The Datamax Thinking Blog

Educating, collaborating, and sparking ideas for maximizing the technology that matters.

Controlling Print Costs

By Corey Smith

When considering the many costs that an organization has to expend, one of the most misunderstood is that of printing costs.

The Gartner Group estimates that as much as 30% of organizations' print costs can be eliminated with simple print device management.

The challenge organizations have is that often there is a division of responsibility for purchasing print devices and supplies for those print devices. Different departments have different responsibilities when it comes to creating efficiencies and cost control strategies.

I have spoken with many IT directors that simply don't care how much printer supplies costs. The cost can be 15 cents for a b/w print and 50 cents for a color print but as long as the cost of acquisition of the device is low, they will buy it.

Why would an IT director be willing to spend so much on toner?

The answer is very simple. It is not a part of his budget. He doesn't care how much the toner costs because it doesn't affect his budget.

Can you see a problem here? He will spend as little on a device as possible and avoid buying anything new because he doesn't want his budget affected, so costs get out of control and no one really knows it.

What is the answer?

Your organization needs to have an overarching strategy in place. Conduct an analysis to know how much you are actually spending and then build your strategy around that.

Managed Print Services can help you to identify ways to increase your operational efficiency. They can manage your devices and balance your printing fleet so that you don't throw away dollars to save dimes.

Corey Smith is 15 year veteran of the office equipment industry, is editor-in-chief for and provides a common sense approach to business and technology in his blog.