Total Cost of Ownership
Many printer decisions are based on the initial purchase price and any new feature of the particular printer. These decisions are often made independently of a larger printer strategy.Â Itâ��s not uncommon in a fleet of 100 printers to have at least 30 different models.Â This means 30 different cartridges to order and 30 different printer drivers to install. These â��independentâ�� decisions simply add to the management nightmare.
We recommend to think in terms of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) to include all hard costs as well as soft costs related to managing printers and supplies.
These are easily quantifiable direct costs â�� printer/MFP acquisition, support and supplies expenditures.Â For printers, the cost of the printer is a relatively small part as compared to the cost of operation.Â A general rule â�� the lower the cost to acquire a printer, the more the printer costs to operate.Â There is a reason an inkjet printers are practically given away.Â The ink in an inkjet printer is more expensive than some of the finest perfumes.
For MFPs/Copiers, the reverse is true. The cost of acquisition is very high compared to the cost of operation. CopierÂ vendors will tout the low cost of operations but not factor in the monthly lease payment as part of the TCO.
While we donâ��t justify making a business case based solely on soft costs, we do suggest they should be a factor in your decision making.Â Consider the soft costs involved with managing the supplies of 30 different printers versus 10 different models. How about a network upgrade based on 30 different models?Â The more standardized your fleet, the lower the time spent managing it.
We strongly recommend creating framework as part of your overall printer strategy to allow a guideline to base printer related decisions. The framework should be made in conjunction with a person who has the authority to enforce it.Â This could by your CFO or CIO.Â The very reason printer fleets are unmanaged is there is no single point of accountability.Â
The framework should include: