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Colour management: planning for better cost control

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The clear trend in the office equipment industry is for customers to use colour printers and multi-functional products (MFPs) rather than the monochrome equipment that was dominant a few years ago.

This brings businesses of all sizes the advantages of producing better presentations, greater flexibility and even improved productivity whereby colour documents have a positive impact on workers, just as much as on an audience at a presentation or meeting.
With the cost of black and white reproduction, using a colour machine (having dropped considerably) colour is fast taking over except in very large office environments, where dedicated monochrome printers can still offer a cost saving.
Because colour is still more expensive than black and white on a per-page basis, it becomes important to focus on managing the printer network.
“The first step is to have policies in place that are made clear to the workers,” says Michael Powell, product manager for corporate enterprise at Kyocera Mita South Africa. “Hand-in-hand with that, customers need equipment that supports the management controls to ensure that these policies are being carried out.”
“Colour printing can cost up to 10 times more than monochrome printing – that’s why you have to manage users effectively. Surprisingly, many companies are not as aware of this cost factor as they should be.”
However, this awareness is growing along with the realisation that maintenance is another significant issue.
“Maintenance costs on colour equipment can be higher,” says Powell. “To keep that under control, you need to choose a vendor with long maintenance cycles. This reduces the cost of repairs in general and minimises downtime.”
“Our equipment comes with the management software so that individual machines can be monitored and controlled and user accounts can be audited and managed from a central location for the large networks. We also offer the best figures for cost of ownership in the industry, thanks to the high reliability of our equipment and the long maintenance cycles between services.”
“Nevertheless, the quality of the equipment, the service delivery of the vendor and the way the technology supports good management will not be a complete solution on its own. It still remains critically important that businesses of any size have the right policies in place and makes sure that users are educated about these and properly managed. The right equipment choice just makes that easier,” concludes Powell.