Tag Archives: Printing Costs

Print management. How do you save money on your print

At least once a month I’m asked the same perennial question: Caroline, how can we save money on print? How can print management help me with reducing our print budget? What print management solutions are there available for my budget? print mail services

My response includes the following:-

  • What aspects of print are you looking to cut back on?
  • How many printers do you have in the building?
  • What documents does the business generate?
  • How often do your order ‘print’?

Now you start to get the picture. It’s not that easy to simplify the answer as there are many variables.

The printing of transactional business documents is a fundamental business process for many organisations and in spite of the drive toward paperless offices, companies in every industry generate reams of paper on a daily basis for record keeping, customer facing letters, direct mail and internal correspondence.

Unsurprisingly most companies I talk to are unaware of their printing costs. They have no idea what they are spending on print because it is unknown and not a monitored business expense.

When I ask them what their annual costs are I’m usually met with a blank stare.

A business cannot implement a print cost cutting strategy if the costs are unknown.

One of the main reasons, is that it is perceived as a necessary business process and therefore an ongoing cost to the business which doesn’t require to have a budget attributed to it.


How do I reduce my print costs – keeping it simple?

1/ Digital emails are uniformly used for communicating but do they really need to be printed and filed? By categorising (outlook) or labelling (Gmail) is a great way of indexing those all important emails for reference at a later date.

2/ Review before printing – Really do you need to print that document. It’s something I’ve had to work hard at myself as I hover over the ‘print’ button. Why am I printing this, what am I going to do with it and does anyone else need to read it? Therefore ask yourself do I really need to print it? Use the ‘preview’ before printing especially when it comes to spreadsheets they never fit onto an A4 unless you specify fit to one page or you make sure the orientation is correct. Otherwise ten pages of unwanted and unuseable print streams out and then gets binned.

print management services

3/ Recycle – that discarded bit of paper that you printed off one side only can be used for scrap notes and for doodling yes I know it sounds boring but how many times when printing something out do we notice a glaringly obvious mistake and then print the whole document again? When we only need to print the relevant page. I use these bits of paper like a montage and then sketch or doodle over the top of the print using a bright colour pen.

4/ Do you really need to print that document in colour? If it’s a draft document then print it out mono, check it and then print in colour.

5/ Switch off –  rather than letting devices go into standby mode switch off before leaving the office. It’s all part of keeping costs down.

How do I reduce my print costs using print management software solutions?

1/ How many personal printers do you have spread across your organisation? Whilst the cost of personal printers has reduced considerably the cost of toner cartridges remains pricey. Opting for a MFPD (multi-functional print devices) using a managed print services option is a sure fire way of saving time and money.

2/ Optimise biometrics for printing using fingerprint or key card technology.  If a document is sent to a local printer by mistake or staff print the wrong document or change their mind and want to cancel the print job this is easily done using secure print tracking software.

3/ Cut back on waste using print management solutions this allows staff to print only what they need on the right printer suitable for the document. Print software routes the document to a mono printer if it is black and white, colour to a colour printer.


4/ Manage your paperflow by having an effective document management system . This is an important step in ensuring a workflow pattern in the company. Document scanning software captures, indexes, archives and retrieves all your documents by creating a secure digital file cabinet.

5/ Track print costs by using print management software that enforces internal rules for staff reducing print volume and redirecting print jobs to the most cost effective device. Print tracking software shows where costs are being incurred and what is being printed and by whom. Costs are tracked across an entire company calculating the cost on the volume of print per person and by department.

There you have ten ways to reduce your print costs. There are others of course but as each organisation is unique I’ve covered the ones that I think are of the most use.



6 ways to reduce your invoice printing costs

Invoice processing and fulfilment

Even if you still need to send out paper based invoices there are still some things you can do to save money and reduce time

Aside of the physical printing of your invoices, there are other ancillary costs that are associated with the invoice printing process such as the toner, other consumables, paper, time taken by staff and the cost of postage. E-billing is slowly replacing the paper based bill but even if you are in the throes of making that conversion not all of your customers will be willing to comply to receiving your e-bill.

I am assuming that you are not sending an email with a .pdf bill attached that is not e-billing, that is sending a .pdf as an attachment.

Here is a quick overview on how to save money when you print and process your customer invoices.

1. Batch invoices for one company into a single envelope

It’s surprising the number of organisations that send out single invoices for each transaction rather than consolidating customers invoices into one envelope. This in itself can give you greater reductions in postage costs. Moreover, the customer wont thank you if they receive 10 envelopes when one will do.

If this is a manual process then unfortunately it will take time to ensure that your customer invoices are matched and inserted in to the envelope. You can automate the entire process by outsourcing the print and mailing process altogether. Click here to find out how.

2. Change the size of the envelope you use for posting out your documents

This seems obvious but surprisingly many companies use a standard DL size envelope and end up having to send out 3-4 envelopes to the same customer. This can cause another issue when the customer receives envelope 3 but envelopes 1 and 2 arrive later due to the inconsistent delivery of the Royal Mail.

Changing from a DL size envelope to a C5 (this is half the size of an A4 sheet of paper) will enable you to insert at least 15 A4 folded sheets comfortably. The importance here is making sure that you match the right documents for the same customer into the envelope as discussed above.

3. Postage discounts are available from the Royal Mail and via DSA (downstream access)

If you can pre-sort your mail internally and according to the mail providers criteria postage discounts could be anything from between 10% – 40% per envelope which represents a big saving on the bottom line. If you outsource the process then its possible to gain greater discounts using Downstream Access.

DSA is mail that has been collected and distributed by a competitor, but is delivered in to Royal Mail mail centres for final processing onto local delivery offices ready for delivery.

4. Invalid or incorrect addresses 

Invoice printing

Invoice printing

A sure fire way to end up having a steady flow of undeliverable invoices is having incomplete or incorrect address details. An accounts system that is regularly maintained and administered will reduce the number of returned or undelivered envelopes. Additionally an incomplete address will not qualify for pre-sortation discounts.

Make sure that your envelopes have a return address on the flap so that the Royal Mail can forward those items that weren’t delivered back to you.

5. Encourage the uptake of an electronic bill instead of a paper version

More and more companies are making it easier for their customers to sign up for e-billing. It is one of the single most effective ways of reducing costs and administration associated with print and mailing of invoices and statements!

6.White Space Management

Often overlooked but in simply terms use your paper invoice as a vehicle to hi-light some company news, offer discounts, promote a new product or service using the white space to print targeted marketing messages to your customer is cheap advertising, after all you’re printing the invoice use up the white space and be specific.

Even if its telling your customers to find you on social media – facebook, twitter, linkedin, google+ it’s a great way to remind your customers that aside of paying your bill you also provide other services and you want to engage with them.

You might want to target a particular audience with a personalised message and as you’ve already paid for the paper, the envelope and the postage why not use the invoice and personalise it with marketing messages.

Mailing solutions

Invoice printing can easily be outsourced and there are a number of mailing solutions including print-2-mail

All of the above takes time, costs money and is fairly labour intensive automating the process is a consideration and the days of cost benefits associated with high volume billing runs are long gone.

Even if you send out a few hundred bills a month there are some cost advantages to be had.

If you want to discuss some or any of the above please call us and we will advise you as to the best solution to suit your budget and your business needs.

Finally, we like to engage with our audience so please do take the time to:-

follow us on twitter, connect with us on linkedin and google+ and like us on facebook

Outsource Printing V Printing In-House

Outsourcing print saves a company time and money.


In the years I have been involved with outsourcing print one question that always comes up is the case for and against outsourcing print!

Print Outsourcing or outsource printing is not a new phenomenon by any means however, there are still many UK companies that manage their print in-house, in fact as I write this article I will be meeting with an independent foreign bank to discuss this very topic!

I am very biased of course, it’s a no brainer to me. I know that over the years we have saved companies thousands of £’s which has translated onto their bottomline!

However, I like to consider the customers perspective and fears, for example: “It’s too expensive!”, “Will I really see cost savings?”, “Just the thought of talking about it sends me into a cold sweat!” “I don’t want to give up control!” “The M.D. wants us to do our own!”

These are some of the comments that actually make me and my team cringe and have cropped up in our exploratory discussions over the years we’ve been promoting the argument for print outsourcing.

Come on, I bet you already do some form of outsourcing; take the domestic situation, maybe you outsource the ironing, or you have some domestic help with the cleaning all with the aim of saving YOU TIME. This is called domestic outsourcing. You are entrusting a service provider to deliver a specific service to suit your needs. So what’s the difference?

Whether to print in-house or not is an important decision for a lot of businesses.

But the real issue is the true cost of printing in-house?

When I refer to true cost I mean the £’s, time, the invisibles which a business can’t really quantify.

Big printer/copier manufacturers have spent vast amounts on promoting to businesses that printing in-house is cheap, fast and more efficient however, this is rarely the case. Printer manufacturers rely on us mere mortals to purchase again and again.

After the initial investment in your chosen printers or MFD’s (multi-functional devices), what about everything else?

Paper, ink/toner, maintenance, drums, fusers, repairs, power and the biggest cost on a company’s bottom line TIME.

Yes, time it takes to evaluate, source and buy or lease your print devices.

Then you’ll need the ancillary equipment, if you’re going to be printing and despatching your invoices in-house then you will need mailing equipment and so the list goes on. Oh, by the way, don’t forget about the training and the personnel required in-house to operate the machinery, then, what happens if he, she/they leave!

Printers and associated equipment bought or leased are often oversold in other words, are of a very high specification and way in excess of the requirement of the company’s needs.

So many times I have seen customers stuck with equipment that is either under used because they have been oversold or not configured or designed for the tasks required by the company allied to that a contract that states in order for them to have the kit at an attractive rate they need to lease hire for something like 5 years+!

Outsourcing by now is looking a very attractive option for the business owner surely?

Outsourcing Print is a viable and cost effective proposition for many businesses.

Big companies are tempted to look at the large manufacturers to provide “managed print services“; in which the vendor takes control of the customer’s production of corporate, office and marketing documents typically owning the machines, providing training on how to use them, maintenance and most likely take a per page or click charge.

In-house printing comes with a pretty hefty price tag when the above are factored in to the equation and then there is the lease hire agreement and the commitment the company then has to make to the vendor to ensure he hits the click rate/nos of pages printed monthly, heaven forbid if he doesn’t!

Some businesses are too small for managed print services to be able to offer competitive pricing but the reality is there are many print management companies who will provide an excellent service at a fair price.

Coupled with the fact that we take the headache away by sourcing printed matter, material, consumables and thus streamline printing costs with ruthless efficiency making it a better proposition to outsource to an independent print manager than purchasing and running the equipment in-house.

One final thought on the above, independent means just that; as a print management company we are independent we aim to deliver a managed print service or print solution and are driven by the customers needs and wants.

Call us for an informal chat and with no obligation and see if what we can do for you!

You can follow us on twitter, like us on facebook connect with us on linkedin and Google+ for all our news, reviews and updates or keep it simple subscribe and receive our updates straight into your inbox..