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Wait…You Spend How Much On Printing?

Nothing makes us more upset than unknown costs. We’ve all been there. 

Bought a ticket to a sporting event recently? 

You choose your desired seat, pay $60, and before you know it, you’re hit with an extra $22 for a “just because you were born” fee followed by a “because we can” fee. You’re stuck paying 36% more than the displayed price! Costs like these aren’t necessarily hidden, but these prices are literally coming out of left field. 

Printing is a similar story. Most companies don’t know about their print environment let alone how much money they’re squandering.

A Gartner report states that 90% of North American companies are unaware of how many printers they have or how much they’re actually spending on print. Moreover, companies are also missing out on 10% to 30% in potential savings due to lack of insight into their print environments. 

Instead, businesses are paying out the wazoo for printing costs they can’t identify, leaving them scratching their heads about where their money went.  

Let’s discover some annual hidden costs based on mid-size businesses of 500 employees.


Trees, Trees, and More Trees

Paper is as relevant as it’s ever been in the office despite companies pushing toward a digital workplace. According to Formstack, the average worker uses about 10,000 pages per year. Of those 10,000 pages used, about 45% are thrown away by the end of the day.

Let’s put this into perspective. Shall we?

The average cost of one ream of paper (500 pages) on Amazon when buying in bulk is $5. For a medium-sized business with 500 employees, you’re looking at $50,000 per year in used paper. Forty-five percent of those dollars go straight to the trash within 24 hours.

The Math

One ream of paper = $5
20 reams (10,000 sheets) = $100
500 employees x $100 = $50,000
$50,000 x 0.45(wasted paper) = $22,500

Money wasted on paper: $22,500


Think Gas Is Expensive? Try Ink. 

We can’t talk about printing without bringing up the “liquid gold” of the office.

As the Gucci of office supplies, it’s no surprise that companies spend more on ink than they do on printers themselves. A study on ink cartridges found that the average company spends $120 per year on black ink and $150 on color ink per printer. $370 per printer isn’t chump change when you crunch the numbers. 

IT Pro Portal considers an optimal employee/printer ratio to be 4.4 to 1. Do the math and you’ve got 113 printers, meaning $41,810 (113 x $370) is being spent on ink yearly. Take into account that 45% of documents don’t last a full day, and you may as well just pour half the ink out of the cartridge.

The Math

Average ink price for one printer yearly = $370
500 employees ÷ 4.4 (ratio of employees per printer) =113
$370 x 113 printers = $41,810
$41,810 x 0.45 (wasted paper) = $18,814

Money wasted on black and color ink: $18,814


Time: The True Money-Guzzler

Have you ever printed something only for it to be sent into the abyss, leaving you helplessly wandering for what seems like forever? We’ve all done it. When dealing with an unmanaged print environment, it becomes more common. According to Offix, the average full-time employee spends up to 20 minutes per week simply looking for a document or waiting for print jobs. Yep, that’s going to cost you. 

Let’s start with how much the average full-time employee makes hourly as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022): $26 

Because employees are searching for documents for 20 minutes per week, organizations are spending $8.66 per employee–just for them to look for documents that should be easy to find. 

Think about it: With 500 employees (500 x $8.66), our mid-size company spends $4,330 weekly on lost documents. The aphorism time is money certainly rings true here. 

The Math

20 min = 0.33 hours
$26 average hourly pay x 0.33 = $8.66
$8.66 x 500 = $4330 weekly
$4330 x 52 weeks = $225,160

Yearly spend on employees looking for documentation: $225,160


Print-Related Helpdesk Calls

Paper jams, faulty scanning, and printer installations are all reasons someone would reach out to the helpdesk for assistance. According to a Gartner report, these helpdesk calls–big or small–account for roughly 50% of an IT team’s workday. At an average of $22 per call (BMC), the yearly cost of print-related calls is sure to raise some eyebrows. 

Let’s say a company has six technicians that regularly take on 20 tickets per day (120 tickets). That’s 60 print-related helpdesk calls made daily, 1200 monthly, and 14,400 yearly. If you consider our average helpdesk call cost ($22), businesses could just write a blank check and hand it over to the IT director. 

The Math 

60 calls x $22 = $1320
$1320 x 5 days a week = $6600
$6600 x 52 weeks = $343,200

Yearly spend on print-related helpdesk calls: $343,200


The Total Damage

Total $ wasted on printing for a mid-size business of 500 employees: $609,674

With 1000 employees: $1,219,348

With 2000 employees: $2,438,696


We Know What You’re Thinking

These are massive prices to pay for unnecessary printing expenses. Although these are estimates based on various sources, it gives you a good idea of where money is going when you don’t have a centrally managed print environment. We didn’t even cover the cost it takes to maintain print servers and what percentage of documents never leave the print tray–both of which will leave you furious–so we’ll save that for another time. 

In the meantime, if you’re looking to cut costs by reducing your environmental footprint, cutting down print-related helpdesk calls, and saving precious time, PrinterLogic has the answers to all your printing woes.

WE ELIMINATE YOUR PRINT SERVERS and offer a centralized print management solution to relieve IT teams of mundane print-related tasks with the simple flip of a switch.