Users need to save money and resources by printing less, but printer vendors want to sell more printers. There’s no conflict, says Graham Long of Samsung: it’s up to vendors to face the inevitable and lead the way
Any vendor selling sustainable printing faces a credibility issue. Companies get greener by using less power and less resources. In the printing arena, that means having fewer printers, and printing less. And obviously enough, printer vendors have always made more money by selling more printers and more consumables.
Graham Long, vice president of Samsung’s European printing operation faces this one head on. “It’s not in our interest for customers to print less,” he admits, “but it’s our business to make a profit from what the customers want.”
Printing is one fifth of your budget
Printers may be cheap to buy, but they are costly to run, thanks to their consumables, so in an average organisation with more than 500 people, around one fifth of the IT budget goes on printing, Samsung believes. Cutting that budget is a big opportunity, and if customers want to print less, then Samsung wants be the one help them do that, says Long.
“Broadly speaking, if you implement all the controls we offer, you are looking at cost savings of around fifteen to twenty percent,” he says.
Samsung made laser printer engines for OEM partners since 1991, and only recently produced its own brand printers as well. This means it hasn’t got the old vendors’ addiction to selling more ink at any cost, and is more prepared to offer greener options, he says. “We don’t have the baggage the other vendors have,” he says.
It’s already number two in Europe, by unit volume, for laser printers, and number one for A4 colour multi-function printers. It is not in the inkjet space, where vendors’ cartridge recycling schemes are open to criticism.
“It’s about buying a solution now,” says Long. “Within the printing environment there are many software applications that allow users to gain control of their infrastructure.” These solutions operate a high-level management control, he says. So the accounting department may not need colour printing – though obviously many companies might want red ink at the moment.
“You can put all these controls in, and companies are also implementing follow-me printing,” he says. “This eliminates waste.” A popular option from companies including Lexmark and HP, follow-me printing means documents are not printed until the user is present, so they don’t get left abandoned in print trays.
“Before a person might have wanted a printer on their desk,” he says. “Now you look at the office, and say this whole group needs one multi-function printer, and three black-and-white single function devices.”