For those of you not lucky enough to work for the government, early retirement may now be a little out of reach. So once you have resigned yourself to working until you’re 80 what can you do to reduce your costs. We’ll review a few of the computer related cost savings we’ve covered in earlier newsletters:

1) Avoid unnecessary service calls.

Purchase quality computers and printers. The small increase in price will very often save you money by reducing service calls.

Keep your computers protected. A single bad computer virus infection can cost more than a pre-emptive visit to make sure all of your Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software is up to date.

Install Microsoft Security Updates and run routine monthly maintenance procedures to make sure your computers run smoothly.

In many environments a good surge protector can reduce the need to replace computers and accessories damaged by power surges.

2) Repair and upgrade where possible.

A computer memory upgrade combined with a computer tune up can often restore normal operating speed to many computers without the added expense of replacing them. It’s also a better alternative for the environment.

3) Consider buying Used Equipment

If you do need a computer or printer the slow economy has placed a lot of used units on the market. These can often cost far less than a new one and will work just as well. A company called Fischer Computers will actually give you a free printer and service it free of charge if you purchase a specified number of laser toner cartridges from them.

4) Share equipment where possible.

Many all in one units can Photocopy, Print, Fax and Scan documents for an entire office. Larger units can often have lower toner costs per page, particularly when printing in colour. One piece of equipment doing multiple jobs can also reduce electrical consumption.

5) Reduce Paper Consumption

Print reports to the screen where possible. Proof Listings that are run to check data don’t need to be filed so why waste the paper.

Run Libra reports at 8 lines per inch and consider printers that can Duplex ( print on both sides of the paper ) where possible to both reduce paper costs and filing space.

Reduce multi-part forms by storing copies electronically. These forms, typically invoices and such can always be printed as required.

6) Consider In House Payroll / Direct Deposit

Consider In House Payroll and Direct Deposit to reduce the cost of printing, processing and reconciling cheques and monthly ADP fees.

7) Purchase High Capacity Toners

Many Laser Printers offer two capacities of toner cartridges and the higher capacity cartridge is often much less expensive per page. ( e.g. $135 for 7000 pages, $195 for 14000 pages saves $75 every 14000 pages )

In some cases refilled cartridges can also be a good buy but you need to be sure the company is reputable. Check references.

8) Turn off Computers and Equipment at Night

I often visit offices after hours to find multiple computers left on. As well as consuming electricity this can also wear out equipment.