Lower Your Supplies Costs Without Sacrificing Print Quality, Reliability

Choosing to purchase printer supplies based primarily on price may appear to be a quick way to save significantly on printing costs. Indeed, the immediate cost savings can be an attractive incentive. But a short-term gain may result in longer-term pain if some care isn’t taken about exactly what kind of products you choose to purchase.

In addition, there may be alternative options to reduce costs without having to abandon your existing supplier. This insight piece discusses some smart ways to lower your supplies costs without sacrificing print quality and reliability.

Smart ways to lower your supplies costs:

Evaluate current device use

If you have multiple print devices available, be sure to understand the different print costs associated with each. It may be possible to save money just by sending certain print jobs to a different device. For example, printing black and white pages on a color device might cost more than printing the same pages on a monochrome device.

Consider switching print technology

Switching print technology may also offer cost savings. Recent high-speed inkjet machines are able to print high-coverage color pages both faster and at a lower cost than an equivalent laser device. There may be further print quality considerations to take into account, but for specific purposes it could be a favorable trade-off. 

Inkjet devices also tend to have a much lower energy footprint than laser devices, and therefore may offer cost savings beyond just the cartridges being used.

Consider a contractual arrangement

Entering into a contractual printing arrangement can also offer wider cost savings. A managed print service can not only reduce the average cost per page, but provide additional benefits through the remote monitoring of devices.

For example, printing supplies can be automatically sent when needed; simple errors and faults can be corrected remotely. This maximizes the up-time and availability of each device, and reduces the costs associated with unnecessary service calls.

How to ensure you’re not sacrificing print quality:

The intangible costs of printing are often difficult to quantify. That said, if you do choose to buy cheaper printer supplies, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the risk of buying a low-quality product.

Buy from a trusted brand

If you consider the original OEM (original equipment manufacturer) supplies too expensive, that doesn’t mean there aren’t lower-cost options that still offer the reassurance of a strong branded alternative. Other printer OEMs may provide supplies for your device(s) while still offering a high level of service and support.

Alternatively, large retailers/resellers want to retain your business; therefore, products featuring (or sold under) their brand are more likely to come from a high-quality source.

Check your warranty coverage

If an alternative cartridge were to fail during use and cause damage to the device, what would the implications be for any warranty or service contract you have on that device? How would the cost of having to repair or replace the device compare to the savings made on each cartridge purchased? These are key questions to consider.

Use the Internet for more than price comparison

Look for reviews and experiences from previous users, particularly those that may hint at the levels of reliability of a particular ink or toner. Don’t just look at user experience for your brand/model of device, but also across a range of products from different OEMs—particularly if your device is relatively new to the market.

Figure 1: Examples of Compatible Toner Product with Many Reviews on Amazon

3 takeaways

  • Choosing to purchase printer supplies based primarily on price may produce short-term gain, but potentially longer-term pain if some care isn’t taken.
  • There are various smart ways organizations can lower their supplies costs, including printing to a different device, purchasing new print technology, and entering into a contractual printing arrangement.
  • There are various ways organizations can minimize the risk of buying a lower-quality product, including buying from a trusted brand, checking the warranty coverage, and using the Internet for more than price comparison.