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Companies can spend a fair proportion of their annual revenue on printing – most of which is unavoidable but there are ways to help keep costs down. A paperless office may seem like a myth as sometimes documents need to be printed and there is no way around it.

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Is your current printer up to the job?

Whether you have one printer or a fleet in an office, it’s a good idea to make sure your printing equipment is up-to-date as it may cost you more in the long term trying to run and carry out repairs on older devices.

A multifunctional printer (MFP) is a good upgrade for a small office as it combines the functions of copiers, network printers, scanners, and fax machines all into one device. By eliminating single-function equipment, you can save electricity costs and supplies, as you will only power and order materials for a single machine.

For the ultimate efficiency, know the Cost Per Page (CPP)

Firstly, learn what savings can be made by finding out the Cost Per Page (CPP) to print. The CPP is the cost of a small number of consumables, whether ink or toner cartridges, as each page printed costs something.

To work out the cost per page, you can divide the price of an ink or toner cartridge by the number of pages the manufacturer says it should cover. The lower the CPP, the better value for money your printer will be.

Reduce the amount of printer ink and toner cartridges

The largest savings can be made by reducing the amount of printer ink or toner used. This can be easily achieved by switching the printer software setting to ‘draft’. Characters will look lighter than normal but it’s acceptable for everyday documents. Print speed is also increased when using this setting.

Modern printers are intelligent as they select the most efficient ink settings based on the paper stock being used. They don’t use more ink than the paper can handle.

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Monochrome or colour?

Not every document needs colour, so as with the quality settings, make black and white the default setting and save colour for when it is really needed.

Use less paper

For everyday documents, you could use an N-up layout strategy, which allows the user to print multiple pages onto one page by compressing the text. You can read more about N-up layouts here.

You can also  print double-sided. There’s no need to buy specialist inkjet or laser paper for day-to-day work; many cheaper papers work well. Buying one paper for all your office printing can provide extra economies of scale.

Be specific on your printer needs

Inkjet printers

These are ideal for home users that don’t usually print a great deal of materials. Inkjets are also a great choice for anyone looking to print photographs, whether professionally or simply for home images.

All-in-one/MFP printers

Your business can benefit from a cheap Multi-function printer. (MFP) These space-saving devices are multifunctional as they are capable of a combination of scanning and faxing. Some are also Wi-Fi-enabled, which would allow you to print documents from your tablet or phone.

Laser printers

Ideal for printing in high volume, laser printers are a great option for businesses that are looking for high-quality and low costs.  Great for fast printing, laser toner cartridges usually last longer than replacement inkjet cartridges, so you won’t need to change them as often.

Toner cartridges tend to cost more than inkjet but their page yield is higher (typically over 1400 pages). So while the initial outlay may seem high, the cost-per-page can work out cheaper over time.

Educate your staff

The best thing you can do to ultimately save on printing costs is to educate your staff. Reduce costs by telling staff to work on screen and only print when necessary, using monochrome ink unless the document relies on colour.