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Calculate the Total Cost of Printing
TCO, or Total Cost of Ownership, is the best tool to evaluate the financial impact of your printer decision. It measures both the direct and hidden costs of an equipment purchase. TCOP, or Total Cost of Printing, recognizes that the cost of consumables will easily outstrip that of the original hardware. In fact, the acquisition cost of your printer may only represent about 10% of TCOP, or Total Cost of Printing. As a tool, it allows you to act as your own personal finance advisor.
Below, we've featured some quick facts on TCOP. For more information, download Dell's TCOP whitepaper ( 177KB).
The following pie chart shows estimated direct TCOP costs. Though each of these costs has its own range per printer and usage model, two trends are clear: First, that Ink/toner system cartridge and paper costs are usually two-to-three times the initial acquisition cost of your printer. Second, maintenance and service costs are roughly equal to the initial acquisition cost. We've also called out frequent sources of miscellaneous direct costs.
Of course, every business will have their own set of variables to determine TCOP. Here are some items to consider when determining the budget for your print system:
- Black-and-white pages per month
- Color pages per month
- Ink/toner coverage per page
- Percentage of normal, high, and photo-quality prints
A quick look at the TCOP variables will tell you that your costs can be controlled. You can conserve page counts, ink/toner usage and the percentage of higher-quality prints. Resource management tools like Dell ColorTrack can help.
- Maintenance kit installation
- Cartridge handling
- Non-warranty repair and maintenance
TCOP and the Upgrade Decision
TCOP comparisons are often used to make a case for printer upgrades. Newer printers tend to have lower running costs and energy consumption rates than older models. Based solely on savings over time, it often makes economic sense to migrate from a legacy printer to a newer, more efficient printer model. This chart shows a TCOP comparison between three new Dell laser printer models and an existing HP LaserJet 4200 printer:
The big takeaway? The three-year cost of a new Dell laser printer - including the printer's acquisition cost - can be significantly less than that of keeping an existing HP printer.
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