No-one wants a conversation about printers. Maybe that’s why so many SMBs in the UK (52%, according to one survey ) are turning a blind eye to the cost of their printing. Because if they knew what they were spending (£10,000-a-year-plus in many cases) they wouldn’t be able to keep quiet about it.

This post encourages SMBs to face up to their current printing costs and provides expert advice on how to significantly reduce printer expense.

Tackle waste

Every office can do better when it comes to waste, and printing is no exception. The top three areas for improvement are:

  • Unnecessary printing
  • Needless use of colour and high-quality settings
  • Forgetting to pick up print jobs

Fact: The average employee leaves 600 pieces of paper at the printer every year.

Training, of course, is a great way to help us change our behaviour and tackle the problem of waste. But there are several other changes that could have a more immediate impact.

Brother’s PrintSmart Cost Control is a print management solution that lets you track what, when and how much each employee prints. It enables you to identify the departments and individuals who may need additional training in reducing waste. To help them along, you can also apply quotas, limiting their printing output. Stop abandoning those poor print jobs. By introducing pull printing, employees will have to actively release print jobs at the device, helping to eradicate lost and forgotten output. What’s more, by setting default options to economical settings, you can cut back on the volume of colour, single-page and high-resolution printing.

Fact: You can shave 10% to 30% off your print budget by actively managing printing behaviour.

Avoid the traps

You can be forgiven for thinking that holding on to your old “trusted” printer is a good idea. You may convince yourself that your old printer never lets you down, and that a smart new printer has too many elements in it that can go wrong.

Fact: Businesses are so concerned by printer downtime that as many as 29% sit on a stock of replacement printers just in case a printer breaks down.

There is a way to take the risk out of buying new printers. You can partner with a Managed Print Services (MPS) provider, which leases top-of-the-line products while delivering continuous supplies, maintenance and support, not to mention guidance on proper printer usage.

Fact: The average IT department spends one-third of its time dealing with office printing.

Brother MPS solutions, for example, are tailored to the specific requirements and budgets of SMBs. Our MPS customers choose from a wide range of Brother laser printers. They also avoid the need to order toner because we monitor printer usage, and customers are never left waiting for toners or repairs. And if anything does go wrong, we respond quickly.

Cut energy usage

Energy bills are always a concern. They represent a significant chunk of any company’s overheads, and anything we can do to get those costs down is going to be welcomed. Printer efficiency has improved massively in recent times, and it’s fair to say you can significantly reduce printer-related energy consumption by removing your legacy printers and moving to laser machines. The new laser models offer low-energy standby modes, which draw close to no power when the printer isn’t being used.

Fact: Modern devices are on average 36% more efficient than their predecessors.

Fact: Traditionally, printers consume 30% to 40% of their peak power demand when in idle mode.

Fact: Modern printers work by charging a capacitor when the printer is active and can save up to 12p an hour per printer.

Saving time

Is refilling the paper tray on your to-do list? This is not a priority in everyone’s day and time we can ill afford to waste, especially when there aren’t enough hours in the day as it is. Having extra paper capacity would certainly save time and improve efficiency. And with Brother laser printers you can add up to four extra paper trays so that your printing capacity grows and contracts in line with your business cycles. Furthermore, by tracking printer usage, using Brother’s PrintSmart Cost Control you can see how usage changes over time, allowing you to fine-tune your printer strategy.

Get more flexible

We can’t do everything from our desks. We regularly have to attend meetings, and often these meetings aren’t scheduled in advance – they’re last-minute. If you’re tied to one printer, working efficiently in this environment can be challenging. However, with the pull-print functions in Brother laser printers, you can print, scan and copy from any device around the office. Plus, if your regular printer isn’t working for some reason, it won’t slow you down because you can print from the next nearest machine.

Be welcoming and secure

Offices are also places to welcome customers, hold business discussions and make presentations. But customers are as busy as we are, so a visit to your office can feel like a disruption. Imagine how they would feel if they could work and print from your office as easily as they can from their own.

All Brother SMB laser printers come with reliable security features such as Secure Print+ and User Authentication that allow secure guest printing. Plus, there are Papercut and Ringdale, to ensure private information stays private.

Where do I begin?

At this point, you may be thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot to take in. What do I do next?” Partnering with Brother MPS would be a good first step. We can advise you on printer models, handle printer procurement and provide guidance on proper printer usage.

Fact: Brother has a long history of delivering an industryleading service: more than 90% of our customers renew their MPS contracts.

Conclusion

Printing doesn’t need to be a drain on your resources. By choosing Brother, you can drive down costs while gaining a flexible and high-performing printer infrastructure that helps employees work more efficiently.

So maybe now is the time to confront your printing costs and eliminate the risk of any nasty surprises that may lead to an awkward printer conversation.

If you think you might be spending too much on your printer fleet, Contact us to reveal the savings you could make.

Kerbury Business Centre 01440 708686