Do small busi­nesses have any use for Man­aged Print Ser­vices?

VIN­CENT SIM GEN­ERAL MAN­AGER FOR SIN­GA­PORE/EMERG­ING MAR­KETS & BUSI­NESS DEVEL­OP­MENT FOR AP FUJI XEROX ASIA PA­CIFIC PTE LTD

HWM (Malaysia) - - Q&A - NgChongSeng

by In this dig­i­tal world, is there still a mar­ket for print­ers? Are we wrong to as­sume that peo­ple aren’t print­ing as much these days? The over­all printer mar­ket is still grow­ing. For laser print­ers, the num­ber of units sold ac­tu­ally sees a growth of seven per­cent year-on-year. Wow, we didn’t know that. What are the rea­sons that con­trib­ute to this growth? Well, it’s driven by two key ar­eas. First is the de­cen­tral­iza­tion of print­ing, where we’ve more peo­ple print­ing more items per­son­ally, such as ho­tel book­ing and air ticket con­fir­ma­tion slips. Yes, laser print­ers do com­pete with inkjet print­ers, but with the falling prices of laser print­ers, con­sumers are find­ing it in­creas­ingly at­trac­tive to buy a laser printer to­day. They now get to en­joy the high print qual­ity and dura­bil­ity of a laser printer even at home.

In ad­di­tion, while it’s true that peo­ple are now con­vert­ing and shar­ing data in dig­i­tal form, that amount of dig­i­tized data is so huge that even a frac­tion of it be­ing printed is a huge num­ber. That sheer amount of dig­i­tal in­for­ma­tion be­ing cre­ated is now driv­ing print vol­ume. In fact, the amount of pa­per sold across Asia Pa­cific has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a 10-per­cent growth year-on-year, which shows that peo­ple are ac­tu­ally print­ing more these days. Since more con­sumers are buy­ing laser print­ers for home use, have Fuji Xerox con­sid­ered adding con­sumer-ish fea­tures that some inkjet print­ers have, like hav­ing con­tent for users to print birth­day cards or make scrap­books? I think the rea­son why most inkjet printer ven­dors are do­ing these is to en­cour­age print­ing. Fuji Xerox is more prag­matic, as in we believe in print­ing only what you need. So we fo­cus our at­ten­tion on ar­eas that make print­ing easy for home users, with fea­tures like wire­less sup­port and mo­bile print­ing through tech­nolo­gies like Ap­ple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. When we de­sign our prod­ucts, we look at how con­sumers uti­lize a printer and add prac­ti­cal, in­stead of dra­matic, fea­tures. Which is why we con­duct cus­tomer sur­veys reg­u­larly, to gain in­sights on how we can do bet­ter. Any up­com­ing new fea­tures that you can share with us at this point? Se­cure print­ing, or more specif­i­cally, how to se­cure a print output, is some­thing that many of our cus­tomers in bank­ing, in­sur­ance, health­care, and ed­u­ca­tion are look­ing at. We’re also in­ter­ested in this area, and we hope to share more on that in the near fu­ture. Fuji Xerox is now of­fer­ing Man­aged Print Ser­vices (MPS) to SOHOs and SMBs. Isn’t MPS more for large cor­po­ra­tions? How can smaller com­pa­nies ben­e­fit from it? Most print­ing ven­dors tar­get their MPS ser­vices at large busi­nesses, and we saw that this in turn leaves a siz­able po­ten­tial mar­ket - the SOHOs and SMBs - un­tapped, and their needs un­ful­filled.

MPS ben­e­fits are sim­i­lar between dif­fer­ent sizes of cus­tomers. The big­gest of them all is that be­cause cus­tomers are vir­tu­ally out­sourc­ing its print­ing to us, they don’t have to worry about is­sues like ma­chine break­downs or that ton­ers have run out. And since ser­vices are in­cluded in our MPS of­fer­ings, when cus­tomers do en­counter prob­lems, they can reach out to our call cen­ter or help desk, and get them re­solved al­most im­me­di­ately. In short, cus­tomers get to en­joy seam­less print­ing.

Also, cus­tomers only pay for what they print. And this is ac­tu­ally more im­por­tant for small busi­nesses that tend to have more cash flow con­cerns than big cor­po­ra­tions. For ex­am­ple, SOHOs and SMBs may not be will­ing to buy ex­tra ton­ers for stor­age if the money can be used for some­thing else, like a mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­ity. They’ve to be care­ful with their spend­ing. Ad­di­tion­ally, since there’s a fixed fee per page, cus­tomers can now bet­ter pre­dict their print­ing cost. This in turn al­lows them to man­age their cash flow more ef­fi­ciently.

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