A quick guide to changing printer habits in the office with two goals in mind:
- To reduce costs by improving efficiency throughout the company
- To reduce your environmental impact
Printing is seen to be a key area within business practices that can involve unnecessary costs and result in environmental waste. Printing is an expensive business considering the cost of ink, toner cartridges and replacement drums, so it’s necessary for all businesses to keep a track on this and look at ways to reduce these costs by printing effectively. Interestingly in the past, there was talk about ‘the paperless office’ where it was thought the onset of PC’s would reduce printing levels enormously. However, this has not seen to be the case with employees being able to access more information than ever before on the internet and then printing this off to read as well as the printing of emails, printing levels have in fact increased by 36% over the past three years..
Considering the above here are 13 tips to cut the costs of printing in your business.
1. The most obvious tip is to just NOT PRINT documents unless you really need to.
2. Communicate this message to employees and try and get everyone to print in an environmentally friendly manner, by letting everyone know the costs involved in printing unnecessarily.
3. Duplexing is a major way to reduce the amount of paper being printed, this means printing on the front and back of each piece of paper and this could reduce annual printing costs by 30%.
4. Using the Print Preview function can give you a clear idea of what is about to be printed and so can prevent printed documents being put in the bin due to errors.
5. GreenPrint software technology has been developed to manage printing waste – it shows users exactly what they are about to print, it detects pages that will probably be classed as waste and shows these on the print preview and it also guides employees to the most cost efficient printer in the office. This can be downloaded for free and can display actual cost savings from more efficient printing.
6. Researching the printer market before purchasing can be a great way to cut costs, look for printers that work out cost effective in the long run taking into account the price of ink cartridges for different models.
7. Set the default setting on your printers to ‘Fast Draft’ for internal printing, so that employees save ink every time they print but can change the settings if better quality is needed.
8. Use Microsoft Word’s shrink one page option which will try to shorten a document by one page by altering the text size and spacing. Internet explorer also has a shrink to fit option on its print preview page which will shrink the content of a document down to fit on less pages.
9. Only print the selection you need; a useful tool when you just need to print a paragraph from a webpage or a small section of a large document, do this clicking by the selection button in the print box.
10. Printing to PDF instead of paper is a good way of getting documents in a user friendly format that can be shared around via email.
11. When printing Powerpoint slides, make sure at least 3 slides are printed to each page to save paper, this can be done by selecting handouts in the print box.
12. Only print in colour where needed, for example when printing a webpage change the print settings to greyscale. Printing in black and white will greatly save the amounts of ink being used.
13. Use old printouts as scrap paper, i.e. use the back of sheets to make notes on – don’t waste paper!
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