How to Track and Report on Print Usage
Getting a handle on your printing costs can be a difficult task! Understanding who is printing and what volume is being printed is impossible without the right software. Managed Print software like uniFLOW and Papercut allow you to easily track and account for all copy, print and scans across your organisation.
Calculating your printing cost
Creating a price profile is a very good starting point. How much does it cost to print a single page? This can be calculated using the cost of the toner cartridge and the expected yield of the cartridge. Now factor in the cost of the paper and we know how to arrive at our cost per page
Cartridge Price / Expected yield + Paper Cost = Cost per page
This figure can be set in the managed print application. You can add multiple price profiles depending on the model of printer or user type. You can also set additional pricing on jobs for specific cost centres as required. More on that below!
Reporting on Print Usage
Having set your print pricing, you can schedule monthly reports to be created and emailed to your Finance department or Management team. uniFLOW and Papercut offer a wide range of pre-set reports to give you further insight into your printing behaviour and cost. These are some of the most frequently requested reports:
- Prints & Copies per User
- Prints & Copies per Device
- Prints & Copies per Department
- Prints & Copies per Cost Centre
- Environmental Impact Reports
Reports can be output to PDF, CSV, XML or easily integrated with business intelligent systems like Qlik Sense® or Microsoft Power BI™.
Why are these reports useful?
These reports are useful to determine the actual costs generated by your organisation’s printing and copying. Trends and concerns become visible very quickly and can be addressed. Users’ print behaviour can be reviewed and managed to save costs and avoid unnecessary waste. Quantifiable information about print volumes and their related costs can encourage users to be more efficient and resourceful when printing and copying.
Allocate Print costs to a specific cost centre
Understanding the internal cost of printing for users & departments can be helpful when setting departmental budgets for printing. In addition, you may need to understand the cost of printing for specific projects or per customer. These individual charges can be factored into the project costs and can be assigned back to the project or cost centre.
Cost centre allocation allows you to assign a cost centre to each print job either from your computer/mobile at the time of printing or at the device when you release the print job. This method of accounting easily tracks the internal printing costs within the company. However, it also sets a specified price profile on the cost centre allowing for additional overheads to be factored into the printing price.
Applying Print Restrictions
Setting a limit on the number of prints or copies a user can make encourages responsible print habits and can reduce your organisation’s printing costs. In the Education sector, print budgets are an ideal way to recoup the cost of printing by charging students for each print, based on your cost per click price profile. Students can purchase print credit via a payment gateway with a debit or credit card or with cash from the reception office or student services.
Print budgets and quotas can be applied to specific users, departments and cost centres. You can control the way the budget is managed depending on your requirements. For internal staff you may not want to ever prevent printing when a budget runs out. When the upper limits of the budget is reached, you can choose from the following options:
- Allow a small overdraft in the budget
- Allow further printing but notify the department Manager
- Restrict further printing to mono only
- Require the user to top-up their account