Managing Printer Costs


At least 50% of all help desk calls are printer related.  Many companies, my clients included, spend thousands of dollars a month on supplies, service and hardware replacement of their office printers.

Office printing is one of the most inefficient and under managed expenses of most organizations.

When we interview prospective clients the vast majority have no idea how much they currently spend on supplies or repairs.

Device manufacturers sell printers for one and only one reason: to sell you toner.   They make little or no money on the printer itself.  All the profit in this industry is in the supplies.  Which is why they’d very much prefer you shop for those amazing printer prices and not cartridge prices before you buy your printer.

In addition, device manufacturers such as HP, Lexmark, and Xerox tend to “refresh” their printer offerings every 18 months or so.  Each new printer model comes with its own unique cartridge (generally).  So as your organization accumulates devices over the years, there is an ever increasing number of cartridge skus you need to order, stock, and store.

Repairs are another headache.  Do you replace the fuser for $250 plus $110 in labor or should you just buy a new machine?   And how do I know that the printer actually needs a new PIU unit, fuser, and a new set of feed rollers?  Is the repair guy trying to sell me parts I don’t even need?

The point of this blog is to help you sort through questions such as:

What desktop color printer can I buy that’s small, reliable, and doesn’t cost a fortune to supply.

What printers should I buy (or avoid) based on the experience of the guys who repair them?  The people who repair stuff are often the best source of information on the relative reliability of the m0dels they work on.

Do all compatible cartridges suck?  Or is it just me?

My printer is telling me I need a new maintenance kit.  Otherwise, it seems to be running fine.  Do I really need one?








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