Coordinated Business Systems Blog

Can I Reduce the Cost of Unnecessary Color?

YES! Why else would I be writing this? 

What's the cost of unnecessary color?

Walk over to your copier or network printer.  Pick up the stack of paper on the printer and count the number of color pages.  Now take the documents pile sitting next to the printer or in the recycling bin and count those. Take that number and multiply by .10 and that will be the cost of color waste.  On average, 9 cents for the print itself and a penny for the piece of paper it is printed on. Finally, take the number of black and white prints and multiply by .02, .01 for the print, and .01 for the paper.  That is the cost of black and white waste.

If you got to the printer and there was nothing in either spot, good work - your company is doing something to manage this.  If you found piles of paper, welcome to the club, 90+% of businesses are in the same boat.

How to reduce the cost of unnecessary color

There are a multitude of ways to tackle this issue ranging from very simple to very complex.  When deciding the best approach for your business, the first thing to do is to identify what you are solving for.  Is it a financial initiative or an environmental initiative?

If it is a financial initiative first figure out your spending.  We can help if you would like, or you can do it yourself.  Just remember to take into account the cost of the piece of paper. Many times, companies factor in electrical usage and forget paper.  Once this is done, this will determine the amount of time and energy you should put into this.  I have seen companies spend thousands to save hundreds.  Not a good plan; or worse yet frustrate users with all kinds of controls to save little to nothing.  Know your outcome and make sure it's worth it for your business.

If it is environmental, that’s a whole different topic.

Once you're ready to start fixing the issue, below are some of the options to begin reducing costs. 

  1. Lower the cost of output.  If the color pages you looked at had some, but not a lot of color on them (spreadsheets, spot color, emails addresses, highlights) tiered color is a great way to reduce the cost of color waste by as much as 65% and not do anything but get different equipment.

  2. Add account codes.  Starting with tiered color and adding account codes will allow you to see who is printing what.  When people know their habits are being monitored, they generally change their behavior.  

  3. Implement Print Management Software. Implementing this software will give you the ability to control as much as you would like, up to and including assigning color allowance, blocking printing from certain programs (Outlook and internet browsers are common), communicating costs, setting print policies, and more.  You also get things like to follow me print, scan workflow access, and other things to improve productivity.

All of the above need detail built around them.  We have people to do that for you if you want to engage us, but it all starts with getting a piece of equipment in your environment that gives you the best chance.  Tiered color is the answer to that riddle for 90+% of users.

To learn more about tiered color and the options for your business, contact us here.

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