Optimizing print can go along way to cut cost and improve environmental sustainability
Most companies are cracking down on waste and polishing up a fresh new mission statement aimed at becoming more sustainable. Wal-Mart took the lead with its launched Sustainability Index, which evaluates sustainable practices of all vendors across its entire supply chain, plus assesses the life cycle of each of the products it sells from raw materials to disposal.
PepsiCo upholds its Pepsi with a Purpose promise. And HP and Lexmark are moving into the green market with a fury. Today's green movement indicates a wider, deeper
problem — and has unprecedented interest at the corporate level. Companies like Intel, Nike, P&G and Starbucks have directors or vice presidents of sustainability. Green is here to stay. And managed print services are ready with green print solutions that our dealers need in order to help companies achieve their vision.
Managed print services provide a systematic approach that links the customer’s drive
toward sustainability with actual business objectives. This approach consists of a complete Tool Kit of Sustainable Solutions from energy consumption reports to utilization assessments to product life cycle enhancements that reduce the environmental impact of a customer’s printing program.
Best of all, one can actually measure this reduction using the detailed metrics that the remote monitoring software generates. The result is good for the earth and for the dealers’ bottom line as well. Here’s a closer look at the components of a green print initiative conducted under the managed print services hat.
Step 1: Conduct an audit to identify opportunities for improvement.
As the old industry joke goes, if the lights dim when you turn on the printer, you know it's time to replace it. A better way to measure energy usage is an Energy Consumption Report. This report goes a long way toward reducing carbon dioxide by identifying
where your kilowatt hours are going. It reveals approximately how much a printer costs in terms of its energy consumption.
First, it looks at each printing device and tells what both the operating and the idle energy consumption is based on OEM specifications. Second, when we plug in rates for the region, the report reveals the exact usage cost.
Even if a printer never gets turned on, the power it consumes can be huge, with each
idling printer using about 25-40 kWh. Multiply that by 10 printers across an entire office and the costs can really add up.
That's where the Utilization Report comes in. When it comes to energy consumption, it’s not just the type of machine that matters, it’s also how you’re using it. It can answer the question, “What percentage toward the maximum duty cycle of a machine are you currently printing at each month?”
A properly used machine is at 12-25 percent of its maximum duty cycle. It's similar to a car: While a Porsche can go 120 mph at top speeds, it (and a printer) will also run through parts at a much faster rate if one drives it at the maximum speed.
The opposite holds true, too. If it’s underutilized, you can waste costly supplies like OEM toner, which has a 12-month shelf life. Together, these two reports help a customer right-size their fleet with energy usage as the decision-making factor.
For example, at one of our offices, an Energy Consumption Report and Utilization Report compared two HP LaserJet 5500 printers. One printed only 13,000 pages per year. The other printed 73,000. What’s the difference in energy costs for the 60,000-page difference? Only $3. The cost per page for the less fre¬quently used printer is $.0032 per page vs. only $.0006 for the busier machine. The reports gave us “before” results to right size the fleet and the “after” reports showcased the improvement.
Step 2: Link the results to the bottom line.
Once the relevant data is identified, the customer can realize significant value if it adopts a sustainable approach to its printing across the company.
The audit will reveal some serious gaps that are easy to address and can yield a maximum impact on performance. The report will yield inefficiencies, identify waste reduction, point to cost savings, create a sense of urgency and ideally, link back to the company’s sustainability policy.
The managed print services tools can put the pieces of the puzzle together for your customers with customer-specific reporting, using standards (consumption), insight (best practices), industry trends (what's in the market), buying habits (part specific), and your fleet data.
Step 3: Make specific recommendations that will decrease your carbon footprint.
Every company will be different, but dealers can begin with some straightforward recommendations supported by the audit. As a starting point, some possible action steps might be to: Replace energy-consuming printers with more efficient models. Today’s print fleets are earning Energy Star labels and now the Typical Electricity
Consumption (TEC) ratings. For example, the HP CLJ4650 has a TEC rating of 4.615 kWh/week.
It replaces the CLJ 4700 and its TEC rating of 6.522 kWh/week. Comparing TEC ratings between machines might not be comparing apples to apples if one of the machines is an MFP. Remember that these heavy-duty workhorses might have a higher TEC rating simply because they are designed to replace several machines: a fax, a scanner and
a copier combined.
Bring machines into normal utilization. The audit will point to devices that the customer is not properly utilizing. If a customer is only printing 10,000 pages a year to a machine (only about 1,000 pages a month), perhaps you can get rid of that printer and move those pages to another nearby printer.
Or, simply swap it with a different type of machine to bring them both into normal utilization. Use recycled HP printer parts. Evaluate the entire printer life cycle starting with parts and supplies. Dealers can keep printer and MFP parts out of landfills and simultaneously earn a higher profit by purchasing HP refurbished printer parts, a clear example of how being good to the earth is good for business, too.
Offer customers lower cost refurbished products that meet the strictest quality standards. HP printer fusers and maintenance kits are among the most common remanufactured parts in the marketplace. By working with a highly-respected company with a good reputation for refurbishing and recycling products, customers will receive high-quality parts at a lower cost.
In 2008, a leading parts distributor recycled more than 300,000 pounds of material from refurbishing printers that would other wise have ended up in landfills. Using recycled HP printer parts parts is a smart way to save money and at the same time help the environment.
Use compatible toner to save cartridges. Compatible toner has come a long way. Even
better, jumbo compatible toner cartridges print twice the yield but have the same environmental impact as regular toner.
It makes sense to print client brochures in their full-color glory but routine reports? Probably not. And encourage users to print black-only documents on monochrome printers versus color.
When you print black to a color machine, all the cartridges are being used, which is very wasteful. Install maintenance kits on an ongoing basis as well to help printers run as efficiently as the manufacturers made them. There are many practices that, if implemented, are environmentally friendly and thrifty.
Step 4: Benchmark best practices in green printing.
Benchmarking gives a snapshot of how your company is doing in comparison to an industry standard. Since there is no standard “green index” in our industry, managed print services is especially useful because the detailed metrics allow you to compare your performance to other real-world companies in the program (all anonymously, of
course). The result is often a stronger business case for going green.
We know how challenging it can be to do business in an environmentally friendly way, because we’re working diligently and successfully to implement many programs and processes that are kind to the earth, good for its inhabitants — and a great value
for our dealers. And while predictions of the paperless society have not come to fruition, we’re all much savvier about what happens once we hit that “print” button. Managed print solutions give dealers a tangible green initiative with solid metrics to show results in a way that can underscore the importance of sustainability in everyday printing.
In the end, this model makes the world a cleaner and healthier place for us all and we’re grateful for our customers and business partners who join us in the effort. Working together, we can all help make sure that the future looks bright — and green.
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Metrofuser is a leading global innovator, manufacturer of printer parts, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include hp printer parts, printers and printer repair training. Parts include hp printer parts such as printer fusers, printer maintenance kits and other hp printer replacement parts. The company's, customers include office equipment dealerships, online retailers, repair centers and MPS service providers nationwide. Metrofuser has been named to Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing companies five consecutive years.