stoimilov -

Channel share commercial print users’ top concerns

Research from Epson shares the views of numerous partners that are trying to help users to overcome challenges

Sustainability and performance are dominating the commercial printing landscape, according to the channel players that serve it.

Research from Epson has shared the views from a selection of 22 partners across Europe and the Middle East  revealing the key concerns they are hearing from the coalface.

Andy Ratcliffe, director at managed service provider Key Digital, shared his views with Epson and highlighted the importance of a partner being able to have a sustainability discussion.

“Our customers are now more aware of environmental issues than ever before and demand to reduce energy use and waste. It’s playing a huge part in our customers’ purchasing decisions, often ranked more important than price,” he said.

Epson and other vendors have been focusing on arming the channel with technology that can help to reduce the energy burden. Ratcliffe has also been doing that at Key Digital: “[We’re] saving customers 2.5m kWh in energy, resulting in over £1m in energy cost savings. This also represents a saving of 617,000kg of CO2 emissions when compared to laser multifunctional printers and laser models.”

In terms of productivity, all partners were coining under pressure from their customers to keep systems running and reduce the number of manual processes.

“Customers cannot afford downtime of technology as it plays a fundamental role in all business operations. They’re also telling us that since the pandemic and subsequent financial difficulties, they have to do more work with fewer resources, therefore improvements in workflow productivity are vital,” said Ratcliffe.

Ensuring productivity would not be lost was a common theme with Gustaf Nerme, workflow champion at Swedish IT workflow specialist Workflow Nordic, stating that it was important to be able to offer reliable products backed up with high levels of service.

“Customers should be able to feel secure that the machines work well, that downtime is as low as possible, that the service works and that someone can quickly come and fix issues when the printer is stationary. Maximum productivity and minimal maintenance are important to customers,” said Nerme.

The Epson research also revealed that the channel played a key role helping customers with asset management, an area that had become increasingly complex since the shift to hybrid working.

“As more and more businesses now support hybrid working, we are able to implement huge time savings by managing and supporting their home workers’ IT assets. By automating consumables management, we are able to save hours of time spent ordering and managing consumable requests,” stated Ratcliffe.

Managed print services have also proved to be a useful way of tracking activity across a mixed printer fleet to improve knowledge about assets.

Marko Ilic, team leader for managed services consulting and analytics at Serbian firm AIGO Business Systems, has seen benefits in being able to track printers.

“One of the key challenges in managed print services is accurately tracking print usage and costs. Businesses should implement tools and processes to monitor and track print usage, costs, and trends, which can help them identify areas for improvement,” he said.

Read more on Managed Print Services