By Jonathan Robbins, Consumables and Spares Manager, KYOCERA Document Solutions

Printing. It’s not the first thing that comes into your head when you’re looking for where you can make savings as a business. But what if I were to tell you that businesses across the country are losing out on hundreds of pounds at a time when most of us are under rising pressure to cut costs, increase efficiency and do more with less?

Gartner estimates that up to 3% of an organisation’s total revenue is spent on print alone. Although that doesn’t sound like much, for the majority of businesses, you’re talking about thousands, if not millions of pounds.

Nonetheless, people underestimate the value of printing to their business. There’s a certain belief out there that printing is a twilight technology, a part of your organisation that doesn’t need to be invested in.

Far from belonging in the past, emerging printing technologies such as cloud printing and 3D printing are often at the height of workplace transformation and are firmly bringing companies into the future by unlocking different ways of working.

As it continues to play a central role in many organisations, printing’s here to stay. But it doesn’t have to be a large expense. With the on-going hunt for the slightest reduction in overheads, many businesses think the answer to making printing cheaper is to cut corners by using cheaper print supplies, especially toner.

In the short-term, compatible toners from third-party manufacturers seem like a great idea: printing for almost half the price. What most businesses don’t know, however, is that hundreds of pounds worth of damage is being done to their printing devices just by using third-party toner.

Compatible toner has been proven to cause irreparable damage to machines. TUV Rheinland, a European independent inspecting body, tested four compatible toners against a genuine product, and found that one third party toner specifically caused damage to four different developer units in two printers.

And not only that, but it’s wasteful too: within the same research, TUV Rheinland found that, depending on which third-party toner you use, there were up to 9 times more non-usable prints in comparison to using genuine toner. Imagine printing nine times more than you need to. Printing soon becomes a costly expenditure when 90% of what you print goes straight into the recycling bag.

Furthermore, using third party toner can further affect your company in ways you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Did you buy your printer due to it meeting environmental industry standards? Have you even heard of Blue Angel certification? Do you tell customers and prospects about your green credentials? Well, if you use compatible toner, the product will no longer meet these stringent environmental benchmarks. Take care when it comes to hardware guarantees, as often using non-genuine toner invalidates any agreements.

Another, more serious risk, when using third-party toner, is the potential damage you could be causing to your own staff. It may seem far-fetched, but third-party toner is, to an extent, an unknown entity. You have no real idea of its content and chemical make-up, meaning that it could even contain carcinogenic compounds, which could pose a grave health risk to your team.

Most organisations aren’t aware of the risks that come hand-in-hand with using third party toner. But shockingly, most of our customers aren’t even aware whether they’re using the real deal. Businesses rely on being able to print safely and efficiently: make sure you prioritise print in order to save money, time, and ensure your printer doesn’t pose a danger to your staff.