We do occasional printer service repairs for a local organization. They only call on us when IT has given up on repairing the printer themselves. When one of our technicians asked an IT tech how she felt about working on printers, she responded with a strong dislike for dealing with the printers. They are time consuming and she doesn’t have resources to properly fix them. Like most IT department technicians the mechanical workings of a printer are not her strong points.
This facility in 2010 spent $14,300 on printer related maintenance kits, technician labor, and break/fix parts with us alone. That does not include toner or new hardware, since they don’t purchase that from us, I don’t know for sure what they spent on these items, however, knowing that this organization employs 1,481 people and customers of ours similar in size and industry spend around $130 per employee on toners and new hardware per year, it could be as much as $196,973. That’s a “guesstimate” of $211,273 that they spent to print for one year.
We realized that we were not best servicing this customer with just break/fix service on an as needed basis. We talked to them about remote device monitoring, just-in-time toner delivery and print fleet management strategies. We ran reports for the CEO, CIO, IT manager, and purchasing manager of the work we have done. The numbers didn’t lie – about 30% of their service fees were due to bad compatible toner cartridges purchased from a company that does not specialize in printers. Another 20% were common failed parts. Our technicians check on common failed parts and and would have fixed them before they caused downtime and damage to the machine.
This organization currently purchases their toner and printing supplies from a “big box” retailer. They believe they get the lowest prices this way. However, their perception of value is a little off – managed print (managed print is not just “cost-per-page”) has proven to drastically reduce 90% of the associated costs with maintaining printers. For every $100 spent on laser printer cartridges, an organization with an un-managed print environment spends approximately $900 on:
- office real estate
- employee time to change cartridges and remove jams
- purchasing/receiving employee time
- disposing the old toner
- IT personnel time
- paper wasted on bad prints
- break/fix service on un-maintained machines
- energy wasted on underutilized machines
I don’t understand it. They have to buy the toner from someone. Why not buy it and get service for free from a locally owned and operated business partner, who stands behind their products, and is willing to help manage neglected assets that no one wants to deal with for a savings of somewhere in the $15K ballpark?