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Consider the Total Cost of Ownership when buying your next printer - not just the price tag

All too often we focus on the price tag instead of concentrating on the bigger picture and understanding the overall savings that can be made when purchasing products. Buying a printer is no different.

When you begin the search for a new printer or multifunctional device, you are likely to research a variety of sources, taking into consideration reviews and customer satisfaction ratings. However, no matter how extensively you look it often comes down to price comparison and therefore we place a large amount of decision making on the upfront costs.  

But, if we really want to receive the best price for our goods, calculating the Total Cost of Ownership is more likely to give you an accurate forecast of cost savings.  


How to find the Total Cost of Ownership  

Total Cost of Ownership helps the buyer to determine the direct and indirect costs of purchasing a product. It is the difference between the purchase price and the overall long-term cost. It will consider every phase of the product lifecycle from initial acquisition, operation, running costs, maintenance, consumables, support, future upgrades and eventual disposal.   


For most IT departments TCO is a very common analysis performed as part of the decision-making process. It enables the organisation to understand the total cost over the period you intend to use it.  


The difference between TCO and price?  

There are numerous factors that influence the cost of a printer - the printer model, the volume of printing you do per year, the type of consumables the machine uses i.e toner, ink cartridges, fusers. As a result, running a machine could cost up to six times the purchase price.  


Don’t be fooled by cheap hardware or toner prices! Using these 3 components you can calculate the TCO of your next device. 


Key components to TCO calculations 


1. Acquisition / physical hardware costs  

This is the upfront cost of the printer invoiced to you. Often this will be the cost of leasing over the contracted time you agree.    


2. Printing costs  

Cost Per Print (CPP) refers to the total cost to print a page. This is usually a small number - you take the cost of each toner cartridge, divide it by its yield then add all the components together.    


Once you know the CPP you can follow this calculation:    


CCP   x    No. pages printed per month     x    Total number of months of lease   


For example:  Let’s say your CPP is 5p per page and you plan to print and/or copy 1,000 pages a month over a period of five years. This means your total CPP will come to £3,000.   


Be aware that when working out this calculation you need to consider different CPP totals for colour print and black and white.  


Don’t forget you also need to include the cost of the device itself.  


3. Pay as you go Contracts  

Digicorp offers an alternative approach. The main principal is that you pay for what you print. You won’t have to think about getting the best deals for printer supplies such as toners, inks and parts (i.e. drums in laser printers) instead this is included in your contract.   


Digicorp also provides full service on any equipment supplied. Following installation, we’ll train your team and continue to support via our help desk. Should you need an engineer on site for maintenance issues we guarantee to be there within 4 hours (our average is 90 minutes).  


Other running costs of your printer    


Energy Consumption 

Whilst we are all trying to be more conscious of our carbon footprint and save energy, we rarely consider the amount of electricity used by office devices.  Next time you buy a printer make sure you look for the energy rating star and the Typical Electricity Consumption (TEC) value (this will show you the amount of energy consumption within a week). Use this to compare machines.  


For example, the difference in running costs of a printer with a TEC value of 1.17kWh and a printer of 2.67kWh could be between £30 to £100 per machine per year.  



Different printers require different paper. Typically, laser devices operate on cheaper paper, however other technologies require specialised paper. It’s also worth considering whether the printer offers double-sided printing and copying to minimise paper usage costs.    


Get in Touch  

At Digicorp we believe transparency is key, we’ll help you understand the Total Cost of Ownership in order to get the best value from your print equipment. Call us on 020 3929 3003 or email [email protected]