The total cost of ownership (TCO) of colour printers has been largely overlooked by many organisations in Australia, according to Tektronix national sales and marketing manager David Bates. "Businesses are only beginning to realise they need to take a closer look at the ongoing costs of their colour printer rather than just the initial investment," he said.
This may sound like the banter of a vendor trying to justify its higher initial price; how- ever, Tektronix recently commissioned Genoa Technology Test Labs (GTTL) to conduct a TCO study of its Phaser 350, 360 and 560 colour printers compared with the likes of the HP Deskjet 1600, Epson Stylus Color 800, HP LaserJet 5M, Xerox C55 MP and Lexmark Optra SC1275. The comparative TCO of these products was based on a projected three-year cycle of 50 colour pages per day.
As an example of the study, the Phaser 350 colour printer's TCO came out to $8941. This compares to other colour laser printers' TCO of between $11,406 and $19,968. That's a compelling reason for anyone to at least consider more than just the initial outlay.
Graeme Ambrose, general manager of Melbourne graphics specialist and reseller Graphic Decisions, said: "Fifty per cent of our retail clients are second-generation colour printer buyers."
He explained that, now that they have realised the benefits of colour printing, but started to calculate the costs, the concept of TCO has become a major consideration. Graphic Decisions provides printing needs analysis, which often reveals some significant facts.
"Even the low-end inkjets are sometimes difficult to justify in terms of TCO if the customer is using a colour printer in a work group or business environment," he said.
Ambrose also observed that selling printers with a margin of between 10 and 15 per cent is more rewarding when they are between six and eight thousand dollars, and ultimately, a better buy for your customer than a $500 inkjet.
In a selling situation, resellers have to build up the value of the product to the point where, by comparison, the price seems insignificant - be it up front or over its life cycle.
For this reason, GTTL also measured the total value of ownership (TVO) in which other factors such as quality, speed, ease of use and flexibility are considered.
The arguments are sure to rage on.
Tektronix Colour Printing and Imaging DivisionTel (02) 9888 0100Fax (02) 9888 0131