True Cost of Printing: 7 Cost Factors to Consider Beyond Direct Costs
What is the True Cost of Printing?A business’s true printing costs far exceed the direct costs associated with purchasing equipment! When it’s all said and done, several cost factors beyond direct costs must be considered. Gartner describes the true cost of printing as being inclusive of all costs related to owning and operating a workplace printing device over a defined, extended period of time. In this blog, we’ll briefly look at 7 common cost factors associated with the true cost of printing.
1. HardwareHardware costs make up just one of many cost factors associated with the true cost of printing. For purposes of exact cost determination, it is important to account for the mix of printing devices within the enterprise, i.e. the number of color and monochrome printers, or the number of networked and personal printers. Hardware costs also include the costs associated with upgrading hardware, such as hard disks, input trays, print servers, etc. Many companies are switching to the cloud to avoid large infrastructure investments. It is also crucial to calculate the proportion of equipment that is acquired and replaced every year.
2. SoftwareSoftware costs are classified as the licensing costs that are directly related to hardcopy output. These costs include:
- Support license costs
- Software upgrading costs
- Customization costs, or, the expenses related to custom software programs required for specific output
3. ConsumablesAs it relates to the true cost of printing, consumables include toner, ink cartridges, paper, and maintenance kits. These costs are increasing exponentially, with Gartner estimating that over the lifespan of most printers, the consumables-related expenses can total up to three times the actual purchase cost of the printers themselves!
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4. Network Administration and ManagementFor accurate calculation of network administration and management costs, enterprise-related data for print network management, installation and configuration costs must be accounted for. The specific enterprise information required should include the number of printers per server used for print, application and file services, along with the number of printers per print-only server. User to printer cardinality, ratio of general-purpose server’s printing costs, and the estimated cost and time for installation, configuration and administration are also important measures for an accurate determination of network administration and management costs.
5. InfrastructureInfrastructure cost, also known as space cost, comprises of the cost per unit of area dedicated to printing devices and accessories. Of course, this cost will fluctuate from one enterprise to another, based on the size of the company and its printing needs.
6. Lack of Availability and End User OperationsLack of availability costs make up a significant portion of the true cost of printing. Gartner has recognized numerous areas where productivity is reduced and time is lost due to malfunctioning printing devices. Productivity and time are negatively impacted by the following:
- Reduced printing speed
- Longer response times
- Poor print quality
- Increased help desk calls
7. Support and Maintenance CostsSupport and maintenance costs are the costs that stem from support contracts, warranty costs, and printer maintenance costs. Some important measures for determining support and maintenance costs include the number of help desk calls made specifically for printing related queries, the ratio of help desk calls for printing issues relative to other problems, and the average cost of help desk calls. Make sure you consider these 7 cost factors when you are trying to determine your true cost of printing, and remember, your true cost of printing is more than just your direct printing costs! Check out this FREE whitepaper on how you can reduce your printing costs!
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