29 January 2007 | Paul Snell
UK business could save more than £1 billion on print costs if it relied less on outsourcing and managed its printing more efficiently, according to the Centre for Economic Business Research (CEBR).
In a report published today, the public sector is singled out as the biggest area for potential savings, totalling £225 million per year. The banking and finance sector could also make annual savings of £71 million. Total UK print spend is £16.7 billion a year.
The CEBR said cheaper technology and increased use of electronic documents is making companies "reclaim tasks they currently outsource". It estimated that two thirds of pre-printed stationery could be brought back in-house, as well as half of all marketing or commercial material.
Chris Gill, managing director of OKI printing solutions, which commissioned the study, said: "An obvious way to reduce printing costs is to stop all unnecessary outsourced printing, of which 20 per cent is never even used, and then thrown out."
The CEBR also said that bringing printing back in house has other benefits such as less contract management, more flexibility and greater confidentiality.
The research group claims that printing more material in-house could save businesses £464 million per year. More efficient management, by setting up printers correctly and monitoring usage, could add an extra £590 million of savings.