Printing is often a source of consternation for businesses. Unfortunately, printing costs have been rising rapidly for years due to a combination of factors impacting the entire supply chain. This month, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons these costs continue to rise.

Supply Chain Disruptions

Even years after the fact, the major culprit of rising costs across business is the damage done to supply chains due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It created significant shortages in paper, ink toner, and even printing hardware. 

Paper Costs Rising

Another factor is that the paper market has experienced unexpected changes. Several paper mills have closed over the past few years, wood pulp prices have increased substantially, and the cost of labor continues to rise. This has made printing much more expensive than in the past. 

Ink Costs Rising

Ink toner wasn’t cheap to begin with but the costs are currently inflated as chemicals that make up the ink have all increased in price. Coupled with the runaway labor and shipping costs customers are seeing everywhere, businesses are forced to pay much more than they did only a few short years ago to print.

Labor Shortages

As in many areas of business, the paper and ink market has been hit with a substantial labor shortage. This means that companies must pay more to retain their employees. Unfortunately, these costs are passed on to the consumer.


More environmentally friendly mandates are being constructed that require paper and ink manufacturers to invest in cleaner technologies and processes. There are also pushes to prioritize using recycled products and do what they can to implement sustainable practices. These initiatives drive up costs precipitously. 

Growth of E-Commerce

The rise of e-commerce has increased demand for packaging materials, which has driven up prices for paper products and printing services related to packaging.

What You Can Do to Lower Your Printing Costs

There are some things you can do to optimize your printing costs. They include:

Optimize Printing Settings

Changing the way you print can go a long way toward mitigating some of the costs incurred by printing. You can print on both sides of the page to reduce the amount of paper you use, you can set up printer management software that can control how your staff can use your printers, and you can stop unnecessary printing through the use of software tools such as the print preview to see how your page will look without actually having to print anything.

Use Alternative Supplies

Refilled cartridges or compatible, yet cheaper, toner cartridges can save quite a bit of money. You can also buy lower-grade paper, which comes at a massive discount over premium paper. Finally, you can buy ink and paper in bulk to reduce the overall cost over time. 

Use Digital Alternatives

To avoid printing entirely, there are plenty of digital resources available to businesses. Not only can you distribute documents digitally using email and other tools, there are options to collaborate on documents without printing. Additionally, today you can use digital signature technology to lower your overall printing costs.

Are you looking for solutions to reduce your printing costs? Call us today at 317-759-3972 to speak with the IT experts at Reciprocal Technologies about your business technology.