Are you familiar with how your monthly copier expenses are calculated? If not, you’re not alone! Copier pricing can be perplexing. However, with a little knowledge, you can better understand your options when it comes to copier contracts.
So, what factors contribute to your monthly bill? Setting aside insurance and taxes, your copier bill boils down to three main components: the cost of your equipment, your monthly service plan, and any additional charges for exceeding usage limits. Curious about how to optimize each of these elements for the best deal? Keep reading to learn more!
What is the best printer for my office?
Consider your last car purchase. What were your priorities? Depending on the individual, a typical family of four might have vastly different criteria. Mom might prioritize a spacious vehicle for the whole family, while Dad might seek a truck with ample storage capacity. Meanwhile, a teenage child might prioritize safety, affordability… and perhaps a moderate speed limit.
Likewise, the departments within your organization have diverse printing needs. For instance, Accounts Receivable might require a high-volume black-and-white printer for their monthly invoicing. Conversely, the Marketing department might require a color printer with high resolution and color accuracy, even if it handles lower quantities.
Understanding your unique needs can help you identify which and how many machines you’ll need. In general, printers are differentiated on the basis of their specs. Common considerations include:
- Page speed
- Page volume
- Print quality (resolution)
- Color reproduction
- Finishing options (staples, fifth color, etc.)
How many pages should I be paying for each month?
Okay, now that you know how to choose your equipment, you’ll need to identify how many pages your contract should include. This number should be based on your actual usage, and there are several ways to identify your needs:
- Review your recent billings: If you’re already using a Managed Print Services provider, gather your last few invoices and take an average of your typical monthly volume. One thing to remember: If your printing needs are cyclical, you’ll want to make sure to use a large enough sample to account for your business’s busier periods. This will help you save money in the long run by reducing unnecessary overages.
- Perform a before and after comparison of your meter counts: If your printing needs are relatively stable, you can perform a before and after comparison of your meter counts over a three-month period. To do so, simply check the meter count of each machine and then check it again in 90 days. Divide the difference by three and you have your average monthly volume.
- Install a data collection agent (DCA) on your devices: If you have a Managed Print Services partner, it’s likely that you already have a DCA installed on your network. These tools can quickly pull a report on your usage to help you see how many prints you’re running in an average month. Feeling uneasy about installing something to your network? Don’t worry—these tools cannot access any of the data that passes through your machines; they only keep track of print counts, supply levels, and service code alerts.
- Audit your paper consumption: Not using a Managed Print Services partner and don’t want to bother with meters? You can also gauge your printer usage by looking at your monthly paper consumption. A standard box of paper includes 10 reams for a total of 5,000 sheets. Once you know how many boxes or reams you run in a given month, you’ll know how many pages your contract should cover. With that said, it’s worth noting that this method doesn’t account for double-sided printing.
Am I paying too much for my printer service?
Okay, so now you’ve identified which machines you need and how much volume you’ll run on each of those machines. In a typical operating environment, this should help ensure that you’re not overpaying for your equipment or your monthly service allowances.
So what do you do when your printing needs change mid-contract? Simple. You ask your provider to right-size your monthly service allowances.
Looking for a new printer service company?
Enlisting a Managed Print Services company is the best way to ensure that your print environment is operating at peak efficiency. Creative Office Solutions is a recognized business technology firm offering printer/copier sales and support, managed IT services, and document workflow software.
Our experienced consultants can help you identify an imaging solution that meets your needs and your budget. And when you choose Creative Office Solutions, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing your Account Manager will meet with you to review your usage and adjust your service allowances on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis, per your preference.