OKI tells users not be seduced by discounts

International printing giant OKI is educating local end-users on the best way to calculate total cost of ownership (TCO) this week.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  September 27, 2005

Printing vendor OKI is educating end-users on the best way to calculate total cost of ownership (TCO) this week. Regional manager John Ross reckons that customers need to take a long hard look at their precise printing requirements, calculate the lifetime costs of owning a device and not be seduced by up-front hardware discounts. “We want to help end-users avoid confusion and let them understand the difference between TCO and cost per page,” says Ross. “This means understanding the true cost of consumables and maintenance and this becomes more important as companies look at colour printing. If one machine works out at 1 cent cheaper per page, that can mean a lifetime difference of US$1,800 for a machine with an 180,000 page life. That’s a big difference for a product that could have an upfront price of just US$300.” Ross reckons that all printing vendors should use Gitex as an opportunity to educate partners, understand the mindset of customers and explain all the factors involved. This responsibility on the vendor community is of paramount importance as more customers make the move to colour printing solutions. “Corporate buyers will sometimes still look for a 5% discount on the hardware price from vendors and totally ignore the price of consumables and service,” says Ross. “We need to help them understand that the long-term costs are much more important than this short-term discount,” he adds. “The analogy I like to use is mobile phones. If you go to a country with four or five service providers, you will typically get the handset for free, but pay a lot more for the calls during the duration of the contract. In other countries, you pay a lot up-front for the handset but the calls are cheaper. Customers have to weigh up what is truly best for them,” Ross explains. OKI is showcasing a wide range of multifunction, mono and colour products on its stand and has a skilled team on hand to talk customers through the ins and outs of TCO. Simultaneously, the vendor is looking to make contact with potential resellers from across the region ahead of an ambitious regional training programme set to kick off in conjunction with its distributors early next year.

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