MFP's, Copiers & The War for Ink vs Toner Devices

 
Be Prepared.
Is the motto of the Boy Scouts, and I guess know they are just Scouts BSA.  In any case, someone one asked Based Powell, 'be prepared for what?" Baden responded with, "why, for any old thing."
The imaging industry is changing again. There's a new war on the horizon for A3 & A4 MFP's, and it's not A3 vs A4 anymore.  It's the war for "toner vs ink". 
Recent events both press releases, forum gossip and Linkedin posts shows that dealers have started to embrace A3 ink MFP's.  Those that have A3 ink MFP's will take business away from the traditional toner based A3 MFP dealer. 
Don't think so? Then look at your current client base and think about how many of those clients really need quality color output.  When thinking about those types of documents, then ask yourself if those documents stay in the office or within the enterprise.  When I think about my existing accounts, I would have a conservative estimate of 50% of those color documents would never leave the office or the enterprise.
Xerography
The Xerography technology is now seventy-six years old.  There's been many advancements in the technology over the years.  The late nineties saw the move from analog to digital copiers and for the last twelve years we've reaped the rewards of digital color MFP's placements.   The cash cow of planned obsolescence for copiers will meet it's demise very soon. I'm not saying the MFP's are going away. We'll still have them, it's just that the bulk of them will use ink technology and not toner based.
As I see it, one of the largest problems facing our industry is the aging of our service technicians.  There is an issue with finding new talent to fill the void when our best technicians retire or migrate out of the industry.
 
Ink technology  
No heat, pressure, developers, drums, and chargers are just some of the parts that aren't  used with putting ink on paper.  Pagewide and Memjet print heads are now stationary and the paper moves under the stationary print head to produce and image. It's simple, reliable and requires almost no service or PM parts.  If cleaning or purging the print head does not resolve the print quality issue, then the print head is replaced.  Consumables items consist of the print head and the ink. 
Ask Yourself
Which technology is best for the client?  What do our clients want? Which technology is best for our service departments? Can the same profit be made from a click whether it's ink or toner? How fast will our industry make the transition from toner to ink?
Stayed tuned for Part Two Next Week
-=Good Selling=-

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SSG Thanks for the reply. I've seen the prints on both the Epson, and PageWide devices, they are very good when printing on regular bond. You are correct that the best image is with inkjet paper. It's my belief that once reps start showing samples and asking if color stays in house or leave the premise will dictate whether the rep shows ink or toner based MFP's. In addition Device Billing will come into play. That's where the client pays for the ink and a monthly charge for service with unlimited clicks. It may not being coming to your area anytime soon, however, in the major market areas clients are ripe for change. Most are tired of overages, and paying for tiny bits of color on a document. We'll see how this pans out. Ty for the comment!

I have not yet competed against an A3 inkjet copier but I work with a dealer who has access to the HP line.  He has one in stock but is unable to sell it yet.

The last 10 A3 MFPs he sold were all laser.

For quality prints, the HP needs premium paper.

Customers are also very reluctant to leave toner based MFPs.  They seem indifferent to the difference between Laser and LED technology.    More than 50% of Xerox's current A3 product line is based upon LED technology.

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