Get proactive about managing your printing costs

Del Printing SolutionsDespite all the promise of e-mail and document scanning leading to a “paperless” office, thousands of pages are printed in offices every day, and paper remains the preferred method for many offices to distribute information. That said, many organizations are facing tremendous financial pressures, operational budgets are being scrutinized, and the standard direction is to “do more with less,” but one office expense that is often overlooked is printer management.

If your organization is like most, the printer fleet is a hodgepodge of different models and vendor products. Some are underutilized and some are out of date, but it’s unlikely that managers are paying attention to this potentially costly area. Print environment can be a huge cost and productivity drain for many organizations, with ongoing costs relating to energy, consumables, paper, space, and staff productivity creating hidden expenses.

In fact, as much as 50 percent of a printer’s lifetime cost is generated by hidden or indirect expenses like helpdesk calls, administrative overhead, and low printer utilization. In a recent Dell webinar hosted by technology expert James Gaskin on managing print costs, he outlined some of these often-overlooked factors, including:

  • The ratio of printers to users – too many printers is inefficient
  • The number of personal printers vs. workgroup printers – workgroup models are more efficient
  • Multi-vendor fleets – using the same or similar printer models across a fleet makes consumable orders more efficient
  • Age of printers – any model more than 3-5 years old could start to malfunction
  • Consumables – inefficient, ad-hoc processes for ordering paper and toner
  • Maintenance – time and financial costs of administering service plans

So what can IT administrators do to help lower printing costs? We have an entire write-up with great tips for saving money and saving the planet, check it out here.

Since inefficient print practices eat up valuable resources and management expertise, my recommendation is for companies to evaluate all the lifetime costs of a given printer and consider its reliability, ability to handle graphics-intensive and high-volume jobs, support for document workflow software, and administrative overhead before making purchasing decisions.

To that end, Dell printers and services make the process much easier, with solutions designed and customized to fit the customer’s needs and a portfolio of high-performance mono, color, and multifunction printers that deliver quality output and reliable operation for all organizational and business needs. Additionally, Dell offers a host of automated workflow tools, printer management software, and scanning solutions that reduce unnecessary printing by delivering electronic copies of documents to the appropriate stakeholders.

Dell also has expert consultants on hand that can review your current setup with you, discuss your desired state, and determine the best way to get there. They can design solutions with you to create the optimal mix of multifunction, monochrome, imaging, and smaller scale printers.

To learn more about Dell Print Solutions for business or to get in touch with a Dell Printer Consultant, visit

About the Author: Paul Nicholson