How Upgrading Your Devices Could Save You Money!
13 December 2013
The thought of running a business without the ability to print invoices, letters and brochures is unthinkable. Sure, thedigiterati promise a world where everything is electronic, but it’s not here yet. Your business faxes, scans and prints…and that costs money.
Printers cost money not only for acquisition, but in cost per page printed. While ink vendors are finally starting to come around on the cost of consumables for ink-jets, toner-based solutions are still, by and large, the least expensive printer to operate, even if they’re more expensive to acquire in the first place.
When looking at upgrading your printer, you’ll have a number of variables to balance: Buying the printer outright, and then buying a maintenance contract for it is one option; the end result of this is that after a few years you’ll likely be replacing the printer because the replacement drums and other mechanisms are either no longer available, or are no longer cost-competitive. There are exceptions to this pattern – printers with amorphous silicon drums tend to last longer, for example.
An alternative is to use a managed printing service, and this is how most businesses (and some small publishers) handle their high volume printing needs. In a managed printing service, you lease the printer for a span of time, with the lease theoretically working towards an end-of-period purchase. While under the lease, you’ll be charged for a certain number of printed pages per calendar quarter, and then charged for any overage you have. In return for this, the leasing company will replace your toner for free and will replace parts as they wear out. As time goes buy, they’ll replace the printer completely, in part to reduce their labor costs, and to keep the number of parts and types of consumables more manageable.
While managed printing services are used for high volume professional printers, most companies that offer them will also expand the service to cover fax machines, multifunction printers and specialty format printers for posters and signs.
It’s time to consider a printing equipment upgrade when your cost per page, including paper, is more than 2 cents a page for black and white, or greater than 6 cents per page for color printing. It’s doing the cost-benefit comparison when your printing volume exceeds 10,000 pages per month, or 25,000 pages per calendar quarter. At those printing volumes, you’re putting significant wear and tear on the printer’s mechanical parts, and a lease arrangement makes sense.
Remember that multi-function printers also burn clicks – and consumables – when they’re used as copy machines, too. Don’t just look at what’s being printed – look at what’s being photocopied as part of the calculus of replacement.