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Aftermarket Color Toner Is Ready - Are You?

1 Apr, 2012 imageSource

toner suppliesWhether you’re selling imaging supplies, toner-in service contracts, or Managed Print Services, you’re looking to convert printed pages into some form of a profitable recurring revenue stream. You know there’s an MPS (Managed Print Services) gold rush going on right now and it’s likely that the MPS provider who gets there first is most likely to win the business for the next 2 to 3 years. Of course you’re also dealing with today’s penny pinching customers who like to race right past your value proposition to the pricing page in your proposal. And you’re wrestling with how to distinguish yourself from your competition and win more business. Can you relate?

Let me introduce you to the next area of obvious cost reduction in the office - it’s color printing. From our research, here’s 5 reasons why we believe aftermarket color toner presents MPS providers such a huge early market adopter advantage in 2012.

1. End User Savings

In Q4 2011, we conducted a survey that found that most copier dealers charge from 6 to 10 cents per color impression. Of course there are lots of factors (toner coverage, volume commitment, etc.) that come into play, but that’s generally what end users are paying for a letter size copy or print right now. The average cost for a monochrome impression is between 1 to 2 cents. Despite the disparity in cost per page, amazingly we see office color volumes rising & predict that trend to continue. Add the improved expense visibility end users now enjoy with advancements in print management software & you have an easy target for cost reduction. This is where aftermarket color toner can help your company flourish.

“Customers are buying savings in today’s economy,” states Gary Willert, President and CEO of LMI Solutions. “To meet that demand, LMI is about to release a breakthrough color product line that is the result of a large six figure investment in both new technology and some of the world’s top minds in the science of color toner manufacturing.”

2. Compatible Acceptance

Even before the mention of Managed Print Services, exorbitant OEM toner prices had already opened eyes and paved the way to justify quality aftermarket alternatives. Of course when it comes to color toner, the key word in the last sentence is “quality.” From our study, we found that customers were willing to move to an aftermarket product if the reseller could prove and guarantee product capability. Doesn’t this sound familiar? You’ve already seen this cycle with monochrome toner so why wouldn’t you expect the same to happen with color toner? A quality aftermarket color toner product will help you convert OEM customers and then leverage those referrals on a sell forward basis.

3. Less Competition

Aftermarket color toner hasn’t always earned the best reputation.Toner leakage, inconsistent quality, and poor yields seem to be the challenges talked of. Do not be misled. New technology & improved quality control systems have made huge strides toward achieving the tight Delta ranges set by the OEM products. The silver lining here is the early competitive advantage for Managed Print providers. If you’re selling MPS now, you’ve probably crossed your fingers on a few cost-per-page agreements that included color impressions. This is where aftermarket color toner can let you price deals more aggressively & protect your margins against competitors who are slower to transition from OEMs.

4. Sustainability Advantages

Perhaps you’re ahead of the curve talking about print reduction strategies or about things like used toner cartridges that scientists tell us take over 1,000 years to decompose. Our research finds that 100% of the nation’s top MPS providers have a strong sustainability spoke in their C-Level sales pitch. This is another area aftermarket color toner can make your MPS program more successful for you and your customers.

5. Quality Advancements

Like anything you buy, you get what you pay for. If you select the right manufacturer, you will enjoy the benefits of recent toner manufacturing advancements that have led to smaller & more consistent particle sizes. Inconsistency at the micro component level has been the primary cause of fusing and quality failures with most previous attempts in the color toner arena. Advanced aftermarket toner manufacturers now use an algorithmic calculation that provides a Delta measurement against actual OEM color toner. The lower the Delta number, the closer the product is to the OEM.This form of quality measurement should top the list on any aftermarket color toner shopping list. Next might be the assurance of a strong seal that resists toner leakage while the cartridge is in use, etc. So if it’s been awhile since you looked at aftermarket color toner as part of your MPS business strategy - maybe it’s time you did!

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