Businesses Face Variety of Printing Cost Challenges, Survey Finds
A survey by Lexmark finds the top printing concerns among cost-conscious businesses are the costs related to paper usage and ink replacement as well as paper jams--the No. 3 ranked concern.Office printing specialist Lexmark International announced results from a survey, which identified popular printing problems facing small to medium-sized businesses. The survey was conducted by MarketTools in the United States on behalf of Lexmark and was fielded in June and November of 2009 and surveyed business users.
Small businesses reported that buying expensive printer ink could often cause headaches. Lexmark recommended a way to avoid those headaches by switching to a printer that offers more economical ink cartridges. The company said another great way to avert the pain is to look for rewards or loyalty programs that can earn you free consumables. Lexmark noted it offers a Rewards Program that provides users with free Lexmark ink, toner and imaging kits. Companies such as HP and Canon offer similar programs that also include options for extended warrantees and 24/7 customer service lines.
The survey also revealed the cost of print media is a headache - SMBs complain about the increasing cost of paper. One way to reduce paper consumption is to convert and move paper documents digitally, whenever possible. For example, many printer companies' inkjet and laser devices offer user-friendly scanning solutions, such as Scan-to-Email and Scan-to-Folder, that help reduce the amount of paper used, streamline processes and bring greater productivity to the user or workgroup. Also, using two-sided printing and Eco-Mode can help reduce paper usage. There are several ways for SMBs to help reduce the amount of paper (and energy) they use-HP offers a number of Energy Star-rated products that reduce energy consumption, paper usage and are made of recycled materials.
Another concern the Lexmark survey uncovered was replenishment frequency of printing supplies. "Frequent trips to the store and searching for a cartridge to replenish supplies is another pet peeve on the minds of SMBs," the report noted. Therefore, several print specialists offer high-yield options for most of its inkjet and laser devices, reducing the number of times cartridges have to be replaced. And for those navigationally challenged SMBs, most printing firms offer a cartridge finder solution to help companies locate a nearby retailer that carries specific supplies.