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Printing Costs: The Stats You Won’t Believe in 2023

The cost of printing in a business environment is often underestimated. According to a study by OFFIX, the average employee’s printing habits cost a company $725 per year. For a company with 150 employees, this amounts to $108,750 annually. These costs can be significantly reduced with the right document management software, such as uniFLOW offered by Canon and Offix.

Why Understanding Printing Costs is Crucial for Revenue

Key Takeaways:

  • Efficient print management can save a significant amount of money and time.
  • Untracked printing costs can be a hidden drain on your budget.
  • Supplier agreements and advanced technologies can further optimize printing costs.

Key Statistics:

  • Businesses spend between 1% and 3% of their annual revenue on printing.
  • Implementing Managed Print Services can save up to 30% on overall printing costs.

Understanding printing costs is not just about saving money on paper and ink; it’s about optimizing operational efficiency. Poorly managed printing can lead to wasted time and resources, affecting your bottom line. For instance, full-time employees may spend over 20 minutes just looking for a document. This time cost can be reduced with a well-structured document management system.

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Infographic detailing unexpected costs associated with business printing.

The Hidden Costs of Printing

Key Takeaways:

  • Employee habits significantly impact the financial and operational aspects of business printing.
  • Environmental costs are often overlooked but are crucial for sustainable business practices.
  • Implementing effective print management solutions can lead to potential savings in both financial and environmental aspects.

In today’s digital age, the costs associated with printing may seem negligible. However, when scrutinized, these costs can significantly impact a company’s bottom line. This article aims to shed light on the hidden costs of printing in business operations, focusing on employee habits and their financial impact, as well as the environmental cost of excessive printing.

Employee Habits and Their Financial Impact

One of the most overlooked aspects of printing costs is employee behavior. According to a study by Tricerat, nearly 1 in 4 support cases and tickets are printing-related. Of those, 15% are escalated beyond the first level of support, which can triple or even quadruple the cost per ticket. The average IT team spends at least 15% of their time responding to printing-related tasks Tricerat: The Hidden Cost of Printing .

Behavioral Economics and Workforce Management

Understanding the behavioral economics behind printing can offer insights into workforce management. For instance, employees might print unnecessary documents due to a lack of awareness, contributing to increased costs and reduced operational efficiency.

The Environmental Cost of Excessive Printing

While financial costs are a concern, the environmental impact of excessive printing is equally significant. The production and disposal of paper contribute to deforestation and an increased carbon footprint.

Surprising Statistics About Printing Costs

Printing remains a crucial aspect of business operations, from internal documents to marketing materials. What’s more surprising are the statistics that reveal how businesses manage—or, rather, mismanage—their printing costs. Let’s delve into some eye-opening data.

Percentage of Companies Not Tracking Costs

According to Buyer’s Laboratory, a staggering 90% of companies don’t track their printing costs. This lack of oversight can lead to unnecessary expenditures on ink, toner, and paper, not to mention the potential for operational disruptions due to supply shortages.

Document Costs as a Share of Revenue

IDC reports that document-related costs can consume between 5% and 15% of a company’s annual revenue. This significant financial burden underscores the need for effective print management systems to optimize resource allocation and minimize the impact on revenue.

Additional Insights

  • Untracked Expenses: The lack of tracking can lead to financial waste, affecting the company’s bottom line.
  • Revenue Impact: With document costs taking up a significant share of revenue, businesses need to rethink their print management strategies.
  • IT Department Involvement: An average IT department spends 15% of its time on printing issues, which is a hidden cost many organizations overlook

Industry-Specific Printing Costs

Key Takeaways:

  • The healthcare sector spends approximately $3.8 million annually on printing in a 1,500-bed hospital.
  • Technology plays a dual role, both increasing and offering solutions to reduce printing costs.
  • A multidisciplinary approach is essential for effective cost management.


  • Average annual printing costs in a 1,500-bed hospital: $3.8 million.
  • Percentage of print volume originating from EHR systems in healthcare: 60%
  • Average annual printing costs per student: $150.
  • Revenue Impact: Schools spend approximately 3% of their annual budget on printing

In today’s fast-paced business environment, understanding the nuances of printing costs across different industries is crucial for operational efficiency. This article delves into the economic implications of printing in the healthcare and education sectors.

Printing Costs in Healthcare

The healthcare industry is a significant contributor to printing costs. According to a report by health IT consulting firm CynergisTek, 76% of healthcare organizations using an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system still rely on printed consent forms. This contributes to an average 1,500-bed hospital printing over 96 million pages each year, costing approximately $3.8 million.

Factors Contributing to High Costs

The reliance on EHR systems paradoxically increases the print volume, accounting for 60% of the total. Additionally, 10% of the print volume is fax-related, which could be reduced through automated systems.

Strategies for Cost Reduction

CynergisTek suggests a multi-disciplinary approach involving IT, finance, and operations to manage and potentially reduce printing costs. Key steps include assessing the total cost per page printed and utilizing data analytics to identify areas for cost reduction.

Printing Costs in Education

While specific data on printing costs in the education sector is limited, the financial implications are substantial. Schools and universities often have multiple printers and copiers, leading to significant operational costs.

The Role of Technology

The adoption of digital platforms for educational resources can play a pivotal role in reducing printing costs. E-books, online journals, and digital assignments are gradually replacing traditional printed materials.

Sustainable Practices

Incorporating eco-friendly printing solutions and promoting digital literacy can contribute to cost management. Schools can also benefit from managed print services to monitor and control printing expenses.

Source: Becker’s Healthcare

Hardware and Maintenance Costs

When it comes to operational costs, hardware management often takes the spotlight. However, many businesses overlook the financial implications of their printing needs. This section aims to shed light on the often-overlooked aspects of hardware and maintenance costs related to business printing.

The Role of Printers in Overall Costs

Printers play a significant role in a company’s overall operational costs. According to a report by Tricerat, nearly 1 in 4 support cases and tickets are printing-related. Of those, 15% are escalated beyond the first level of support, which can triple or even quadruple the cost per ticket Tricerat. Understanding the financial impact of your printing needs is crucial for effective cost management.

Maintenance and Its Hidden Charges

Maintenance costs are not just about replacing ink or paper. They include hidden charges that many businesses fail to account for. Tricerat’s report indicates that 55% of the cost of ownership of printing devices is indirect, like management, configuration, and end-user productivity reduction Tricerat. These hidden charges can significantly inflate your overall printing costs.

Software Solutions for Print Management

Key Takeaways:

  • Managed Print Services offer a data-driven approach to optimizing printing costs and enhancing security.
  • Software solutions in print management can significantly reduce operational costs by simplifying processes and enabling better tracking.

One often-overlooked area ripe for optimization is print management. By leveraging software solutions, businesses can significantly reduce their printing costs and environmental impact.

Benefits of Managed Print Services

Managed Print Services (MPS) offer a plethora of advantages for businesses aiming to streamline their printing operations. These services provide a centralized system for tracking printer usage, toner levels, and page costs. This data-driven approach allows stakeholders to make informed financial decisions, ultimately leading to cost savings for Plus Technologies .

  • Cost-Efficiency: MPS can implement user quotas and print policies that encourage sensible usage, thereby reducing costs.
  • Security: Features like pull-print solutions enhance document security by allowing printing only when the user is physically present at the printer.
  • Environmental Impact: By monitoring and controlling print activities, MPS contributes to sustainability by reducing paper, electricity, and ink or toner waste.

How Software Can Reduce Operating Costs

The crux of cost management in print operations lies in the effective use of software solutions. Here’s how software can be a game-changer:

  • Simplification: A robust print control software system can simplify print management by offering an intuitive interface and customizable print options.
  • Print Only When Necessary: Software solutions can prevent unnecessary printing, thereby saving ink and reducing the risk associated with unattended documents Plus Technologies .
  • Tracking and Analytics: Software provides a comprehensive audit trail, making it easier to track usage and costs.

Future Trends in Printing Costs

The print industry is undergoing significant changes, influenced by various economic and technological factors. Understanding these trends is essential for cost management and long-term planning.

The Impact of Remote Work

Remote work has become a staple in today’s work environment, significantly affecting printing costs. With the shift towards remote and hybrid working models, businesses are re-evaluating their printing needs. According to Quocirca, the print industry in 2023 will see a wider return to the office, which could help improve print volume recovery.

Sustainable Printing Solutions

Sustainability is no longer a buzzword but a necessity. Companies are under increasing pressure to adopt eco-friendly practices, including in their printing solutions. Vendors are now offering more sustainability-led products and services around hardware, software, and Managed Print Services (MPS).


Reducing printing costs is not just about cutting expenses but also about optimizing operational efficiency. Managed Print Services and best practices can significantly impact your bottom line.

Actionable Steps for Businesses to Reduce Printing Costs

  1. Implement Managed Print Services.
  2. Opt for draft quality and black-and-white printing.
  3. Use multi-page and duplex printing.
  4. Go digital whenever possible.
  5. Choose options like green fonts and recycled paper.

Key Statistics:

  • Businesses spend between 1% and 3% of their annual revenue on printing.
  • Implementing Managed Print Services can save up to 30% on overall printing costs.


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Tony Hoffman

Tony Hoffman is a tech expert with over 10 years of experience in the printer and scanner industries. He has developed a keen eye for the latest innovations and trends in printing technology making him a go-to resource for consumers and professionals alike. His engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics make his articles and reviews accessible and informative for a wide range of readers. Outside of his work as a tech writer Tony enjoys tinkering with gadgets and exploring the outdoors.View Author posts

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