A great deal of making sure businesses operate smoothly relies on printed documents. According to a study, a typical office worker in the U.S. prints about 10,000 pages on average every year. Since a lot of printing is involved, this could add to a lot of expenses in the long run if you’re not smart about how to manage your printing equipment and supplies. In fact, some studies show that printing expenses count as the third highest business expense, next to rent and payroll.
Printing More For Less
The only way to cut down on your printing expenses is by being more efficient. Sure, you could start off by buying efficient printer models, but if you already have printers that are still in good condition you could just end up spending more in the long run. If you want to actually save money on printing equipment, keep the following tips in mind.
Get Third-Party Cartridges
The biggest complaint about keeping printers operational is that replacement ink cartridges can be very expensive. Fortunately, you have cheaper alternatives in the form of high-performance remanufactured ink and toner cartridges. These cartridges are modeled exactly like the original replacement cartridge made by the manufacturer.
Depending on the company that made the cartridge, you might be able to get something with better ink quality and performance than original name-brand products. Most third-party remanufactured cartridges cost a lot less than the originals, so you’re basically getting the same amount of ink for less. Suppliers sometimes even offer XL-sized cartridges, which can contain twice the amount of ink as regular-sized OEM (original equipment manufacturer) products, but still more affordable than them.
Keep Printers Well-Maintained
Over time, printers will experience problems that can affect their efficiency. Common problems such as blocked nozzles or dried up ink cartridges can cause unsightly streaks, or they can cause the wrong colors to be printed on paper. This usually means that small and medium enterprises have to do reprints. Fortunately, these can be avoided by having the print heads cleaned on a regular basis.
Paper maintenance goes beyond keeping the ink flowing. You also have to check printer components such as paper feeding mechanism, ink cartridge cover, paper guide and control panel.
Use Ink-Efficient Fonts
You’ll notice that some fonts used for making documents are broader than others. Even the smallest size difference between different fonts can make a huge difference. Fonts like Arial, Courier, and Calibri feature thinner lines (meaning less ink per letter) than other “heavier” fonts such as Arial Black.
However, that doesn’t mean ink efficiency is everything. Some fonts may be easy on the ink but are wide enough that they take up much more paper space. For example, Century Gothic is very ink-efficient, but it takes more space than some fonts, which means you may need extra pages to print the same number of words. This isn’t always an issue with shorter documents, but it would better to stick to smaller fonts if printing text-heavy documents.
Make Sure What Is Printed Counts
You can have the most efficient printer model and use the most ink-efficient fonts, but none of that matter if you have to reprint documents and creative banners. The most common causes of reprints are typographical errors or incorrect information, which means you need to be thorough with proofreading articles before having them printed.
You should also check if the document actually needs to be printed in the first place. Do you really need to print a letter of notification, or can it be sent through email and viewed from a computer or smartphone? Always consider alternatives before firing up your printer.
Saving on printing supplies doesn’t require a complete overhaul of how you process your documents. These simple changes don’t cost much to implement, but the cost reduction is well worth the (very little) effort.
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