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Smart Rules to Save Money on Printing

October 2, 2018

Smart Rules to Save Money on Printing

October 2, 2018

Ever thought about how much waste is produced from careless printing in your office? For most offices, it’s HALF – half of EVERYTHING.

That’s right, half of all the printed documents employees churn out are thrown away without ever being used. Next to your payroll and office rent, print is the third biggest operating expense in a company.

While that recycling bin next to your printer might make you feel better about your waste, those pages add up to significant opportunities to save money.

Waste Just Waiting to Be Controlled

In many cases, office equipment is installed with little or no thought as to how to use it. That can lead to a lot of waste.

With print rules, you can customize exactly how employees can use a device. Only want certain groups to print in color? No problem. Don’t want everyone to use the marketing department’s fancy paper stock? No problem. 

Don’t worry, print rules are not as “Big Brother” as they sound, and every office should have a clear print policy.

Printing is all too often an act that is done with very little thought to the actual need or expense to the company. Even more scary, haphazard printing can pose a security threat to your business when confidential documents are left unattended on printer trays.

With print rules, you can keep an eye on the who, what, when, and where of a print job.

Ready to do some good?

16 Easy Ways to Save Money with Printing Rules and Good Habits

1. Identity which departments can print in color and set restrictions for those who can’t.

2. Pay attention to print and copy spikes after hours, a sign of unauthorized use.

3 & 4. Save paper by defaulting printers to not only print in black, but also on two-sides of the paper. 

5. Encourage conscientious printing habits. Instead of printing an entire 50-page document, encourage your users to print only the pages they need.

6. Ensure that users have access to not only conveniently located but cost-effective devices for the types of print jobs they are producing.

7. Set limits for the number of pages someone can print on less cost-effective devices. Instead, set a rule that more than X number of pages automatically gets routed to larger devices.

8. If your office still receives faxes, route incoming faxes to an inbox instead of the output tray of a copier.

9. Configure automatic pop-up alerts for your users to remind them to print considerately. “Did you mean to print 10,000 copies of this file in color?”

10. Set rules for your print queue – when a duplicate job comes through, flag it for review to ensure it was not inadvertently sent twice.

11. Control the printing of confidential documents with walk-up printing that only outputs when the user is standing at the device to release it.

12. Share the data with employees. Sometimes a monthly reminder of just how much a department is printing can greatly reduce the abuse of print. With print tracking, you will have access to reports that can help reveal inefficiencies.

13. Send documents such as meeting notes and agendas electronically versus printing a stack for everyone at the meeting.

14. Know the actual cost per page on your devices. Some printers have a lower cost per page than others. Use these devices for larger print jobs.

15. Implement electronic signatures if you can so pages are not wasted when you print, sign, scan and print again.

16. Keep reusing and recycling! The printed page isn’t going anywhere just yet, so do your part.

17. Outsource when it makes sense to. If the above tips seem like too much to manage then perhaps Managed Print Services is right for your business. Having an MSP not only frees up your IT resources, but it can potentially lower your print expenses while increasing your efficiency.


If you’re looking to make your business as efficient as possible, establishing a printing policy is a great place to start. Most printing policies stem from an honest look at the actual behaviors of your print users through print tracking. Don’t know where to start? Contact Us for an assessment or just a conversation about your print environment.