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Printer management: Where are you losing money?

00Automatic Meter Reading, Business efficiency, cost saving, Meter Readers, printer costs, Printer DealerTags: , , , ,

If I told you that your company is probably

losing more than $ 2,300 every month

managing printers, MDF and photocopiers.

Find attached a cost study of manual printer management including some hidden costs that you probably havent thougth about.

Costs of managing printers manually

Printer Meter readings

When you call your customers every month to ask for the printer meter readings.
Even if you send them an e-mail and wait for them to respond with the printer counters.
You are loosing money.

More than $ 1,000 per month.

Calculation for 1000 printers.
5 minutes per call (including also missed calls and re-tries)
5,000 minutes = 83h / month
Cost per month :$1,000 at $12/h – $1,800 at $ 21/h€

Enter meters into your ERP

When you have collected all the meter readings, you probably also enter all the data into your billing software manually.

More than $ 300 per month.

At 1.5 minutes per meter reading entered
1,500 minutes = 25h / month
Cost per month :$300 at $12/h – $ 525 at $ 21/h

Management of toner orders

When your customers call you to order toner, you need at least one person on the phone to manage toner orders.
Most probably some of them are urgent because they didn’t call beforehand, they just called when the printer stoped.

More than $ 1000 per month.

To manage 500 toner orders by phone per month (Average according to the AMR statistical study) At 5 minutes per order.
2,500 minutes = 41h / month
Cost per month :$500 at $12/h – $ 861 at $ 21/h

Urgent toner shipment of 1 for every 10 toner orders.
50 orders at $ 10 = $ 500 per month.

Stock toner in customers

To offer a good service you probably leave a spare toner cartridge in stock on each client.
At least some of them are out of control, hidden at some cabinet in their office.
If its a color printer that means 4 cartridges instead of 1.

More than $ 100K of tied-up capital.

If 50% are monochrome printers with an average cost per cartridge of $ 85. If the other 50% are color printers and have an average cost of $ 300 per 4 cartridges
500 x $ 85 = $ 42,500 of tied-up capital.
500 x 300 $ = $ 150,000 of tied-up capital.
Total $ 192,500 of tied-up capital.
Even if it’s only a fraction of this money, it’s a lot of of tied-up capital for nothing.

Manage tickets by phone

Your customer call you when they have an issue with their printers.
More often that not, your field technicians go on the run to fix a urgent printer breakdown.
Due to the lack of first hand information sometimes they have to return to close the ticket.

Incalculable

Cost of telephone attention.
Organization cost to cover emergencies and re-arrange scheduled maintenance.
Extra cost due to lack of precise information of the printer error.

Save more than $ 2,000 / Month by automating your printer management.

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Users can easily open a ticket from the website.

10Automatic Meter Reading, How to, Printer Dealer, Support, Support ManagerTags: , , ,
Users can easily open a ticket from the website.

Avoiding user calls and even emails to report a printer malfunction will save you time and money.

Ticket management from the web, is simple enough so that your customers will always use it. Your client will save time and you will save money.

With the AMR web interface for end users , information flows bi-directionally in real time.

Printer end users can easily open a ticket in case of printer failure or from any browser.

How it works?

- The customer or end user detects a fault in any printer.

- He/She acces the website with user and password, access the list of printers and clicks on the wrench icon.

- Fills in a brief description of the error or breackdown. He/She can also indicate name and email. 

- A red traffic light with a counter appear on the control panel of the maintenance service provider (the printer's distributor).

- Opening the "Messages" app, the ticket shows up. Responsible will assign the task to a technician and modify the status to: IN PROCESS or SEND

- In real time this change of state and the associated comment, are visible to the final client or user. The date of the process is also recorded.

This way, information flows in both directions in real time without the need for telephone calls. The information is centralized and registered in a single place and accessible in a transparent manner.

Users can easily open a ticket from the website.
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News from Konica Minolta. Everything but printing.

00Business efficiency, Customized solutions, Mobile app review, new technologyTags: , , , , ,

On October 24th I was invited to the new product presentation of  Konica Minolta in Barcelona.

At the end of the introductory session we were had a pleasant surprise: a session of African drums led by 3 Africans and followed by all the assistants. It was really fun to see a all the executives and middle-aged men dressed in suits and ties playing the drum like crazy. (In the end I attach a video)

Impresion con relieveEmbossed print starting from one unit.

The novelty is that Konica’s professional printing services can now offer embossed prints without requiring large quantities, that is, starting from one unit.

Web user interface for ordering prints within the company.

It is a web environment from which an employee of a large company or institution can order business cards, brochures, bookbinders, etc. It is an internal virtual store. It allows a flow of approval of costs by the superior and an exact control of the work done by the reproduction center. The recipient of the order can be an internal reprography center or an external company.

Camaras con procesadorSecurity cameras with multiple sensors and a processor.

Mobotix, are security cameras with dual sensors (Monochrome infrared, Color) full of sensors: thermal camera, IR movement, accelerometer, microphone and speaker. All combined with powerful software allows you to control a flow of customers in a parking lot or in the building hall. Detect fire or intruders in unauthorized areas. We saw an example where it detects fire and after 5 seconds it triggers the alarm.

More info

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New benefits and features for AMR users

00Canon, efficiency, printer costs, TonerTags: , , , , , ,
Novedades AMR

Printer History at a glance

More info:

  • Toner history.
  • Prints since the last validated alarm (Send).
  • Days since last validated alarm (Send).
  • Benchmark between real prints and official page yield (%).
  • Average prints per day.
Novedades AMR
Novedades AMR

Edit printer

Change alarm levels
Stop receiving toner alarms: Uncheck it.
Stop receiving service alarms: set it to "0"

Edit Install

  • Discovery on-off (Permanent network scanner that discovers new devices connected to the network, it is very slow and non-invasive).
  • Driver on-off (It disables a complete installation and turning it into standby mode.It can be reactivated later).
  • 1-10 alarm check (Increases printer control frequency from 10min default to 1 minute. Makes sense for high production equipment that does not give levels in%) .
  • Send counters / info install.
Novedades AMR

Descargar toda la información en un sólo documento.

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hp_buys_samsung_printers

HP buys Samsung printer division: This is a BOMB !

00Automatic Meter Reading, Business efficiency, Customized solutions, efficiency, Meter Readers, printer costsTags: , ,

HP background

hp_buys_samsung_canon

In the last 30 years Hp and Canon had an agreement: Hp provides a strong brand and Canon provided them with technology. In the lasts years, HP requested Canon their A3 Laser technology and Canon didn't provide it so HP had to shop around for other OEMs suppliers to find what they where looking for. Konica Minolta and Sharp were on the line.

After the HP split 9 month ago, (HP inc. printer business and HP enterprise. servers and hardware) they claimed wanted to disrupt the market with new technology:   HP Wide Page technology it's already disrupting the printer market.  Laser printers needed also a boost specially to get into the A3 office market.

Samsumg background

hp_buys_samsung_opportunities

Samsung started disrupting the market since they've got into the printer business:

  • Mobile first friendly printing. Print from the phone, NFC friendly.
  • Tablet like control panel in MFP based in their well known Android.
  • 3rd party app friendly printers.
  • User friendly trouble shooting video guide embedded in every printer.
  • Few replaceable parts to simplify maintenance.
  • Very aggressive price strategy.

That's mainly because they've invested a fortune (8-10% revenue) in RD with 1300+ world class engineers working for the printer division.

Samsung threats

hp_buys_samsung_threats

The Samsung's Note 7 phone recall (exploding  battery) costed Samsung a fortune ( 5 $Bio in revenue lost + 22 $Bio in market value loss, even some airlines banned the 7 Note phone.

After an aggressive strategy trying to become world's # 1  printer manufacturer, they could only reach #5. Printer division brought less that 5% to the Whole Samsung group revenue.    

With the Note7 gate on the table, and the request for RD investments, it was the time to focus into their core and more profitable business, aka chip and phone manufacturing. 

HP and Samsung Love Story

 

hp_loves-samsung

HP and Samsung Love Story

  • HP needed a technological partner to disrupt the laser market.
  • HP wanted to get into the A3 office market aggressively .
  • Samsung had 1,300 top class engineers in the RD department.
  • Wide page technology together with Samsung innovations give HP the widest printer portfolio in the market.
  • Samsung alone has 6,500+ printer patents. Patents in today's battlefield are gold.
  • Samsung have designed and built the 13 brand new laser printers from the 2016 HP protfolio.

hp_buys_samsung_printers

This looks like a major revolution in the market. According to Photizo group estimatons, HP may bring to the A3 market a 40-60 PPM Wide page printer for as little as $1,000 - $2.500 and a pro version for as little as $2,000 - $5,000. This is 1/10 the price of a Konica or Xerox laser printer.

Do you find this a game changer? 

Leave a comment and share if you find this article interesting         

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monitor usb printers

Monitoring USB printers from a Hospital

00Automatic Meter Reading, Business efficiency, Customized solutions, efficiency, Meter Readers, printer costsTags: ,

The problem

Our client asked us to monitor 100+ printers from a Hospital. All printer where locally connected to a PC to avoid private information going into the net. All printers where located in different offices, some of them were accessible only during certain hours and different people had access to them depending on the area.

In short, taking meter readings from USB printers was a nightmare

The solution

- Fisrt we had to collect meter readings from printers. In this scenario, there were printers from different brands. Some of them could be monitored and some couldn't. The ones that could report HP, Samsung and Kyocera, needed an OEM special driver that was hard to install. Some of them just couldn't be monitored at all.   

- Happily 90% of them, had a network plug, meaning that they could be connected either to USB or to a Network.  

- The best solution we found was to create a micro network between the printer and the PC with an adapter.  It had a hardware cost (Google Ethernet USB 2.0 Adapter) installation was a snap and the software works as usual. The only thing was that it required the installation of a local AMR driver on each PC in order to collect data from each printer.

- In fact, there were other security issues that we had to solve to get through the firewall but finally our client is now happy to have all those devices connected to their printer management system. 

The benefits

All printers are now connected for automatic billing and toner management.

Automatic maintenance alarms are also available so far. Our client was happy to have those hard to reach printers streamlined in their ERP system.

Conclusion:

monitor usb printers

Tell us your problem related to printer management, and we'll take care of it. We like going the extra mile that helps your business be more productive and helps you be happy.  

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Konica Minolta Bizhub Press - Pro Billing counters

Konica Minolta Bizhub Press / Pro Billing counters

00Automatic Meter Reading, Business efficiency, Customized solutions, efficiency, Meter Readers, printer costsTags: ,

The problem

Some of our clients manage printers from customers that work with large printers like Konica Konica Minolta Bizhub Press and Pro Series. Those customers are real pros. They print large quantities and don't follow a pattern. They can print in large, small or medium size papers as well as with high coverage rate or low coverage. Konica Minolta printers have the ability to split meters by paper size and coverage rate. It allows to assign a different factor depending on the paper size and printed page coverage. Those meter readings are not shown in the standard meter reading report. The report looks like this. (please scroll down) 

The problem is that the only way to capture those meters is on site. That's specially painful because those clients may require weekly billing due to their volume. So it has a high cost jut to read the meters manually. 

The solution

- The first challenge was to find the place where we could read the information from apart from a printed report. Thanks to one of our clients we found the website where to pull the data from. It's not active by default, so it first have to be activated (Displaying Billing Total Counter).

- After finding the source, we had to develop a system to gather that information from the printer in a digital form so it can be processed into our system. 

- Finally we had to set a simple way to activate the PRO Billing Counters feature just when t's required. 

The benefits

Now, Konica Minolta Bizhub Press / Pro Billing counters flow into the AMR system to allow automatic billing to customers.

The best part of it is that, like Steve Jobs liked to say, "it just works" as simple as usual.

 

Conclusion:

Konica Minolta Bizhub Press - Pro Billing counters

Tell us your problem related to printer management, and we'll take care of it. We like going the extra mile that helps your business be more productive and helps you be happy.  

Billing Total Counter

 

 
Color Mode Paper Size Size Coefficient CYMK Total
Coverage Rate
CMY Total
Coverage Rate
Coverage Rate
Coefficient
Billing
Click
Print count SubTotal
Full Color/Single Color Banner 3.00 90.0% or more - 2.00 6.0000 0 0.0000
60.0 - 89.9(%) - 2.00 6.0000 0 0.0000
40.0 - 59.9(%) - 2.00 6.0000 0 0.0000
20.0 - 39.9(%) - 1.00 3.0000 0 0.0000
0 - 19.9(%) 8.0(%) or more 1.00 3.0000 0 0.0000
0 - 7.9(%) 1.00 3.0000 0 0.0000
Large Size 1.00 90.0% or more - 2.00 2.0000 320 640.0000
60.0 - 89.9(%) - 2.00 2.0000 288 576.0000
40.0 - 59.9(%) - 2.00 2.0000 330 660.0000
20.0 - 39.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 400 400.0000
0 - 19.9(%) 8.0(%) or more 1.00 1.0000 177 177.0000
0 - 7.9(%) 1.00 1.0000 311 311.0000
Small Size 1.00 90.0% or more - 2.00 2.0000 4 8.0000
60.0 - 89.9(%) - 2.00 2.0000 8 16.0000
40.0 - 59.9(%) - 2.00 2.0000 503 1006.0000
20.0 - 39.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 6 6.0000
0 - 19.9(%) 8.0(%) or more 1.00 1.0000 210 210.0000
0 - 7.9(%) 1.00 1.0000 326 326.0000
Envelope Large Size 1.00 90.0% or more - 2.00 2.0000 0 0.0000
60.0 - 89.9(%) - 2.00 2.0000 53 106.0000
40.0 - 59.9(%) - 2.00 2.0000 0 0.0000
20.0 - 39.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 1 1.0000
0 - 19.9(%) 8.0(%) or more 1.00 1.0000 129 129.0000
0 - 7.9(%) 1.00 1.0000 13 13.0000
Envelope Small Size 1.00 90.0% or more - 2.00 2.0000 0 0.0000
60.0 - 89.9(%) - 2.00 2.0000 186 372.0000
40.0 - 59.9(%) - 2.00 2.0000 0 0.0000
20.0 - 39.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 0 0.0000
0 - 19.9(%) 8.0(%) or more 1.00 1.0000 292 292.0000
0 - 7.9(%) 1.00 1.0000 45 45.0000
Black Banner 3.00 17.5(%) or more - 2.00 6.0000 0 0.0000
10.0 - 17.4(%) - 1.00 3.0000 0 0.0000
5.0 - 9.9(%) - 1.00 3.0000 0 0.0000
0 - 4.9(%) - 1.00 3.0000 0 0.0000
Large Size 1.00 17.5(%) or more - 2.00 2.0000 5 10.0000
10.0 - 17.4(%) - 1.00 1.0000 47 47.0000
5.0 - 9.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 37 37.0000
0 - 4.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 89 89.0000
Small Size 1.00 17.5(%) or more - 2.00 2.0000 4 8.0000
10.0 - 17.4(%) - 1.00 1.0000 3 3.0000
5.0 - 9.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 0 0.0000
0 - 4.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 63 63.0000
Envelope Large Size 1.00 17.5(%) or more - 2.00 2.0000 0 0.0000
10.0 - 17.4(%) - 1.00 1.0000 0 0.0000
5.0 - 9.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 0 0.0000
0 - 4.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 0 0.0000
Envelope Small Size 1.00 17.5(%) or more - 2.00 2.0000 0 0.0000
10.0 - 17.4(%) - 1.00 1.0000 0 0.0000
5.0 - 9.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 0 0.0000
0 - 4.9(%) - 1.00 1.0000 0 0.0000
Billing Total Counter Full Color/Single Color Total 5294
Black Total 257
Total 5551



 

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Printer monitoring software

Printer monitoring software to manage alarms

00Automatic Meter Reading, Business efficiency, Customized solutions, efficiency, Meter Readers, printer costs

The problem

Our client has already signed a few MPS contracts supported by our printer monitoring software, delivering full service to their clients. That includes JIT toner replacement as well as service maintenance without user request. The problem came up because service requests and consumables orders come every now and then and sometimes service agents are not aware of new incoming requests. So they needed a system that alerts them when new orders and printer errors arise while they are doing other tasks.

The solution

- The screen had to be small enough to remain open in a corner while doing other things and big enough to show some information without disturbing, in a minimalist fashion. We requested some feedback from our client to find the right size.

- Inside, we thought about building a very flexible system that could be used for other requests in the future. So it could show any alarm status, pending tasks, or anything that can we could imagine to track.

- We put it all together and give it to test to our client. New systems that interact with users and influence how people work can be successful or not. It's hard to say in advance whether people will use it or simply leave it behind.

The benefits

 

Luckily users loved it. So they can focus in other tasks beside printer monitoring and when an alert pops up, aha! they see it right away.

The counter shows how many alarms are pending so they can wait until the counter show 3 alarms before they take action.

The same gadget, can be installed in any other PC within the network, so the manager can track the red lights if there are any.

The system became very visible when they decided to project it into a wall with a projector. Nobody like to see the red lights associated with pending tasks.

Again, little things make live easier and companies more successful.

Conclusion:

Printer monitoring software

Tell us your problem related to printer management, and we'll take care of it. We like going the extra mile that helps your business be more productive and helps you be happy.  

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