It is believed that printing and photocopying can cost a business up to 3% of its revenue, with many businesses having no idea how much each office printer is costing them. This is why print audits can be extremely useful as they produce detailed reports, allowing businesses to target wasteful prints and identify and replace any inefficient business printers.
Print audits can be carried out by simply plugging a Rapid Assessment Key into the USB port of any computer. The computer is scanned to find all the office printers, photocopiers and fax machines that are networked and a report is produced.
The initial scan creates a report showing data from all the office printers networked, with each device having its own set of data. This data typically includes:
- The number of pages printed from each device in its lifetime, separated into black and white and colour prints
- The cost and the number of pages printed per toner cartridge
A second scan is completed about a month later which is compared against the initial scan in order to create a complete breakdown of the prints being done from each printer. Although the initial scan shows overall use, the print audit can take this further and create detailed reports and comparisons between each scan and the efficiency of each device. The comparison between the initial and second scan shows the total new prints since the first scan took place and how much these prints have cost from each device. This comparison can be used to calculate the average number of prints and how many of these are black and white or colour copies.
A variety of other reports can be created from the print audit including, toner levels, estimated toner coverage and top ten printers by volume. These reports can give an extensive view of the efficiency of each office printer, meaning that inefficient office automation devices that use the most toner and cost large amounts of money can be replaced with efficient ones.
Considering how much printing and photocopying can cost a business and how frequently these devices are used daily, carrying out a print audit could make a big impact on printing costs in most workplaces. Once it has been discovered exactly where most of the prints are made and how much they are costing, several measures can be taken to act on the results found, including implementing printing quotas and restrictions and only using the most efficient office printers, which helps many businesses to reduce their printing costs.