TCPglobal - news, views and issues on total cost of printing

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What is Total Cost of Printing?

Total Cost of Printing – or TCP – essentially relates to the amount of money a user will actually spend on printing. It can be expressed either as total monetary spend, or the average Cost Per Page (CPP), over the complete life of the printer.

This is highly individual and no mathematical model can ever fully calculate the spend of any specific user. However, Total Cost of Printing is affected by a very wide variety of factors that do, of course, include the price of purchasing the printer hardware in the first place, the price of the consumables that are needed and how much colour (or black) we use on our pages.

Manufacturer’s quoted yields and life-expectancies provide only a very basic understanding of real TCP and these can be very misleading to a user trying to select a new printer. Available data can be compiled into a mathamatical model that will provide a fair estimate of the scale of costs and offer a comparison between printers and MFPs from different manufacturers.

What is difficult for a mathematical model to cope with is the impact that such factors as human behaviour or corporate processes can have on Total Cost of Printing. Indeed, even the hardware configuration of the printer in question influences overall cost to the user – for instance, duplex printing means less paper is used; bigger paper capacity means less time spent refilling paper trays; and there is a balance between having a printer on every desk against every individual having to walk to a central printer out in the corridor.

In addition, a manufacturer’s approach to product design, marketing activities, pricing policies or even recycling processes may ultimately affect the price we pay to print our pages.

For instance, the table below shows a group of entry-level colour laser printers for businesses, which shows that pages can cost as much as 2½ times more on some printers than others. This represents an extra expenditure of several thousands of Pounds/Euros/Dollars over three years – for every printer in the organisation – and this does include the cost of buying the printer in the first place!

Total Cost of Printing – by Monthly Page Volume

Entry-level single-pass colour laser printers

TCPglobal attempts to bring as many factors together as possible to keep printer/MFP users: informed; thinking about their plans or printing patterns; and alert to factors that may be detrimental to their bottom line.
tcprojector Tools from CharisCo Printer Labs is a Total Cost of Printing / Total Cost of Ownership calculator designed to give users a personalised illustration of their Total Cost of Printing. A new version is under development that will not only be internet based but will include a full range of colour and mono printers, All-in-One printers and multifunction printers.