By Joel Montgomery // 2 June 2009 // Related Categories: Tips
Do the maths and you will probably find that a third of your annual I.T. budget is spent on laser printer toner. Scary, isn't it? Printer consumables (toner or ink) make up the majority of your total cost of printing over 3 years and it's likely you're paying much more than you need to. We show you how to save.
Tip 1 - Understand your "CPP"
Your Cost Per Print (CPP) is the key to calculating your total cost of printing. CPP is simply the cost of a printer cartridge divided by the total number of pages it prints (it's "yield"). A cheap toner cartridge purchased on eBay may not give the same yield as a more expensive model, so be sure to check the yield before you buy.
CPP varies wildly between brands and models. See here for a detailed comparison. Compare a Ricoh SPC 420DN colour 30ppm (pages per minute) printer with the equivalent HP model (CLJ 4700DN). The Ricoh model costs 1.63c per mono page compared to 3.4c per page for HP. The average small business printing 2,000 mono pages per month will save $4,500 over three years with the Ricoh option.
Tip 2 - Pay more upfront and save
Don't be fooled by the cheap printers for sale at your local department store. The exorbitant cost of toner for these printers often more than offsets the money you saved upfront.
Let's look at an example. The Ricoh SPC220N will cost you $779 RRP upfront, 4.8c CPP per mono print and 27.38c per colour print. The more expensive model, the SPC420DN, will cost you $2,959 RRP upfront but only 1.63c per mono print and 9.32c per colour print. Over three years at 2,000 mono and 500 colour prints per month the SPC420DN is a huge 37% ($3,411) cheaper than SPC220N. The 3.2c saving on mono CPP makes a big difference!
I strongly suggest you do the maths based on your own print volumes and spend more upfront for a printer that delivers a better CPP. Not only will you save over time but you are probably buying a quality printer with a better duty cycle (maximum number of prints per month) and faster print speed.
Tip 3 - Don't always go for the most popular brand
There was a period about five years ago when HP's made it's entire company profit, across all product lines, from it's consumables business. HP sells many more printers to small businesses than it's rivals however as this CPP comparison shows it's not necessarily the cheapest. Other brands such as Ricoh & Lexmark have been building quality printers for a long time and not only do they offer substantially cheaper CPPs but they are now partnering with PowerBuy to offer substantial cash-back savings for small businesses.
Tip 4 - Invest in a new printer and start saving now!
If you're looking for ways to save money right now, then consider this:
- Stop using your HP printer and stop paying $300 per month for HP toner (based on the cost of toner for CM2320FXI printer)
- Start renting a Lexmark X560DN printer with 36 months of toner and start paying $270 per month for the printer and toner ($30 less than what you were paying for HP)
- Save $150 immediately with a PowerBuy cash-back
- Sell your HP printers second hand for $500 each.
One of our PowerBuy members upgraded her entire fleet by doing just this. She put $1,150 in her pocket immediately and is set to save another $450 in toner this year.
Avoid the unnecessary costs
Your staff will happily print in colour unless you make it a little trickier for them to do so. Printing colour costs you five times more than printing mono, so be sure to set your printer up to print mono by default.
A lot of businesses purchase non-branded toner instead of the certified branded products. This can be a great money saving option providing you buy the right toner that won't harm your printer. We'll discuss your non-branded toner options in our next article.
Do your own printing calculations using the attached spreadsheet.
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