Printers have been one of the staples of the IT channel’s hardware arsenal. But as product prices plunged, margins on these everyday home and office accessories have become virtually nonexistent. Despite this, vendors continue to report that IT resellers remain slow to embrace the much more profitable after-sales opportunity around consumables.
This Printers Market Guide discusses the consumables business as it stands and why resellers should be cementing their role as printer accessories suppliers sooner rather than later. In our main feature, we look at the increasing move towards greener and more environmentally-friendly printing options, along with different consumable approaches available from leading printing vendors in the current market.
One of the most significant changes influencing how customers acquire consumables today is managed print services. Instead of sourcing a printing machine from an IT provider, then the replacement ink cartridges from an office supplies store, the managed print services concept allows a reseller to put the whole package together for a customer proactively and on a regular, monthly bill.
But while this low-risk and comprehensive approach is great for customers, it does require resellers to re-architect the way they sell printing solutions, as well as deliver products and support services.
In several cases, distributors and printing vendors now offer the channel online tools which allow them to tap into the managed print services opportunity without having to invest in hefty infrastructure themselves. But there are also several software products and packages now available for those wanting to build a managed print services offering more independently. For those who are still struggling to get into the game, it’s worth checking out these options and seeing if they can apply successfully to your own business.
Alongside the main feature, we’ve included expert tips covering key considerations resellers should be factoring into any printer and consumables sale. We’ve also featured information on some of the latest technologies in the supplies market including newer breakthroughs like solid ink and Emulsion Aggregation technology.
To help readers understand the implications of consumables in a real-world scenario, we’ve put together a case study looking at how Vital Peripherals Supplies helped one of its clients in the fashion industry to cut printing costs and run their operations more efficiently through a holistic printing solution.
There’s also a collection of the latest printing technologies on page 24.