Is multifunction the best solution?

A customer was considering multifunction printers and asked us to compare their current setup with a switch to an MFP. Asking us to do the assessment was quite natural as our unique Imprest system monitors their usage, not what was bought (and delivered) as traditional suppliers do, but what they actually used.

They do a lot of printing so it’s easy to understand why they were looking to reduce costs – and managed print services (as they’re called) seemed the logical solution. No asset management or maintenance costs, just a simple price per page (ppp).

When you’re not printing, you’re not spending.

So we prepared a spreadsheet for all their machines and toners and added in the quoted print per page costs – the result was absolutely clear cut. Don’t do it. Over the course of a year they would have saved nothing, indeed they would have paid almost £100,000 more. That’s a phenomenal figure in anyone’s language.

Why such a big number? Well colour printing was a big factor because the ppp is much higher than mono pages, so it had a big effect on the figures. But that wasn’t all. Even just considering mono printing, only one of the printers would have made a saving and a small one at that. Every other printer incurred extra costs.

So to really cut costs they would have to switch to the one economic mono printer – no more colour printing, which for them really wasn’t an option.

It surprised us all, but thinking about it we don’t see why it should have done. The ppp has to cover the initial cost of the machine – and they’re not cheap. Plus the finance costs as the supplier isn’t going to pay for it all up front. Then maintenance costs as they have to keep some engineers on the payroll to service various issues. And then they have to make a profit. That’s a lot to cover out of your little price per page.

Now this won’t apply to everyone, a key issue will be the kind of printing your business needs to do. What is clear is that there isn’t a simple answer to this question, the best option will very much depend on your circumstances. It’s not simply “multifunction = great”. Our best advice is do a proper cost comparison with your known usage costs.
And if you don’t know your actual usage costs? Maybe you should choose a supplier that does.

On June 17, 2013, posted in: Banners and Information, Front Page, Our Blog by
No Responses to “Is multifunction the best solution?”
Leave a Reply