The TDSIT Blog

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

Hidden Fees: Just When You Thought It was Safe to Scan!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, May 30, 2014 @ 06:26 PM

TDS scanningFees

In a volatile economy, companies are looking for any way to make or save money – and their efforts often result in hidden charges and other low-key pricing tactics. If you travel by air, for instance, you must have noticed the ever-changing (and rising) baggage fees positioned as somehow an advantage to a flier.

Even items as basic as peanut butter and bathroom tissue have undergone “product shrinkage” in the past few years – delivering less in a familiar-looking package but at the same or even higher price. Consumer advocates decry these methods, but manufacturers maintain that they are primarily responding to rising commodity costs and managing consumer expectations while staying competitive.

What’s all this got to do with your MFP?
You may think that your multifunction printer (MFP) vendor offers fixed per-page costs that help you budget for your printing needs more accurately.

But even within your company’s MFP contract, you may be paying a hidden charge. The popularity of scanning has led to a surge in per-transaction – call them “per scan” – fees that many users aren’t even aware of.

Per-scans are similar to per-page copy/print charges in that each scan counts as a “click” and is charged accordingly.  Because a scan doesn’t result in extra paper coming out of the printer, users may well assume that they are not being charged.

These fees can cost corporations tens of thousands of dollars yearly while bringing in new revenue streams for MFP vendors.

You don’t have to be stuck with extra fees
Per-scan fees need not drain your printing budget. Talk to your staff about how much they typically scan in a month’s time, then review your billing invoice for that month. If you notice a lot of “little” incidental charges that don’t look familiar, one of them could be a per-scan fee.

If you are considering buying or leasing a new system, identify a vendor who is willing to work with you to stabilize the entire range of MFP charges associated with servicing the equipment – because when it comes to billing, the best surprise is no surprise at all!

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

Print Assessment

Tags: scanning, hidden fees, printing costs, multifunction printer, true cost of printing

How Much Money Does Your Office Spend On Printing Each Year?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Dec 16, 2013 @ 12:56 PM

TDS printing costs

Unless you’re in the printing business, you probably don’t make printing your business. You know you need it, but do you really know what it costs? The number of machines throughout your office, service agreements, incidentals like toner and paper, and factors such as toner coverage, all determine how much you pay per year for the privilege of in-house printing.

Carefree Printing

In a typical office environment there isn’t a lot of control over printing, or what it costs. The person using the printer is probably not concerned about areas such as toner coverage or the cost per page of printing, they have their own job to worry about. The person ordering the supplies may also not be too concerned, after all, their job is to order paper and toner and as long as they get the job done, does it matter if it costs a few more dollars? And what about personal copies? The bottom line is, this type of carefree printing environment can negatively impact your bottom line and should be addressed. 

Toner Coverage

When talking about toner coverage it’s important to note that most estimates are based on a consideration of five percent coverage per page, when a more realistic estimate might be closer to twenty. Once you consider the rates for color printing, much higher because of the four individual layers of toner required, the numbers are even greater.

How to Calculate the True Cost of Printing

This is tricky, and is best done by a professional Managed Print Service (MPS) provider. They will begin with a thorough assessment and inventory of your printing network, factoring in such components as the number of vendors, suppliers and incidentals required to operate your network, as well as your cost per page estimates, and ending with how you can save money.

Knowledge is Power

Once you know what your costs are, you can formulate a plan on how to bring them down, after you get over the initial shock that is. There are several print strategies you can employ to reduce your cost of printing including:

Printing rules. Set some guidelines among the employees in your office to start realizing savings such as black and white printing for emails, no banner printing and restrictions on color printing by individual user or department.

Fixed cost per page. Avoid toner coverage cost variations by switching to a fixed cost per print arrangement where costs are the same regardless of the amount of toner used.  

Adjusting your default settings. Simply adjusting your default settings to black and white and automatic double-sided printing you can start to save right away.

It’s easy to control printing costs once you know what they are. Your MPS provider can help you take back control of your print budget, allowing you to put your money to much better use; growing your business.

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

Print Assessment

Tags: managed print services, hidden fees, printing costs, true cost of printing, printing, print costs, print rules

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