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Ways To Reduce Printing Costs And Paper Waste

by Louise W. Rice

Despite the worldwide efforts to go paperless, more than 3% of an average company’s revenue is still spent on printing, photocopying, filing, storing, and maintaining paper files. Alarmingly, around half of that paper ends up in the trash bin, causing an environmental nightmare. Forward-thinking businesses understand that printing large amounts of documents is not sustainable.

Here, we’ll look at some actionable strategies that will help you reduce printing costs and paper waste.

Sign Up for an Internet Faxing Service

Traditional fax machines fuel the use of excess paper in the workplace. The machine needs to be fed with a paper document with a cover page before transmitting it, and the receiver needs to print out every page of the document to view it. That means you’ll always be relying on paper whenever you want to send or receive faxes using the old faxing method.

On the other hand, internet faxing is a new paperless innovation that lets you send or receive virtual fax via any computer or mobile device. The documents are always accessible for future use, and cloud faxing is designed with enhanced security in mind. This allows you to send sensitive data in a highly secure way.

Digitize Your Finance Documents

The finance department seems to be the biggest culprit for high paper costs in an office. Since some financial records need to be stored for several years as proof for a transaction, a lot of paper ends up being printed and filed. Thanks to technology, you no longer have to print or create paper copies of every invoice, bill, statement, expense receipt, contract, or tax document.

If you must have original documents in paper format, invest in an inexpensive scanner, then store the files online instead of making paper copies. Also, adopt a digital process to approve and deliver invoices and switch to e-signatures to eliminate the need to sign paper contracts. These solutions will streamline and shorten the sales cycle, increasing the customer’s satisfaction as well.

Perform an Audit and Enforce a Print Policy

You can’t tell how much money your business is spending on printing without performing an audit. Various tools allow you to track how much printing is occurring, which document was printed, the name of the computer and user that sent the document to the printer, and when it happened. This data will give you invaluable insights to help you slash unnecessary printing expenses.

From here, you can develop a print policy and educate your employees about it. It should be set out in writing and clearly describe which documents are okay to print, which font and color should be used in each situation, and how to save paper and ink. It should also stipulate the consequences an employee will face if found to consistently overuse the printers.

Deploy Automatic Backups

There is always the urge to print out important documents in an office environment, just in case something happens to the digital copy. Although it may seem like a good idea, it is not always the best move. First, you’ll end up increasing your printing costs and accumulating too many documents, many of which become irrelevant after some time.

Physical documents are also vulnerable to insider threats as they don’t have proper access control measures. Investing in a cloud backup solution will ensure all your business files are uploaded online, protected, and easy to retrieve.

Start Reducing Your Printing Costs

Although printers and papers are a common afterthought in most offices, misusing them can put a significant dent in your business’ finances. In addition to the cost-saving steps above, you should also implement a duplex printing rule, encourage previewing before printing, and recycle waste paper.

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