Coordinated Business Systems Blog

Why is my color usage higher than it should be?

When I meet with prospects, I ask them “does the amount of color volume that you are billed for seem higher than it should be?”  I’d ask you to ask yourself that question.

The answer is usually “yes”.  There is a reason for that.

Before I give you the reason, think about these questions:

  • Do you print multiple-page documents that have color on some pages and black only on others?
  • Do you imbed clipart in an of your documents?
  • Do you past images in any of your documents?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions this could be part of the root cause for color output that seems higher than it should be.

I want to be clear.  This isn’t an accusation toward any competitor.  It is about the capability of the device.  The charges are correct.  Read on and that will be explained.  

As a rule, printers are not intelligent.  They do what they are told to do.  The question is do you know what your document and print driver is telling the printer to do?  Probably not, why would you?  It is VERY common for a printer to be told if one page of a document is color, treat them all as color.  This negates all the work of the user to produce the lowest cost document possible by making some pages black only.

You can generally tell by looking at the output.  Does any, or all the black print on the page have a blue tinge to it?  That is what is referred to as process black meaning all the colors are mixed to make the black print.  It hits the color meter because it is using more than one toner.  It isn’t that the machine is charging for toner it isn’t using, the printer just isn’t doing what you are trying to make it do.  The charge is correct.

Finding the best solution

So, what is the solution?  I am sure there are many, but I will speak to Kyocera’s solution(s) to this problem.

Machine technology.  Kyocera measures the amount of toner laid on the page.  This is what gives us the ability to offer a tiered color program.  We have thousands of machines in the field under this program and 90%, give or take, of the color produced falls into tier one which is the least expensive color output.  By reducing the cost of the accidental color documents by as much as 2/3rds you minimize the financial impact.  In many cases, this is enough to move the needle.  Reducing the financial impact of the problem minimizes it enough to negate the need to solve it.

Driver technology.  There are two key settings in Kyocera’s driver that allows it to give the machine additional directions to do what the end-user intends.  By turning on “print text as black” and “print greys as black” a good percentage of those accidental color pages print as intended and hit the black meter.  Most of them.  I wish I could say all, but it isn’t quite there yet.  This combined with the machine technology above results in “problem solved” for most clients. 

Application technology:  The last piece of the puzzle is how do you check?  On the traditional color device, you have to record meters.  It can be a lot of steps.  By adding the tiered color monitor application to your Kyocera machine, it makes it very simple to see what pages are black and what pages fall into what tier of color.  You can use this to build documents that have the beneficial impacts of color without the cost.

Win, Win.  If you are interested in learning more have us out.  We can assess your situation, and I promise it will be a consultation, not a pushy sales call.

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