“Educating customers and making them aware of the scourge of non-original toners being sold across South Africa is important for the longevity of our industry,” says Nancy Meyer, operations manager at Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa.

Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa is pooling their collective efforts with their authorised distribution channel to highlight the benefits attributed to the use of original toners that extends to warranties, technical aid and on-going backup.

“Customers need to be informed about the risks associated with using non-genuine toner and be afforded the opportunity to choose between the two, says Meyer.

“Educating our clients on the pitfalls of purchasing third party products ensures that they are armed with the right information, which in turn enables informed decisions.

“The client needs to be made aware of the risks, as the use of generic consumables can result in problems related to their equipment and print quality,” she says.

Independent studies have proven that buying non-genuine toner poses a variety of risks, ranging from variable quality to printer down-time.

“With economies under strain, the real challenge is addressing budgets that are under constant pressure and cost cutting initiatives that are put in place. At first glance, it is tempting to go for non-original toners since such product is not illegal, and therefore the question: “why pay more“?

“Many may argue that vendors discourage users from taking advantage of third party consumables because it diminishes our revenues but research shows real risks when purchasing these products,” argues Meyer.

Any failure in a relatively minor piece of non-original kit could have a knock-on effect that impinges warranties, quality, uptime and reliability within an organisation’s printing system; thereby putting both the vendor and supplier’s reputation at risk.

“Non-genuine imports may seem to be a bargain in the short term, but the consumer needs to take a long term view as the total cost of ownership stakes the third party consumable product could let you down.

“You may be able to save a couple of hundred rands per non-original toner, but if the product causes printer failure it could mean a mission-critical component of the business goes down and that could be the loss of hundreds of thousands of rands.”

Initial cost savings can also be eroded by the need to buy maintenance and support as it will not be covered by the vendor. This is the biggest headache that arises from buying third party consumables- the lack of support and warranties.

Support is something to remember. Besides the potential that equipment may require higher maintenance than anticipated, which results in unnecessary costs, any technical defects or other technical problems caused by the use of a non-genuine toner may not be covered by Kyocera’s Manufacturer’s Warranty to customers.

Is buying non-genuine toner ever justified?

Despite the tempting savings, the print quality, up-time, device health and warrantee of the printer are in jeopardy which means non-original toner costs more than it is worth. Customers also need to bear the hidden costs in mind especially in terms of support and maintenance.

“To use our Sharks sponsorship as an example of thinking things through and making the right choice, Jake White, The Sharks director of rugby, chooses only the best side for each game. He weighs up the pros and cons of each player, evaluates their fitness, injuries and abilities and places for the win,” says Meyer.

“Isn’t this strategy what we should be mirroring in our business? Choose right and choose the best for the job. Play the game for the overall win,” concludes Meyer.