Printing: The Outdated Cost That Just Won't Go Away


Business Week first predicted the "paperless office" in the mid-1970s. Between 1980 and 2000, paper consumption doubled in the American office.


Companies are still trying to figure out ways to stop printing so much information - most recently, Alaska Airlines issued iPads to replace its enormous flight manuals. In addition to general business shortcomings - once you print a piece of data, it is forever out-of-synch with the database - paper and ink are darn expensive. Smaller businesses tend to keep a close eye on this deadly bottom-line assassin, but in larger businesses it can be an overlooked source of substantial waste.


If you are concerned about printing costs in your company, be sure to check out our Green IT Paper Reduction Calculator, which is available for free download to IT Business Edge members here in the IT Downloads library.


The Excel-based tool helps you model potential savings from five different print-reducing tactics:


  • Duplex (two-sided) printing
  • Limiting regular printed reports
  • eForm
  • eFax
  • Paper quality (weight)


You can see the eForms assumptions and calculator tab in the image below.



The calculations are quite discrete. For example, you can model out different rules for the printers you maintain for different groups. The CEO's office might need to stick with heavy print stock, but that's probably not the case with the help desk, for example.


You might also want to check our Paper Reduction Checklist, also available here in the IT Downloads library. The 10-point plan for reducing printing costs includes pointers such as:


  • Determine why your company is printing so much and for what purpose by evaluating use of group printers by team.
  • Implement a usage monitoring program.
  • Before you do anything, be sure to sell your program to executive and managers.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jan 10, 2012 4:40 AM Kathy Blackmore Kathy Blackmore  says:

By shifting away from printing, other costs incurred can also be saved. Ink and paper costs money, that much we know. Companies can also save on printer costs, printer maintenance costs, and electricity used to power the printers.


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