costs associated with your print environment – from materials to man-hours – definitely enter into the picture.

Is your print fleet paying off in performance and productivity – or is it a “hidden” budget drain?

To find out, consider these questions:

What are you spending in supplies? Naturally, toner is integral to your printers, but buying too much encourages waste and invites the opportunity of theft. A Managed Print Services (MPS) program includes careful monitoring of print usage, and delivers just-in-time supplies that will keep your staff productive.

Is every hard copy necessary? For virtually every business, the answer is most often “no.” Incredibly, according to The Paperless Project “45% of the paper printed in offices ends up trashed by the end of the day – this daily lifespan occurs for over a trillion sheets of paper per year, worldwide.” You’ll often find these “abandoned” hard copies scattered around the printer or dumped into a recycling bin. An MPS solution that includes digital documentation can dramatically reduce the need to make hard copies, saving paper and other resources.

Are “high print quality” and “color” your printer defaults? Toner is a valuable resource – and a pricy one – so saving it can drive down material cost. For everyday needs, most prints don’t require high quality or color. As well, printing on both sides of the page can save paper in the short and long run. An MPS program includes employee training on best practices for practical printing.

Is your equipment aligned to today’s mobile and cloud technology? A mobile printing solution ensures that employees can securely create, share and store documentation from virtually any location – again, boosting productivity.

Talk to an MPS provider today about how you can start boosting productivity and lowering your print costs.

cut print costs

Tags: managed print services, controlling office print, print assessment, controlling color printing costs, cost effective print, unmanaged business printing, paper to digital

Print Assessment 101

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 @ 10:20 AM

print assessment

If you're looking for ways to reduce your office budget, but think you've exhausted every option, think again. The office print environment is an area where substantial savings can often be had. A Managed Print Services (MPS) provider can help starting with a detailed print assessment designed to identify where your money is being spent, opportunities to reduce costs, increase productivity and cut down on waste. 

What Is A Print Assessment?

A print assessment encompasses the monitoring of all print devices in your organization, over a set period of time. Once the information is gathered, a detailed report is presented, along with opportunities for improvement. Thanks to recent inroads in technology, software used to gather print data is quick, easy and accurate allowing businesses to gain an immediate understanding of their print network. 

What to Expect

Your print assessment may be carried out in a variety of ways, depending on the size and scope of your organization. Options include:

  • Walk About - For non-networked devices, or smaller operations, a walk around the office can yield significant results. By taking an inventory of all non-networked and networked devices, and running a configuration sheet at the start and end of the day, you can get an estimate of average daily print volumes. From there, volumes can be projected for a set period of time, and the necessary adjustments can be made. 
  • Deploying Print Assessment Software - For managers wishing to gain valuable insight into their actual cost of printing, print volumes and workflow, print assessment software can provide a more in-depth picture. 
  • Onsite Services - Perfect for large scale operations, businesses with multiple offices, or for those operating on an international level. A more in-depth assessment may be required, as bigger organizations tend to have less transparency in regards to expenses due to a fragmented print network. 
     

An MPS provider will work with you to improve and streamline your print environment. A print assessment is the first step in this process and one that can generate immediate savings. Most organizations view printing as a necessary cost of doing business, but left unmanaged, can result in inefficiency, overspending and unnecessary waste. Partnering with an experienced MPS provider, is the best way to avoid these pitfalls, leaving you more time and resources to put towards growing your business. 

For a no-obligation print environment assessment, contact us today.

Tags: managed service provider, document management, print assessment, cost effective print, document assessment, control print costs, printing costs

Let's Talk Turkey: Common Office Printing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 @ 11:42 AM

Office Printing Mistakes

Office printing is a mundane task, requiring little more than the click of a mouse or the push of a button, but do you know how much each click is costing you? Most office workers focus their time and energy on what is on the paper, giving little or no thought to just how much they're printing, or how they're doing it. Print management solutions can help solve this problem quickly and easily, resulting in an immediate reduction in print costs and waste. The first step towards change, is performing a print assessment, and determining which of these common office printing mistakes are costing you money.

The Top 5 Most Expensive Office Printing Mistakes

Avoid these issues, with an effective print policy as part of your print management solutions. 

  1. Failing to recycle. Keep used print cartridges out of the landfill by keeping them out of the trash. Print management solutions that include recycling options can help reduce your environmental footprint, and are just as easy as recycling paper!

  2. Printing instead of scanning. Leave the decision to print a document up to the recipient; scanning your material and sending it as a digital document is a great way to save, and a more efficient way to share information. 

  3. Not reducing images. Cost estimates put forth by toner cartridge manufacturers are typically based on five percent page coverage. Graphic intensive documents such as color PowerPoint slides use much more product, and can send print costs through the roof. Print management solutions include printing several slides on one page, and in black and white vs. color. 

  4. Being too colorful. Color prints and copies can cost up to 10 times more than black and white; set your print driver settings to default to automatically print in black and white for instant savings.  

  5. Using all the toner. If you've ever gone to reach for the jug of milk only to find an empty carton, you can relate: if a user doesn't let anyone know the printer is out of toner, it affects everyone that attempts to print after them. Ask us about our complimentary software that can help you increase efficiency and reduce downtime by providing service and toner alerts.

The Solution

A print assessment of your current print costs and volumes, can help pinpoint the issues in your office and provide solutions, giving you something to be truly thankful for this holiday season. 

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: office solutions, print assessment, controlling color printing costs, regulate printing

Happy Earth Day from TDS - Get a Free Print Assessment

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Apr 15, 2014 @ 11:41 AM

TDS earthday

This year, April 22nd marks the 44th annual Earth Day celebration. Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to examine your company’s sustainability practices and begin to adopt new policies to help protect Mother Earth. 

One of the easiest ways to move your company towards a green office environment is to examine your company’s print environment and policies. Today, the technology exists to go paperless in your office environment. Even if you're not prepared to go that far, auditing your company’s print environment can turn up some pretty shocking information that with a little planning can be monitored and turned around to help your workplace to become more sustainable.

Did you know:

• According to the Go Paperless website, the average office worker in North America prints 10,000 pages per year!

•  According to MPS Insights the average lifespan of a printed document in today’s office is less than 5 minutes!

• In the typical office, a single laser printer can generate 100 pounds of waste per year when paper, packaging and consumables are taken into account!

These statistics are truly shocking when you consider the number of laser printers being used every single day in offices throughout North America. A recent report by Print Audit, a company that provides print management software found that in offices where workers simply believe that their printing habits are being monitored, print volume drops by an average of ten percent.

It’s really easy to see how taking some simple steps in your workplace like eliminating unnecessary printers, or monitoring printer output can go a long way towards reducing operational costs and making your office more sustainable.  Taking simple steps like using the appropriate hardware or implementing a Managed Print strategy are two additional ways you can work to get your company’s print environment under control.

One of the best ways to assess your company’s print environment and begin to get your costs under control is to undertake an audit of your company’s printing practices, policies, and hardware. Working with an MPS company is a great first step. They will come in and audit your print environment, often for no charge, and can offer easy to implement cost effective solutions like helping your company to go paperless that will help to make your business more sustainable.  It’s a smart business decision and a great way to celebrate Earth Day this year!

Click here for your free e-book on how to make your office more environmentally friendly!

green printing

Tags: managed print services, print assessment, TDS, environmentally friendly office, Earth Day

Xerox ConnectKey™:Helping to Improve Office Printing Productivity

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 12:52 PM

tds connectkey

“A penny saved is a penny earned” is a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin.  Today we may not hold the penny in high regard, but business leaders will probably say the same for time – a second saved is a second earned.

Productivity is so valuable with business that the majority of tasks are increasingly measured based on the time it takes to accomplish.  Xerox understands the importance of productivity in business and has launched the ConnectKey™ series solutions specifically to help in saving time, improving quality, and increasing productivity.

ConnectKey™ is an intelligent business solution that transforms typical office equipment such as printers, scanners and copiers into sophisticated productivity tools.  The equipment series from Xerox that utilizes ConnectKey™ is like no other piece of typical office equipment.

Some of the productivity boosting features from ConnectKey™ include:

  • Control and manage printing from your desktop or laptop computer using the Universal Remote Control Panel – this means you can track your jobs and your department’s print jobs without getting up from your desk.
  • Repair and support printers remotely with an interface designed for IT and tech support staff – this greatly helps your IT support staff to address problems quickly.
  • All print devices including other brands can be managed using the Centreware print manager – no need for separate print manager packages when you can simply access one centralized print management solution.
  • Equipment is designed with simple CRU’s – “customer replaceable units” for easy maintenance and reduced service calls.  Your staff will not have to wait for the service repair person to arrive and can get back to work quickly.
  • With one unified address book all devices have the ability to store key contacts and use for email notifications and workflow routing.
  • Double sided printing and scanning is available with Scan-to-PC capabilities so no additional paper is wasted.
  • Instant notification can be enabled for users to receive an email when their particular print job is completed.

With all of the features from the Xerox ConnectKey™ your business can reduce the amount of foot traffic from printer to copier to scanner and back.  Less travel time means higher productivity for your personnel.  With the easy print management features along with streamlined workflow configurations your routine office tasks can easily move from one person to the next or one department to the next without a complicated business process software package to install.

If you are looking to save seconds, minutes, or hours out of your work day, the Xerox ConnectKey™ series is worth your time.

To find out how much your business spends on print, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: office solutions, MFPs, print assessment, multifunction print devices, xerox connectkey, office productivity

The Truth Behind the Low Cost of Inkjet Printers

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

The Truth Behind the Low Cost of inkjet Printers

As more businesses look for ways to control overhead costs, one area that is often overlooked is your company’s print environment. It’s time to review your print policies and procedures. Experts say that your print expense is a cost area that can rival utilities and your corporate mobile phone bill in complexity and options.

Thankfully, there are solutions to controlling your print environment. One place to turn for help are managed print services. As more businesses turn to MPS to help control printing costs, some interesting trends are coming to light. As the price of printing technology has dropped, more companies are turning to inkjet printing as one solution. When considering options, there’s more to it than a low cost of entry. While a powerful lure, in the long run inkjet printers may be one reason for your company’s high print environment costs.

Let’s take a look at inkjet technology.

The Pro’s of Inkjet

Many small business owners are attracted to inkjet technology for several reasons:

• A good inkjet printer costs around $99 dollars.

• Ink jet printers are easy to set up and use.

• Inkjet printers have a smaller footprint. They take up less valuable space.

• Print quality has improved. Many inkjet printers rival laser printers in quality.

• Color printing is available.

These factors make inkjet printing the perfect technology for your employees. They can now have a personal printer at their workstation. This fuels productivity gains and convenience. It also adds a layer of security since inkjet printers are locally connected and not network accessible.

The Downsides

While the pros look attractive, it’s what you may not know that’s surprising!

Many business owners are shocked when they realize replacing a black and color inkjet cartridge, in many models, can cost more than the printer! It’s the classic razor/razor blade model of high cost consumables. Multiply this cost times the number of inkjet printers in your office and you can begin to understand the effect to your bottom line.

There’s a reason ink jet ink is commonly referred to as “black gold” within the print industry. Ink jet printers have a terribly low yield, which translates to a high operating cost per page. Studies show that the ink in your printer is one of the world’s most expensive liquids. One ounce of ink costs a staggering $62 dollars! Compared to the price of crude oil at .019 cents per ounce you can begin to understand how costly unnecessary printing can be.

Solutions!

You should always know your true cost before making a buying decision. While inkjet technology can be costly, there are solutions to help you regain control. Simple systems can be put in place to help monitor and control print costs. A good place to start is establishing a monitoring system to keep track of your print usage. Centralization of office supply purchases can also go a long way towards controlling costs. The trade off is that developing and implementing cost controls can temporarily take your attention away from your primary objective; growing your core business.

A better solution is to engage an MPS professional to do a detailed analysis of your print environment.  They will analyze, and make recommendations about your print needs, usage and costs. An MPS professional can begin to control spending in ways you might not have thought of. They will work to set-up easy to manage systems to track usage and expenses. In these difficult economic times, it makes sense to control your costs wherever possible. MPS might be just the solution your business is looking for!

To find out how much you're currently spending on printing activities, click here for your free print assessment: 

Print Assessment

Tags: managed print services, inkjet vs laser printer, inkjet printer toner, print assessment, save money on print

Why Your Organization Should Implement Print Rules

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 @ 08:30 AM

print rulesHenry Ford is credited with the change of business focus from simply mass production to lean mass production that is more efficient and cost-effective. Multinationals like Nike have placed internal measures to monitor their production costs and minimize expenses. Successful businesses in the 21st century strive to minimize costs and at the same time increase production. 

“Business as usual” has been redefined to mean cutting cost while increasing productivity and efficiency. Companies are monitoring every aspect of production in their businesses to ensure they are incurring the least possible costs. The cost of nearly everything related to production is monitored; from shipping charges to long-distance calls. Your company is also likely to have instituted cost-cutting measures in production in one way or the other. 

If cost-cutting is a primary concern of 21st century businesses, then why are you not tracking your office printing costs? 

We surveyed a number of SMBs that we determined would benefit from our office print assessment and our findings were similar across all participants. The study revealed that: 

1.         Businesses Have No Idea How Many Printers They Have On Their Network

Most businesses we surveyed were not aware of the number of printers they had in their networks. The total printers in a network determine a company’s overall printing costs, which can be significantly high for businesses with inefficient printing practices. The study also revealed that most businesses do not have rules-based printing and thus have no way of monitoring their printing costs. 

We also found out most businesses had printers from different vendors which, means multiple invoicing at the end of the year. Having different printer vendors means higher costs since separate P.O.s have to be sent to each vendor. 

2.         Business Do Not Know How Much They Are Spending On Printing

Most businesses we surveyed had no idea how much printing costs they incur every year. Moreover, very few of them had set internal measures to help them monitor and track their printing activities. Most businesses do not know that printer cartridges have different yields, and thus using different print cartridges can mean higher costs. Businesses are also incurring more costs by signing up for different plans. 

3.         Businesses Have No Office Printing Rules

Without monitoring the printing done by different departments, business cannot know their monthly or yearly printing costs. The businesses surveyed did not have a way of determining which departments or individuals printed what. 

The cost of printing color and the lack of rules-based printing can reduce a company’s revenues. Studies show that businesses incur printing costs of $.07 to $.50 per page because of not implementing no color printing rules. 

To cut down costs, there is a need for proper tracking and rules-based printing rules for different departments and individuals. The rules should outline what can be printed, who can print what and how it can be printed.

Rules-Based Printing

Rules-based printing can help your company reduce costs by identifying areas in your operations with inefficient printing practices. For example, your employees can know the most efficient printers to use for various works and printing can be restricted to deferent departments or employees. Money-saving measures like default black and white printing of emails and letters can also help to reduce costs.

Office Print Assessment

An office print assessment can help you identify cost-cutting opportunities in your company. The assessment can help your business take control of the office printing environment and improve its overall efficiency using technology programs like Managed Print Program. 

Click here for an office print assessment to find out how your company can reduce printing costs

Print Assessment

Tags: print assessment, efficient printing, document assessment, Rules based printing, print rules, all in one printer

Why the Surge in Managed Print Services for the SMB Market?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 @ 11:27 AM

surge

If you're reading this then you're likely wondering why there has been a giant surge in Managed Print Services (MPS) within the small-to-medium-sized business market. Well, the simple answer is that it fits the market's needs. 

Today's SMB companies are stretched thin. Their budgets are stretched thin, as is their time. They don't have the budget for the upfront costs of expensive printing equipment and certainly don't have the time to get acquainted with their current print environment in order to do bulk ordering, preventative maintenance, fix errors and jams or even determine how much printing they do/need. The result of this chaos is that most SMB companies have no idea how many printers they have and from how many vendors. They also don't know how much they print and spend on printing annually, nor how much they could save with bulk purchase agreements or standardization.

Hopefully you are already asking yourself, “do I know how many printers we have? Do I know how many vendors those printers are spread across? Have I any idea how much my company prints annually, or how much we spend on that printing?

If you don't know, you're not alone—not by a long shot. But not knowing is costing you time and money. Money is being wasted by spending too much on servicing a mixed print environment, and time is wasted from staff trying to fix print-related issues themselves despite a lack of knowledge about that specific type of machine (how could they in a mixed environment?).  

If this sounds all too familiar then like so many before you, you're a solid candidate for Managed Print Services. 

Stats & Facts: What's Fueling the MPS Movement
When future Managed print converts see the stats and facts about the industry, their decision not only becomes clear—but they are confident in their choice to migrate to MPS. Understanding the MPS landscape is critical to understanding whether MPS is right for you, so consider the following facts:

  • 90% of all North American companies don't have a grip on their print environment, have no idea how many printers they have or how much they are spending on printing annually
  • 40% of printers are purchased without formal procurement approval (think: sky-high costs for consumables)
  • Today’s office makes 4 prints for every 1 copy
  • The average worker prints 10,000 pages annually, of which 17% are never even used
  • The average life span of a printed page in today’s office is less than 5 minutes
  • Only 10% of desktop laser printers are managed within a print environment but they print an average volume of 3650 pages each and every month
  • Industry insiders are predicting that over 50% of larger SMB companies will have adopted a Managed Print program by Q4 2014

Despite taking up a sizable chunk of office budgets printing hasn't come under the cost scrutiny that things like cell phone usage, long-distance charges, travel and other expenditures have. But given today's economic climate SMB companies are beginning to think more consciously about how much money is spent on printing—and how much of that is spent needlessly.  

Why all the converts you still ask? Well, the average SMB company saves 20-30% of their overall annual printing costs when they switch to a well run Managed Print program. And when you consider that companies, depending on toner coverage, are paying up to 10¢ for each B&W print and up to $1.00 per color print it is easy to see how the savings could add up.    

To find out how much you could save by implementing a Managed Print solution in your business, contact us today for a no obligation office print assessment.

Print Assessment

Tags: managed print services, print assessment, MPS, printing costs, multifunction printer, Small Medium business, print costs, MFP, SMB