How to calculate your printer TCO

How to calculate your printer TCO

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is, in short, what a printer or MFP really costs your business over its entire lifetime. In other words, on top of the upfront costs of purchasing and setting up the machine, you’re also factoring what it costs to operate and maintain the machine over the months and years you can expect to own it.

Printer – Total Cost of Ownership

In order to calculate a basic Total Cost of Ownership, you’ll need to be able to answer the following questions.

  • What are the needs of my business?
  • How many pages do we print/copy a month?
  • How many colour pages do we print/copy a month?
  • How long do we intend on keeping our device?
  • How much does the device cost to buy?
  • Does this include a toner starter kit?
  • If yes, how many pages does the starter kit yield?
  • How much does the device cost to run?
  • How many consumables does it need?
  • What do they cost?
  • How many pages do they yield?

How to Calculate the TCO for a Printer

What are the needs of my business?

  • How many pages do we print/copy a month? 5000
  • How many colour pages do we print/copy a month? 30%
  • How long do we intend on keeping your device? 3 years/36 months

How much does the device cost to buy? R 10 000

  • Does this include a toner starter kit? Yes
  • If yes, how many pages does the starter kit yield? 5000

How much does the device cost to run?

  • How many consumables does it need?  4 (1 black toner, 3 colour toners)
  • What do they cost? 2 000
  • How many pages do they yield? Black toner = 12,000 pages, Colour toners = 10,000 pages

First, let’s work out our output over the device’s lifespan (bearing in mind that colour pages also use black toner):

  • 5000 pages x 36 months = 180,000 pages
  • 180,000 pages x 0.3 = 54,000 colour pages

Work out how many consumables the device will use over its lifespan:

  • 180,000 pages – 5000 pages (starter kit) = 175,000 pages
  • 175,000 pages ÷ 12,000 = 14.58 black toner cartridges
  • 54,000 colour pages – 5000 pages (starter kit) = 49,000 colour pages
  • 49,000 pages ÷ 10,000 = 4.9 colour toner cartridges

Rounding up, the device will use 15 black toner cartridges and 15 colour toners (as there are 3 colour toners required) over its lifespan.

Now we can work out the TCO:

  • Cost of device: R10 000
  • Cost of black toner: 15 x R2 00o = R30 000
  • Cost of colour toners: 15 x R2 000 = R30 000
  • TCO = R10000 + R30 000 + R30 000 = R70 000

To make this more accurate, you could also factor in other known costs such as delivery, installation and extended warranty.

To make it easier to compare devices and work out budgets, we can also generate a cost per month, or cost per page:

  • R70 000 ÷ 36 months = R1 940.44/month
  • R70 000 ÷ (180,000 + 54,000 pages) = 0.30 cents/page

In the end, a printer or an MFP is not simply a one-off purchase. It is an ongoing investment, and one that can have a significant impact on operational costs, productivity and your office’s environmental footprint. Make sure you make the best investment for your company by considering all the factors that can contribute to a device’s TCO.