The TDSIT Blog

The Paperless Office - Pipe Dream Or Reality?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 @ 01:38 PM

paperless office1When we were kids, we were promised many great things in the “future”. By now we were supposed to have flying cars and two-way wrist radios (ok, we did get smartphones and smart watches) but the biggest promise was the hope of the paperless office! The term, first coined by marketers 50 years ago is still not a reality. Businesses even today, can’t go completely paperless but we’re getting closer all the time. Here are 9 quick tips to move your company closer to a paperless future.

  1. Institute print monitoring and begin to track your paper usage. – Knowing is the first step towards reducing use. Tell your employees that you are monitoring print output and enlist their help in keeping track. Use print logs to track use.  Bonus – studies have shown that simply informing employees they are being monitored can reduce print output by 10%.
  2. Go paperless at the bank and with service providers – Have the phone company and other vendors send electronic invoices. Make an effort to pay bills online to eliminate checks, envelopes and stamps. These savings can add up!
  3. Put in a recycling bin. – A low-tech approach that can raise awareness of your company’s paper use. Plus it moves your business towards sustainability.
  4. Eliminate physically signed internal documents. – Take as many non-essential documents online as possible. Institute an electronic signature policy to help reduce output.
  5. Eliminate your fax machine. – Replace faxes with editable documents (pdfs) that can be submitted via email or the web.
  6. Cut your print output in half by printing two-sided documents.
  7. Replace multiple machines with a Multi-function printer. – Replace your fax, scanner, copier and printer with a single MFP. You’ll use less energy, paper and consumables.
  8. Use OCR software. – OCR software lets you turn documents into editable files that can then be shared online.
  9. Use smartphone apps like CamCard or WorldCard. – Use your phone to instantly turn business cards into digital contacts.

Reducing your paper use is a process. Small steps lead to big savings. Cutting paper saves money and brings your business closer to sustainability. The paperless office isn’t here yet, but taking these steps brings it one step closer to reality!

Click here for your free e-book and learn how your office can begin to go paperless!

green printing

Tags: software solutions, green printing, true cost of printing, paperless office, regulate printing, MFP

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

Do you Know the True Cost of Printing?

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Mar 07, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

Do You Know the True Cost of Printing

Between invoicing, record keeping and communications, most businesses are thought to be spending between one and three percent of their annual revenue on print costs. In addition, few Small Medium Sized Business owners are aware of the exact amount of inventory their company is carrying between equipment and supplies. Multiple devices may also rely on multiple vendors for repairs and replacement equipment adding to the confusion. 

Knowing the true cost of printing can pave the way to a reduction in print usage and expenditures, streamline work and printing processes and increase your bottom line. Managed Print Services (MPS) can help get you on your way; here’s how.

What is the True Cost of Printing?

Because printing is a necessary part of doing business, it isn’t an area often considered when management is looking to trim costs, but the fact is, if you don’t know what you’re spending, how do you know how much you could be saving?

Ask yourself the following:

  • How many printers are in your office?
  • Of those how many are multi-function printers (MFPs)?
  • Are they all from the same manufacturer?
  • Do they each carry separate maintenance/service agreements?
  • Do the supplies for each come from the same vendor?
  • How much are you spending each year on ink cartridges, toner cartridges, paper and hardware?
  • How many steps are necessary to print?
  • Do you have a sustainability initiative in place for office printing
If you don’t know the answers, it’s time to consider MPS.

The Benefits of MPS

Answers

The road to the successful management of your print services begins with an in-depth assessment of current inventory and expenditures. By examining document workflow improvements can be made to streamline processes and get costs under control.

Cost Reduction

Savings can be realized by:

  • Eliminating redundant or outdated equipment.
  • Optimizing the ratio between employees and equipment.
  • Reducing the amount of devices and supplies.
  • Streamlining document workflow to eliminate unnecessary steps.
  • Introducing print rules such as double-sided or monochrome printing for certain applications.

Increased Efficiency

Through proper placement of equipment within the office, employees can save steps and increase production. Optimizing processes to take advantage of digital solutions can save both time and money.

Through managed print services, you can free your IT resources. As a rule IT will be responsible for call outs for malfunctioning printers, many of which then require a second call out to a service vendor.

Enhanced Security

By introducing secure print practices and protocols, the level of security for printed documents within your organization can increase exponentially. Features such as data encryption, PIN or password enhanced printing and image overwriting can help keep sensitive documents safe and secure.  

Environmental Sustainability

Small changes can make a big difference.

  • Protocols can be put in place to re-route or outsource jobs to the most cost effective printing method, saving toner, paper and emissions.
  • Print rules such as double-sided printing or toner saver settings can be enacted.
  • Through the use of recycled products and materials such as paper or toner cartridges your company can reduce its carbon footprint substantially.

The true cost of printing within your organization is most likely higher than you think. MPS can successfully manage all your printing needs, while minimizing the cost. By assessing current practices and procedures, improvements can be made that result in the increased productivity and efficiency of your business, where employees spend less time on printing and more time working towards increasing your bottom line.

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

Print Assessment

Tags: managed print services, MPS, TCO, true cost of printing, total cost of operation, MFP