Printer Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
How much does your business printer cost each year? The answer may shock you. That low-end printer that seemed like a bargain on Amazon could be costing you thousands or tens of thousands over the life of the printer. You might be throwing money out the window without realizing it. What printer manufacturers don’t want you to know is that toner is their biggest profit center. Toner purchases could cost 30-50 times the price of the printer over its lifetime. If you have dozens, or hundreds of printers for your organization you need to perform a Printer Total Cost of Ownership analysis. Taking the time to analyze your cost-per-page will certainly help your bottom line.
Which printer is best for my business application?
Deciding which printer is best for your particular application takes some investigative work and time, but can save you many thousands of dollars over the life of the printer. For example, if you’re printing mostly monochrome text in light volume, a low-end black/white laser printer would be sufficient. However, if you’re printing high-resolution color images in high volume, you should consider an enterprise color laser printer that has high-yield toner cartridges available.
As a rule of thumb, stay away from inkjet printers for business use. That’s because inkjet printers are designed for home users and low volume printing. On the other hand, laser printers are fast, more efficient, and will save you money in the long-run. With that said, before replacing all of your inkjet printers with laser printers, you should perform a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis to determine which printer is the best choice for your application.
How to do a TCO analysis
To perform a TCO analysis, you’ll need to gather the following information:
- Printer Purchase Price
- Toner Cartridge Yield
- Average Number of Pages Printer per Month
- Approximate toner coverage per page. For example, if you’re only printing text, you can estimate 5% coverage per page. Toner yields, as stated by the manufacturer, are based on 5% coverage. However, if you’re printing mostly images, you should estimate 15-20% coverage or more.
Once you have this information, you can begin your TCO analysis. Using an Excel spreadsheet, enter the maximum toner yield in the first column. The second column will be the estimated ink coverage per page. The manufacturer assumes 5% coverage, which is mostly text printing. If you’re printing images with a solid background, you should estimate 30-50% coverage. If you’re printing high-resolution images with no background, 15-20% coverage. Next, enter your adjusted yield in the third column by dividing the maximum yield by the multiple of 5. For example, if you estimate 20% coverage divide the maximum toner yield by 4. This formula will give you your adjusted yield. In the 4th column, enter the retail toner price. In the 5th column enter the printer purchase price. And finally, the last column will be your Cost-Per-Page (CCP) formula.
To get your CPP, enter a formula that divides the toner price by the adjusted yield amount. Add up the toner column to give you the CPP. Keep in mind; the CPP does not take into account the cost of electric, maintenance, or paper. We’ll just assume those as a constant for any printer in place.
You’ll also want to take into account the purchase price of the printer, and the estimated number of pages printed during its lifetime. For example, if the printer life is seven years, and you print 1,000 pages per month, we can assume 84.000 pages during the life of the printer. If the printer costs $874, divide $874 by 84,000, and it’s about a penny per page. Finally, add up the columns, and this will give you the TCO for that printer.
How much is my low-end printer really costing my business?
The example shown below compares two HP LaserJet printers for the same application. This particular company is printing approximately 1,000 images per month. They are averaging 15-20% coverage on each page. If we assume a seven-year printer life, we can see that the cost-per-page (CPP) for the low-end printer is approximately 66 cents per page. After printing 84.000 pages, this “attractively priced” printer is costing them over $55,000 for the life of the printer.
Alternatively, if they use a higher-end HP LaserJet Enterprise printer with high-yield toner cartridges, their CPP drops to just 25 cents per page. Over a seven year period, they’re saving $34,000 by just replacing the printer.
|Current Printer||Toner Yield (5% cover)||Actual Coverage||Adjusted Yield||Toner Price||Printer Price||Cost per page||Printer life: 7 years, 12k pages per year|
|HP LaserJet Pro 200 MFP M276 Color Printer||$874.00||$0.0104|
|Total Cost Per Page:||$0.6577|
|Total Cost of Ownership||$55,244.91|
|Replacement Printer||Toner Yield (5% cover)||Actual Coverage||Adjusted Yield||Toner Price||Printer Price||Cost per page||Printer life: 7 years, 12k pages per year|
|HP LaserJet Enterprise M652n Color Printer||$1,099.00||$0.0145|
|Total Cost Per Page:||$0.2507|
|Total Cost of Ownership:||$21,056.00|
For managers or purchasing agents, performing a yearly TCO analysis will save your business thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. If you feel like you’re throwing money out the window every time you purchase toner, give us a call. We can help save your business thousands in toner expense every year.Contact Us for TCO Help
About Innovative Computer Systems
Innovative Computer Systems is a Managed Services Provider specializing in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) and Corporate Business Technology. We work closely with our clients to understand their daily workflow requirements. Some of our clients include leaders in Ophthalmology, Facility Maintenance, Pediatrics, Law, Urology, Dermatology, Commercial Real Estate, Internal Medicine and Ambulatory Surgery.