What is The Total Cost of Owning a Print Infrastructure?

  • Posted 9 months ago

Most decision makers claim to regularly review running costs for IT systems. However, investigation on cost management reveals a different story.

When it comes to print technology, there is a lack of awareness on the total cost of managing a print infrastructure - down to the precise cost of black/white or color printing.

This article focuses on different surveys conducted across various businesses and departments.

Purpose of the research is to provide our readers with insights which they can use to create better solutions for their customers.

Do You Know the Cost of Printing a Page?

Following statistics clearly contradict the widespread notion that decision makers are aware about the cost of printing a page.

cost of print

Those who do claim to be aware, rely on “sophisticated” measures to track print spend.

Some examples of these so called sophisticated measures are limiting the buying of consumables, restricting printing, controlling document production etc.

Whereas 56% of the organizations do not even measure their print cost in any shape or form.

Do You Measure Your Print Costs?

Below is a report from another source.

cost of print

Considering the 26% of companies spending between 1-10% of their total cost on printing, copying and scanning devices and software - not measuring the print cost adds up to a lot of money gone unaccounted.

Among those with higher stakes, who take measuring print cost seriously - 25% are dissatisfied with the cost measurement system they currently have in place. Rest prefer not to comment.

Their criticism is directed towards the incapability of the systems to provide accurate reporting (especially if it relies on indirect measures.)

Here is another interesting contrast on the cost of printing between decision makers and end-users:

Decision makers tend to believe that their end-users broadly understand the cost of printing. In practice, end users have little or no sense of the cost of printing a page, nor do they feel it to be particularly important.

Both decision makers and end-users say that there is no training or communication for end-users on how to manage printing and copying.

Hence, the lack of motivation to keep track of the document production costs.

Is Color Printing Important for Business?

The importance and value of color documents is widely recognized by decision-makers and end-users alike.

Over 60% of all surveyed respondents tend to agree with the statement: “High-quality documents are a key factor in the success of our organization.”

This is consistent by industry type and job function, with peaks among those working in creative, sales and marketing roles; including those in business services companies.

When compared with the findings from the 2013 Western Europe Office Insight Report, Middle East and Africa markets are more positive about the value of color printing than their European counterparts.

The volume of color documents being produced and handled for these markets have increased notably in recent years.

Those who use color printing state four main benefits:

cost of print

Hence it is clear that many businesses are capitalizing on the benefits of color printing with 46% stating that they print more color now than three years ago.

What is The Actual Cost of Color Print?

Majority of both decision-makers and end-users believe that color costs at least twice as much as mono, however they struggle to make any precise claims.

Either because the devices do not have color capabilities, or because the end users themselves are barred from producing color output. Overall, 35% of all end-users say they could not use their printer or multi-function devices for color printing or copying.

As the charts below demonstrate, access to color does vary by industry sector and department.

By industry:

cost of print

By Department:

cost of print

The data so far identifies that 71% of decision makers do not have a clear idea on the actual cost of color printing. This figure rises to 84% among end users.

It is abundantly clear that restriction on color printing access is likely to be due to a lack of awareness around the cost of color printing at senior levels.

Wrapping Up

Overall, the main task in these regions is to focus on educating businesses about the benefits that can be derived from the print solutions.

It’s not only an opportunity for vendors to provide clarity on the costs of mono and color print, but also a great chance to teach the benefits of tracking print spend. And how Managed Print Services can help support the goal.

There is a tangible business appetite for solutions that deliver high quality printing, at an improved price point. Once the real barrier – the lack of awareness among decision makers and end users is overcome, there is an opportunity to feed that appetite.