Supplies and Paper
January 14th, 2013
By Nathan Van Ness, Xerox Corp.
Now that we’ve had more than a week to shake the post-holiday blues and settle back into the workplace groove, I think the timing’s appropriate to discuss the ways in which the recently passed “Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012” might impact America’s small businesses.
By no means is this a backdoor attempt to shove politics into our happy little blog. But because we’re here to provide tips, helpful information and food for thought for small-business owners, we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least comment on what the future might hold for small businesses as a result of Congress’ 11th hour agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
A quick search online uncovers countless reports and opinions on what the deal means for small businesses. And of course the voices that disparage the Act typically lean right, while the advocates are aligned more leftward.
But I’m more interested in the facts minus the political spin, and on Entrepreneur.com I found what I consider a solid overview of specific parts of the Act that relate directly to small businesses.
I recommend reading the whole article, but here’s one excerpt that I found especially noteworthy:
“…the fiscal cliff deal involves a 5 percentage-point increase in the capital-gains tax rate imposed on the highest earners. This provision will reduce the amount of equity financing flowing to small companies. By cutting the after-tax take of equity investors, Congress has lowered the incentive of investors to provide financing. At the margin, some companies that would have attracted angel and venture-capital investment in 2012 will not be able to get financing in 2013. While only a small number of companies will lose out on this investment — angels and venture capitalists tend to finance relatively few U.S. businesses — those companies tend to generate a disproportionate number of jobs.”
That’s of particular interest to me because so much of the small-business activity here in the greater Portland, Ore., area, as well as in my hometown of Seattle, is the result of high-tech start-ups receiving angel and/or venture capital financing. Had start-up financing been as limited in 1999 as it is today, it’s likely that I wouldn’t have landed my first post-college, career-oriented job at a Portland-based online retailer that relied almost entirely on venture capital to fund its hiring.
Regardless of the extent to which you expect the Taxpayer Relief Act to affect your small business, I think it’s safe to say that we’re still in an economic climate that requires a disciplined approach to business expenditures. So on that note I’ll share links to two services offered by Xerox that help small businesses affordably acquire and maintain their printers and MFPs.
Check out “Xerox FreeColorPrinters” and learn more about how we’re helping make color printing affordable for small businesses and organizations.
And if you’re already a Xerox customer—or even if you use a printer or MFP from one of our competitors—you still can take advantage of fast and easy online supplies ordering through our free eConcierge program.
September 4th, 2012
Xerox North American Reseller Sales
For most small and mid-sized businesses, ordering printer supplies is usually pretty far down on the to-do list. That is until the toner cartridge runs out while the vice president of sales needs 10 copies of a proposal printed just before a lunch meeting with new clients. With Xerox eConcierge, you can have that replacement cartridge on hand before the proposal needs to be printed and keep the office humming. And you get free lifetime service coverage for your Xerox printers.
The concept is super simple. Xerox eConciege, a cloud-based solution, designed to check the toner, ink, waste cartridges and fusers in your networked printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) and replenish those supplies when low.
Interested in learning more? Join us for a brief webinar on how to use the Xerox eConcierge desktop app to order your printer supplies. There’s no contract, no commitment and as long as you purchase your printer supplies through Xerox eConcierge you will receive free lifetime service coverage from Xerox – an average value of $1,280. This informative webinar will cover how the simple Xerox eConcierge app works and where to get the free download.
Register today for our September 12th webinar at http://www.seeuthere.com/Xerox-eConcierge so you too can take advantage of free lifetime service coverage for your Xerox printers.
Check out Xerox eConcierge, attend the webinar and tell us what you think.
August 14th, 2012
Xerox Indirect Channels Business Group
Working in technology over the past 15 years has made me the automatic IT consultant for just about every family and friend I know. Usually it’s a friend starting a small business needs advice on what types of computers, printers, and network they should consider. Through this, I have come to realize that if you are ready to make the leap and start your own business you need to be prepared to literally take on every task required. Not only are you your own IT department, but you are the head of sales, HR, marketing, and of course, the janitor!
For many small businesses this reality is a consistent challenge and a frustration I often hear about. A friend once told me that he will know his business is a success when he can stop doing all of things he hates to do and can afford to hire someone full time to do them. This way he can focus on doing what he loves the most and the reason he started his business in the first place. Like most small businesses, my friend has a solid business and earns a good living, but still struggles with the growth required to enable him this freedom. It is a bit of a Catch 22. How can he hire someone to manage these tasks so he can work on growing and building his small business?
As you know, Xerox has a rich history and is known for providing print services to larger clients such as Allina Health enabling them to completely outsource all of the often thankless tasks of supporting, installing, and feeding their printers, copiers, and multifunction printers (MFPs) all while saving them significant operating costs and staffing resources. This type of service called managed print services (MPS), has been rapidly growing among today’s medium to large businesses where managing fleets of hundreds to thousands of printers and MFPs can save a company significant time and money.
Until recently, delivering this kind of capability to small businesses that need only one to three printers was not economically feasible. I’m excited to tell you that we now have a solution that will provide small businesses like my friend’s many of the same services and cost-savings that were once reserved for larger companies. We used cloud-based automation technologies pioneered with the new Xerox eConcierge, a supplies ordering program, and partnered with Staples to develop an exclusive offering called the Never Out Toner Savings Program. You select the Xerox printer or multifunction printer that best fits your business and combine it with a preset number of page credits. The new service manages the page credits electronically and delivers toner automatically when the printer or MFP runs low. You can manage, renew and modify your plan electronically as well. No more last minute trips to the local office supplies store to buy a new toner cartridge to finish printing an important client presentation. With this new program, my friend will have just a bit more time and money to make his business more successful rather than maintaining and buying toner.
Check out both of these new programs and let me know what you think in the comments below.
July 18th, 2012
Xerox Indirect Channels Business Group
In a previous post, I outlined a simple way to compute the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a printer – from what information you need to collect to how to tally it all up. Along with TCO, here are some additional things to keep in mind when thinking about printer costs at your small business.
This perception rose out of the free inkjet printer bundles that were popular a few years ago. If the printer is free or much less expensive than the supplies you need to buy, it must make more sense to just buy a new printer when the starter cartridges run out, right?
Let’s say a printer costs $500 and comes with 2,000 pages for all four starter toner cartridges. When you go to purchase more toner, the black toner is $150 and the color toners are $120 each. A set of replacement toners costs $510 – $10 more than the printer. For $10 more, you get a black cartridge that has 150 percent more pages and color toners with 50 percent more capacity than those that came with the printer.
If you bought a new printer every time your toner ran out, you’d always have a brand new printer. But you’d be maximizing your ongoing running costs and buying new printers more often than you’d replace toners, for roughly the same cost.
The more expensive printer could cost you less over time.
Here’s a trend you can see for yourself by looking closely at the price lists for a couple different printers. As printer price increases, supplies capacity increases. The price of supplies also increases, but at a slower rate. The per-page printing costs are lower on more expensive, more robust printers as well. These printers print lots of pages every month – think of it as a similar discount that a golf course would get for fertilizer versus what I pay at my local home improvement center for my yard.
This underscores the importance of understanding your small businesses average monthly print volume (AMPV), something I also described in my previous post.
The same goes for toner cartridges. The more capacity, the more savings.
Why do we buy the bigger box of cereal? We believe we’re going to eat that much of it, and we’re getting proportionally more cereal than we’re paying for. If you’re watching TCO or trying to reduce running costs, it may seem counter-intuitive, but buying the highest capacity cartridges will have two benefits. You’ll minimize your running costs by paying less on a per-page basis, and you’ll be maximizing the time until you run out of toner again.
Hope these thoughts prove helpful as you maintain your printers or evaluate new printers for your small business. What thoughts or questions do you have when thinking about the cost of owning your printer?
June 21st, 2012
Xerox Indirect Channels Business Group
When choosing a printer, there is a lot of information to consider. Speed, size, features like two-sided printing, price, single or multifunction, supplies considerations, the list is long and it’s hard to prioritize what is important versus what is not.
Many small businesses are thinking about the big picture when it comes to cost – the cost of the printer is one part, the cost of the supplies is another – but how do you get a clear picture of the total cost? And how can you effectively compare products?
To help, I’ll describe a simple way of computing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a printer. Doing this analysis for multiple printers will help you compare and find which offers the lowest TCO. You may well find reasons to select a printer that costs a little more, but you’ll be armed with good information and able to make that trade-off for your small business in an informed way.
First, you have to know yourself and your office, as your printing behaviors are key to an effective total cost of ownership analysis. You need a clear answer for three things:
1) How many pages do you print per month?
2) What portion of those pages are color?
3) How long do you plan to own the printer you will purchase?
Second, you need to collect some information for all of the printers you are considering.
1) Price of the printer
2) Number of pages the printer has in box (also called the starter cartridges)
3) Price and yield of toner cartridges, along with any other supplies you might need to replace
4) Extended warranty costs (only if you plan to purchase one)
At this point, you can build out an Excel worksheet with the formulas to compare and graph the TCO of each product you are considering. I’ll describe here a more simple way of comparing that doesn’t require 300-level Excel skills.
The price of the printer and extended warranty are one-time costs. Set those aside for a moment. Take the number of pages you print each month, and multiply it by the time you want to own the printer to get your total page count over the life of the printer. Since black is used to print color pages, make sure to include the black page count too. Here’s an example:
- 750 pages per month x 48 months = 36,000 total/black pages
- 50% pages in color = 18,000 color pages
Now, you need to figure out how many cartridges that will mean over the four years. Let’s say the printer uses 5,000 page black toner cartridges and 3,000 page color toner cartridges. There is an imaging unit and a fuser, but those each last 50,000 pages – since they will last longer than our estimated life of 36,000 pages, you won’t need to include them in your analysis. Also, the printer has starter cartridges that are 2,000 pages for each toner – you’ll subtract those pages from the total because those pages come with the printer.
- (36,000 pages – 2,000 starter pages) / 5,000 = 6.8
- (18,000 pages – 2,000 starter pages) / 3,000 = 5.3
You need to round those numbers up, since you pay for cartridges up front and then use the pages until they’re empty. You have seven black toner cartridges, and six of each of the three color toner cartridges, or 18 total.
The hard work is done! To get your total the formula is:
Printer Price + Extended Warranty Price + (7 x black toner price) + (18 x color toner price) = TCO
Do this for each of the products you are evaluating, and you’ll have a clear estimation of what you’ll spend over time to own and operate the printers in your small business.
In my next article on this topic, I’ll talk about some concepts and ideas to keep in mind when comparing and analyzing the TCO of different printers. In the meantime, let me know if you have questions about calculating the total cost of ownership for your printer.
March 22nd, 2012
Did you know that you have the power at-hand right now to lower your printing impact on the environment? That’s right. There’s no need to wait for IT to install a printer or multifunction printer (MFP) that consumes less energy. No need to wait until five printers are replaced by one networked MFP. No need to wait for anything…Just reduce paper waste!
According to the European Union ENERGY STAR website, the amount of energy to create one sheet of paper is 50 times the amount of energy it takes for a typical 50 page per minute office copier to print it. 50 times!
• Cut paper use up to half through two-sided printing and copying.
• Pack more on the page: Changing the default margins from 1.25 inches to 1 inch can reduce the amount of paper you use by up to eight percent!
• Use N-up printing, which fits up to 8 originals on one or both sides of a page (a presentation can fit on 1/16 the number of pages!).
• Click on the Earth Smart Settings button in your Xerox driver and watch the “green printing gas gauge” grow as you set your default printing to two-sided, 2-up, turn off banner pages, etc.
• Hold/release print jobs using PIN codes. You just punch in a code to get your printer or MFP to print, a process that confirms whether you really wanted that document.
• Use the scan to e-mail capabilities of your multifunction printer to reduce the need to print and mail hardcopy documents.
• Use recycled paper, which requires approximately 70 percent the energy to produce as compared to virgin paper. Solid ink printers and MFPs produce the same vibrant print quality on recycled paper as they do on high quality papers!
Hopefully you’re now convinced that reducing paper waste is beneficial to the environment, and it’s really quite easy to print smarter with the tips above. But if you’re still not convinced…then consider the cost savings!
Do you have paper saving tips you use in your office? Share them below in the comments!
March 6th, 2012
In my first article, I shared how Xerox helps businesses of any size, and last month I talked about small business and saving money. We can save you money exactly the same way we save money for large corporations – we manage your printers for you.
Xerox has been the print provider for many large companies, like Fiat. The Gartner Group sees Xerox as a leader in this area. Plus, over the years, we’ve figured out how to save money by controlling printing without getting in the way. Little things make a big difference, like forcing two-sided printing to save paper.
We’ve used the same managed print services methodology, right-sized it, and made it available through a network of resellers (many of whom are small businesses themselves) to businesses of any size. Bottom line – you get your business done while we handle the printing. We’ve done this for Ducati and helped reduce their costs by over 20%.
But we also realize that managed print services is not right for everyone.
We can help you manage your own printing with our new eConcierge service. With automated alerts and easy one-click ordering, you will never run out of supplies. And to save money? For those printers and multifunction printers that use Xerox eConcierge, we will give you service credit so your machine is always up and running.
Yes, I know this sounds a bit like an infomercial.
At Xerox, we care – and I care –and we want to help you focus on what you do best instead of hassling with your printing. That’s why I believe Xerox can help your business – no matter the size.