Technology and digital document management can be revolutionary, but sometimes in business you just have to print something. Printing is more expensive than relying solely on digital documentation though, leaving leaders in industries that are forced to print more than others wondering how they can reduce their printing costs.
While the practical requirements of those fields are going to necessitate a higher spend than organizations that can operate almost entirely digitally, there are still a number of simple, tangible things they can do to minimize it.
Make the spend an intentional investment rather than a money leak in your organization. Discover how to reduce printing costs for companies in industries like:
- Real estate
Dive deeper into printer fleet management and other aspects of print services to make your operations simpler, cheaper, and more effective. Explore Impact's Guide, Document Management: The Keys to Efficient Workflows.
Learn more about managed print services at Impact. The above video can break it down for you before you see how it can affect your specific industry.
Print Fleet Management in Education
Educational institutions use far more paper than organizations in any other industry. Between records like report cards, homework assignments, research papers, tests, and handouts, among all of the other documents that get produced, printing for schools is big business.
The average school consumes 360,000 pages per year.
Luckily, there are a couple of print management best practices that education industry organizations can adopt to reduce the cost.
The first is to install software that manages which people are allowed to actually use printers and where they have to be. If printers are intended for teacher use, students shouldn’t be relying on them for their homework and personal projects. And if you have identity verification that ensures a print job only begins when you reach the printer, you can’t waste paper by sending a document to the wrong device.
Fleet optimization is also a crucial element of print management in education. The odds are high that not every classroom and administrative office has to have its own printer. If you’re strategic about where in schools print devices are placed, you have to pay for fewer machines and both teachers and students will have fewer opportunities to carelessly print documents.
Legal Printing Services & Optimization
In the legal industry, printing almost everything is typically a given. Lawyers and law firms are subject to strict regulations about how clients, courts, and opposing counsel can receive information, necessitating physical versions of most documents. There are a few things companies in this field can do to lower the impact this has on their bottom line, though.
The first element of managed legal printing services is ensuring that you’re not using expensive materials when you don’t have to. Documents may have to be physical, but they don’t need specialty paper and they don’t have to be in color ink. Unless the settings are adjusted, even if you’re printing a basic document, it might come out in a very dark and costly color instead of cheaper black ink.
Additionally, if you’re in the legal industry, your printing should all be double-sided to cut the amount of paper you use in half. If you have a fleet that doesn’t allow for easy double-sided printing, it’s time to consider switching up your print management.
How to Reduce Printing Costs in Healthcare
The odds are high that you’re accustomed to going to a doctor’s appointment and immediately being presented with a form to fill out or sign. And if you ever have to spend a night in the hospital, you’ve probably had your paper chart hanging on a clipboard by your bed. In healthcare, printing is unavoidable.
But with digital transformation in healthcare, there are more apps than ever that can replace paper documents while still being simple, intuitive, and HIPAA-compliant for doctors who don’t have the time to learn technology as well as medicine. Patient portals allow you to securely store health information and share it only with the people who need it, drastically reducing the need for paper.
Healthcare printing can also be avoided with digital document management. Instead of relying on paper across the board, even when patients sometimes need physical documents, the administrative side of running a health-based company can all be done digitally, making business easier, faster, and cheaper.
Financial Services Printer Fleet Management
The financial services industry is a little behind the times when it comes to printing. While the technology exists to securely store and transfer financial information, it’s such a heavily regulated field that paper is required to stay compliant. And even when that’s not the case, many consumers just feel more comfortable with printed documentation.
That means the first step to financial printing cost savings is education. Helping your clients understand when they do and don’t need a paper trail will lead more of them to opt into paperless billing, meaning you won’t need to print as many statements and mail them out every month.
Education also extends to your employees. When they understand exactly which regulations apply to your organization and what is required to stay compliant with them, they’ll know what they do and don’t have to print. That knowledge allows you to keep more of your files digital, rather than printing all financial documents as the default.
Finally, financial services printer fleet management necessitates considering printer security. If your equipment connects to your wi-fi, hackers can use it to access the rest of your network. Cybersecurity is a different printing consideration than paper consumption, but being fined or sued for not properly protecting sensitive information as you’re printing it can also become a sizable cost!
Real Estate Printing Cost Reduction
There are two ways in which printing in real estate eats up money:
- The extensive documentation people sign as they’re buying property
- The printed marketing materials real estate brokers use to entice new buyers
For the first, many of the best methods for reducing print cost have already been covered earlier in this blog. Managing who is allowed to print, adjusting printer settings to default to black and white and double-sided printing, and optimizing your printer fleet will all have an impact on your bottom line.
For the second, however, there’s a different option entirely for real estate printing: print production. Instead of outsourcing the printing of all your flyers, brochures, and other marketing materials, you can get a solution that allows you to create them in-house.
This ultimately saves money when you produce a high volume of materials because you can print exactly what you need exactly when you need it. You can create it to your exact specifications. You never have to print more than you need to hit a minimum order. And you can easily adjust if you ever notice an error in something that has already been produced.
The industries that consume the most paper and spend the most money on printing are education, legal, healthcare, finance, and real estate. And many organizations in those industries don’t know how much they’re even spending on it.
Sometimes, printing documents is necessary. But with the right print and document management strategy, organizations in those fields can ensure that every print job is an investment in their future that’s worth making, rather than an avoidable sunk cost.