March 19, 2021 The Print Authority

Calculating & Reducing Printing Cost Per Page for Business

Wondering how much you’re really paying for your in-house printing? With many hidden charges and per-click (per-page) fees, doing your own printing is often less affordable than you’d think!

In this article, we’ll explain how to calculate your printing cost per page and then explain why on-demand printing is a much more affordable alternative.

How to Calculate an Average Cost of Printing Per Page

While calculating your printing cost per page might seem like a daunting task, it actually has a manageable formula. You can then plug in your company’s numbers and determine exactly how much your company pays per page.

Here’s the basic formula to determine the average cost per page:

(Equipment + Maintenance + Labor + Paper + Real estate + Bindery + Opportunity cost ) / Number of pages printed = Average cost per page

Now, we’ll explain and give examples for each of these costs.

Equipment Cost

For as long as you’re paying off your printing equipment, you need to calculate this cost into your average cost of printing per page. As well, if you have your own bindery equipment, such as cutters and folders, these must also be considered as you calculate your printing cost per page. This means dividing the monthly payment on your machines by the number of actual prints made.

Example: If you lease a small digital press for 3 years at $1,450 per month, AND if the business runs an average of 50,000 clicks per month, the equipment cost would be $.029 per click.

Maintenance Cost

Remember, buying a printer isn’t a one-time cost! You must also pay for maintenance. Many service companies charge a cost per click for maintaining the equipment.

Example: Maintenance can cost as much as $0.005 per click for black and white printing and $0.05 per click for color printing.

Labor Cost

Your employees are being paid to be at work, so if they spend time printing, you’re paying for this time. This is a little harder to calculate, but it’s still important.

Example: If an employee earning $20 per hour spends one hour running 2,400 prints, the cost of the labor is $.0083 per click.

Paper Cost

You must pay for paper, of course! This one is fairly easy to calculate. Your purchasing department will be able to tell you how much paper your company orders and how much it costs.

Example: A typical 28# stock used for making color prints could cost around $30 per 1,000 sheets, which is $.03 per click for single-sided prints or $.015 per click for double-sided prints.

Real Estate Cost

Your printers take up valuable real estate. To calculate exactly how much they’re costing you, divide the cost of the real estate taken up by printing equipment by the number of prints per month.

Example: A 10,000 square foot business renting at $15 per square foot per year costs $12,500 per month. Using 5% of their space for printing equipment would equal $625 per month. Producing 100,000 prints per month, the cost of the space would be $.00625 per click.

Opportunity Cost

This one is arguably the most important: in the time that your employees spend printing, fixing your printer, or arranging for printer maintenance, how much time do they lose when they would otherwise be working on other company business and generating profit?

This cost is the most difficult to calculate, but think about how much time your employees spend printing. How could that time be better spent?

In the examples we provided, not counting any opportunity costs, the average cost of color printing per page ranged from $0.07855 to a whopping $0.12355 per page. As you can see, these costs add up!

On-Demand Printing To Reduce Business Printing Costs

If you’ve realized that your printing costs are too high, consider switching to on-demand printing, a process where you work with a printing company that can print smaller batches of products exactly when you need them.

On-demand printing gives you more flexibility and saves you money. It means no more paying off leases for printers, no more hours spent trying to fix a broken printer, and no more bulky printers taking up precious office space. It also means no more time spent taking orders and shipping them out. As well, since you only print materials when you need them, it means no more wasted, out-of-date materials.

If your company has multiple locations, consider working with a printer that provides easy-to-use web portals for on-demand printing. No matter which materials you’re trying to print, a web portal can help you quickly and easily distribute products to any location.

Lower Your Printing Costs With Expert On-Demand Printing!

When you’re ready to save money by using on-demand printing, give The Print Authority a call! We’ve been leaders in the field for three decades, and we’re passionate about helping you succeed. We are also experts in online ordering; We build easy-to-use branded web portals which allow your entire organization to order what they need. Contact us today!