Green Office Blog

Factors That Make up Your Total Cost to Print a Page?

Posted by Wayne Fyvie on Apr 12, 2017 9:10:24 AM
Wayne Fyvie

Deciding on a printing device that will cater for everyone’s needs, but at the same time fit the budget, may seem impossible.  Most companies base decisions on the cost per page to determine the best option in terms of price.

Before figuring out what option works out cheaper, you must understand what exactly you need in a printing device to ensure you don’t pay for a whole lot of functionality you won’t use.  To identify key functionalities required, it is advisable to first download a device ordering form.  DOP Device Ordering Procedure Form


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It’s all about understanding what the costs are made up of for the page that eventually comes out of the device.  These costs can be divided into hard costs and soft costs as follows:

What hard costs are associated to my printed pages?

  • Hardware The actual device.
  • Outright Purchase When a device is purchased, it is placed within a company’s asset register and is usually depreciated over a 3-5 year period.
  • Rent or Finance Devices that are placed on rental are typically financed over a 36 / 60 month period, where a monthly fee is then payable to the vendor. 
  • Service and Maintenance or Service Level Agreement (SLA) Cost - These costs are typically billed on a cost per printed page basis. Depending on the device (mono or colour), these costs are separated between a rate for a black / white and a colour printed page.
  •     These costs will typically include the following:
  •     Toner
  •     Repairs
  •     Time and materials

Devices often have a minimum bill attached to the cost, which means that the vendor charges a set rate per month for a set number of “free” pages.  If you do not print the set number of free pages, your effective cost per page increases considerably.  E.g. R200 minimum bill for 2000 free pages, however if you only print 1000 pages your cost per page goes from 10 cents to 20 cents!

  • Cartridge or Consumable Costs – These costs are usually applicable in the absence of a Service and Maintenance Contract. These purchases are typically made on a purchase when required basis. 
  • Electricity Costs This is the consumption of electricity that the device consumes when it prints and /or when the device is on.
  • Paper Costs - These costs are associated to the actual paper that is printed on.
  • Software Costs This cost is often optional for clients who want proactive management for devices or want to get a view of what people are printing.


What soft costs are associated to my printed pages?

  • The Cost of People Time This particular cost is very difficult to measure, as it usually includes the following role-players’ time within the company’s printing space: IT, Finance, Management and Operations.
  • The Cost of Downtime A printer that is offline leads to downtime in company operations, which will cost the company money.
  • The Cost of Unnecessary or Wasted Print Pages - It is estimated that only 40% of what is printed is used again.


To bring this all together, what may seem like a good deal for you and your business may not be so pretty after all.  Research has shown most companies don’t understand their cost to print.


To understand what you need download the Device Ordering Procedure Form below:

Device Ordering Procedure Form


Topics: cost to print