Smarter Not Harder: Our Tips to Reduce Printing Waste and Save Money on Printing

You only have to look at the paper recycling bin in your workplace or school to know that organisations waste a lot of paper! Whether someone printed something in error, printed something and then realised they didn’t need it, or simply forgot to collect their printing from the machine, the amount of wasted paper and unnecessary printing is staggering. And it costs organisations a lot! The average worker prints 10,000 sheets of paper a year – but it is estimated that 45% of paper printed in offices ends up in general waste each year. The reality is that for many of us, we can’t do without printing, but if we can stop unnecessary printing and save paper waste, then we can save money and do our bit for the environment.

But how do we reduce our print waste and save money on printing? The answer is simple: print management software. Print management software is installed on your office printers or MFDs (multi-functional devices) to allow greater control and management of organisational printing. And the results can be outstanding: One school [Link to Marist Case Study]  reduced their paper wastage to just 1% of total printing – now that’s an incredible saving! So how does it work and how can it help your organisation to reduce print waste and save money on printing?


  1.   Followme or Findme Printing: Release Print jobs in person

How often do we hit ‘print’ and then get distracted by something else and forget to pick up the document? When we finally remember to collect it, someone else has already picked it up or it’s gone into the paper bin. It’s terrible for printing waste but also a disaster for sensitive documents or the security of personal information. The solution is simple: Followme printing or Findme printing are both brand names for software that only allows document printing when you go to the printer or MFD to release the job. Printing jobs get sent to the cloud then you simply release your print job at your chosen printer using an activation card or pin number.  This also acts as a safeguard for those time when you accidently hit print when you didn’t mean to, as unnecessary print jobs can just be deleted from the queue.

  1.   Set Print Rules for Smarter Printing

Printing double sided can literally cut your paper usage in half, and printing black and white is so much cheaper than printing in colour – but how do you ensure that everyone does it? Print management software allows you to set print rules for smarter printing – so printing is automatically printed in the most economical way. People can still change the setting when they need to, but prompts and confirmations ensure that people still have the option to print differently whilst encouraging economical printing as the norm.

  1.   See Who is Printing What

You know that person who always prints out their emails? Or chooses to print the 100 page sales report every week? Well if you don’t know now you soon will! Half the problem with print wastage is that unless we know where the problem areas are it’s hard to change or address the behaviour that is bumping up the print counter. It’s not to say that this behaviour is wrong, just that there might be a more efficient way of doing it. Once you understand who is printing what, you can highlight wastage and identify alternative ways to reduce the amount that gets printed, encouraging smarter printing.



  1.   Budget Control and Print Accountability

Once you can see who is printing what, you can also start making people accountable for their own printing and budgets. Print management software allows you to track and charge printing back to individuals or departments. Once people have greater accountability for their own usage they can make a call if it’s necessary printing or something they could keep digital.

With so many print management solutions on the market it can seem like a bit of a mine field deciding which one is right for you. If you’re looking for an all-encompassing solution that offers all of these solutions in an easy-to-install and easy-to-use package then PaperCut MF offers exactly that. Click to find out more [link to PaperCut] or contact a member of our friendly team to talk through other options, including software from leading manufacturer Ricoh:   

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