But we only like to use HP toner
This is a question or statement that occasionally comes up with our managed print clients and prospects. When we first started providing our current version of manage print services (MPS), we expected the issue to be a big road block. The servicing and support of HP printers is largely affected by the price and quality of the toner that you put in. When a business has tried to handle their printer support in-house and has experienced poor performance with an alternative or remanufactured toner, the easiest solution was to go back to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
Here is the rub, there are excellent alternatives to HP brand toner, but there are also lousy ones. In the past, the industry was filled with various players from professional corporate labs with strict quality controls to people working out of their garage. The lowest price often gets you the later, but who would want to worry about this hassle? The savings of taking the risk of poor image quality, leaking, etc isn’t worth the aggravation, especially if you are an in-house IT professional with unhappy coworkers and bigger fish to fry.
So here comes the traditional copier support community looking to manage fleets of printers through software, strategies, assessments, out sourcing service and – yes – passing along cost savings through non- HP brand toners. The difference in cost is dramatic, just read a financial summary of how HP makes a lot of their money. If you trust your MPS provider to manage your fleet, they have a responsibility to provide the hassle free performance to the end user. They also have a shared responsibility of the cost to return a defective product. The risk is now on the MPS provider, not the client.
At Advance, we performed extensive testing on the OEM brand, as well as several of the leading remanufacturing services. The industry has consolidated and improved in capabilities. We made the choice to use the highest rated product we could find. We brand this as Advance toner, since it is our name and “Advance” is what we sell, not each individual manufacturer. We went so far as to put out two of the same HP 4200 printers with Advance and HP toner. One was in the main area; the other is in the Director of Marketing’s office. After months, we couldn’t remember which toner was which… they performed the same.
Our reputation is on the line and we need to confidently take on all aspects of printer management. If clients choose to only use HP brand toner, we completely understand. But, keep in mind that a real driver for MPS is partnering with a company that can provide outstanding results while driving costs out of the service. We have found that sweet spot of maintaining manageable costs for our customers without sacrificing any of the quality, and have not looked back.