VP Marketing, Xerox Indirect Channels Business Group

There’s a lot of discussion today about controlling the cost of office printing. I’m surprised by the amount of talk but how little information exists. Businesses want to lower the amount of money spent on printing and there are many proposed office solutions. But it’s hard for them to know if they really will save money.

There are fundamentally three ways printed pages are purchased: 

a)      by the page on a contract,

b)       by the cartridge (amount of ink or toner used on the page), or a newer trend,

c)      Managed Print Services.

These different methods of purchasing prints, combined with the inability to know what is really on every page, makes it very difficult for businesses to understand the most economical way to buy their prints.

Consider an email: 20 lines of black text with a blue link to your email address in the signature. This would most likely cost a penny or two if you were purchasing by ink or toner cartridges. However, if you are paying for prints by the page, it would be a penny or so in black-and-white only, but adding the blue link would raise your print cost to 5 to 8 cents.

Think about a PowerPoint slide with a solid blue background. Printing this would cost somewhere between 25 and 35 cents if you are paying for the ink or toner cartridges. If you want to save money and print it in black-and-white it would still cost between 10 and 20 cents because of the amount of toner used on the page. On a page contract it would cost around five to eight cents in color and one cent or so in black-and-white. 

What you print has a lot to do with determining the best plan for you. It’s not an easy calculation, but there are ways to start thinking through your printing costs. I will tackle them here in a series of articles. Stay tuned to learn more about the cost of office printing.