For every business, there are dozens of factors that keep their office machinery running at top performance. For your printers, specifically, meter reading may be one that initially seems unimportant. However, printer meter readings provide critical information to your service provider—accurate and timely readings have important implications for the billing and servicing of your printers.

Billing impact — When meter readings aren’t submitted on time, a service provider typically has to estimate the reading based on historical usage. If the estimate is too low, you’ll see short-term cash savings, but longer-term billing challenges. Catching up on future readings may lead to an overage on page counts, resulting in cost spikes and unexpected charges. If the estimate is too high, you’re paying for more than you’re using. Overestimates can also lead to unanticipated overage charges. Submitting your printer meter readings on time provides an accurate picture of your printer usage, helping keep future contracts and equipment purchases in line with your actual usage.

Service impact — Like most machinery, printers have components that need regular replacement and maintenance. Drum units, maintenance kits, and fuser units must all be changed out on schedule to keep your printer healthy. Regular maintenance also helps keep your printer running smoothly. Service technicians can accurately perform preventive maintenance on your devices, bringing parts for which they have anticipated a need. This prevents little issues from turning into big ones that impact the performance and longevity of your machines. Simple, regular reporting facilitates regular maintenance, limiting unexpected service issues and disruptive downtime.

Fortunately, accurate printer meter readings can be submitted simply and easily with today’s technology. You may email your readings, take advantage of an automated system, or use a designated online portal. For most machines, finding the meter data is easy and intuitive, but if you’re not sure, just ask your service provider for guidance or directions.

Submitting timely, accurate meter readings is an important part of a healthy business plan. You’ll be sure to get accurate invoices that charge for precisely what you use. You’ll also save time correcting overages and prevent costly, inconvenient downtime. Reporting this simple number regularly will save your business time and money while getting better service for your print fleet.