Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Emergence of Utility Printers?

The though of utility printers has been on my mind for quite some time, especially with the recent release of the Memjet C6010 color printer that will print full color at 60 pages per minute with a retail price of about $1,200 or so.

Now, I'm not sure what the wholesale cost of that printer is, however I'm thinking $700-$800 or somewhere around there.  

With the cost being so low isn't now possible to give the printer away, especially since the ink/supplies is controlled by the dealer? You could build in the cost of the printer into the ink cost.  Better yet, if there was a way to have software that would enable a tiered billing system, the system could be placed out there with a cost per page billing.  

Of course the software for tiered billing is not available for this unit, but we're a creative bunch and I'm sure we could figure something out.  Years ago in NJ there was a Canon dealer that sold some of the early analog copier devices, they sold the end user a three pack of toner (toner kit) it also included maintenance, parts and on site service for as long as the toner kit lasted.  A very novel approach and one that was easy for the customer to understand and an absolute win win for the dealer!  As I think more about this toner kit it may have been the beginning of the cost per page agreement.  Of course their were many customers that tried to scam the process and bought toner from another dealer, but the concept was awesome and it worked well for many years.

Lately I heard of a few dealers that will be going to

commissions for clicks to compensate their sales people. Thoughts for this radical change is the salespeople will concentrate on more target and major account with higher volume potential and also the idea that they'll find ways to capture additional clicks through solutions with those accounts.

Time changes everything and thought of giving the printers away and wrapping your customer up with a cost per page charge seems like a win win for the dealer. The question will be if giving away MFP's will become the normal form Segment 1 and 2 MFP's.

I can tell you from 32 years of experience I've seen a lot of change from when I entered the business in 1981. The though of including toner on a maintenance agreement then was blasphemy and considered a losing proposition.

-=Good Selling=-


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