While cost cutting and productivity gains continue to be front of mind for customers, many businesses still feel a strong obligation towards their green commitments. But a common misconception still lingers among small and medium businesses that green printing practices are difficult, inconvenient and costly to implement. It is important, however, that resellers highlight to their customers that contrary to this misconception, choosing the right equipment and implementing green printing practices will have a positive impact on a customer's business, in terms of cost savings and productivity. Together with the recent introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme and the resulting rise in power costs, there is a strong case for change. Consolidate to conserve A green IT strategy doesn't have to be complex to help the environment or to save your customers money. It can be as easy as installing a multi-function printer (MFP). Based on the fact that an MFP combines the functions of up to six separate devices, a business can reap many green benefits by using one, as outlined here:
- As well as saving valuable office space, an MFP uses up to 40% less material than would have gone into the construction of the many devices it replaces. The fact that an MFP can cost up to 50% less than the devices it replaces is also a good selling point.
- A number of MFPs also consume less energy. So helping your customers choose the right one for their business and environmental stewardship is critical. Some MFPs use up to 40% less energy than standalone devices, which can lower the business's electricity bills significantly – especially when networked and deployed as a fleet to meet the productivity needs of multiple people in the office.
- The scanner of an MFP device is an effective way to help customers reduce paper waste by sending documents digitally, as opposed to printing out copies. You can help your customers to scan and save documents directly to pre-specified network folders for sharing, increasing security for confidential documents and reducing or eliminating the need for them to be transmitted by paper.
Technology to the rescue Today, there is a good range of technologies that can help companies save on the cost of consumables and media. These are some of the features you can talk to your customers about:
- Double the sides = double the savings – many printing devices feature two-sided duplex printing capability to print on both sides of the paper. Choosing a printer or MFP that has such a capability can save a company up to 50% in paper costs, and printer management software means that double-sided printing can be set as default for all employees.
- Reduce warm-up times – Any technology that either reduces or eliminates warm-up time in a printer will consume less power, in some cases up to 50%.
- Use ‘power save' modes wisely – Help your customers set energy-saving modes to minimise power consumption. Businesses can save up to 66% in energy bills just by switching printing equipment off at night and on weekends.
- Buy Energy Star – The Energy Star certification is a standard industry programme that promotes energy-efficient products. Recommending that your customers make a conscious choice to buy only Energy Star-certified products not only ensures that a company is playing its part to protect the environment with its purchase decision; it will also reward them with lower power bills.
Green technologies, devices and practices not only save SMBs money; they can also help drive greater productivity, while at the same time helping to reduce a business's carbon footprint. In a world made up of ever-increasing, environmentally-aware businesses, being able to meet their green IT needs will be paramount.