Do you know what your cost is on your in-house Colour Printer?
While the convenience is undoubted, the cost can be prohibitive, especially on higher quantities.
You need to understand your costs to determine what is worth it and what isn’t. For a small number of copies and one offs it is likely worth it to print in house. Larger quantities for flyers, newsletters or other mailouts is a different story.
Costs to consider include:
Capital cost of Purchase or Lease, Paper, Toner, Hydro, Maintenance and Waste.
Capital cost is usually considered as it’s up front and usually a reasonably large sum. Generally, the higher the Capital cost, the lower the toner charges will be.
Paper is easy as you can look that up online. Right now (08/2016), it’s about $0.011 per sheet of 8.5 x 11, 20 lb bond. That is assuming you buy a full carton of 5,000 and don’t have delivery charges. Higher grade and special finish papers are of course more.
Toner is often the item most under estimated. Most manufacturers list toner yield based on toner coverage using an ISO standard of 5%. An 8 1/2 x 11 sheet has 93.5 square inches, 5% of that is 4.67 square inches. A short letter with no graphics may be under 5%, but if you are printing a sheet that has a solid area of 2 1/4 inches square and nothing else, you are over 5%.
Regardless, using the 5% coverage, divide the stated copy yield by the price to determine the cost/copy. Be aware that some copiers sell the 3 colour cartridges as a unit. Therefore if your logo (for example) is heavy a specific colour you may run out of that colour but still have lots of the other 2 colours. The printer will not work without that colour so you’ll need to repurchase all 3 again. What do you think that will do to your yield?
Hydro is difficult to determine, but is still a factor.
Maintenance might become a factor if you purchase a printer that is not built for the number of copies that you do. What about time clearing jammed sheets, adding toner etc?
Waste is also difficult to determine but 1 wasted print doubles your cost for 1 completed sheet. How many employees personal copies are going to be produced?
All the above costs don’t include the employee time or the final project look. Do you have an employee who can create a decent looking flyer, newsletter or other piece that represents your company in the most professional way? Or the software to produce it?
While the published prices for short run copies is quite high, talk to your local printer or copy shop. Perhaps you can work out a flat cost with them based on a yearly/monthly volume that will reduce your cost per copy past the published amount. I know Athens Printing will.
Consider all these factors when deciding if an in house colour printer is for you.