A guided tour through the TCO maze

A few years ago printer salesmen were enticing prospective customers with descriptions of printer speeds, expressed in pages per minute. These days they’re busy extolling the virtues of TCO, or total cost of ownership – particularly in tandem with the benefits of managed print services or MPS.

The jewel in the crown of determining TCO is that it shows technology purchase as an on-going series of expenses and not just as a one-time acquisition outlay. Frequently these ‘hidden costs’ are outgoings that many people had previously just never thought about.

You bought your printers or MFDs, and that was the end of the story. Wasn’t it? So what about servicing, and the cost of replacement cartridges and drums? And would a different brand or model have offered lower operating costs in your particular setup?

So, while printer speed remains a consideration for some organisations, it is just one factor in a complex TCO equation that includes

  • purchase price
  • after-sales service & support
  • maintenance
  • productivity
  • reliability
  • cost of consumables
  • cost of upgrades
  • training
  • energy consumption
  • data security
  • software licensing

Determining TCO requires experience and an intimate knowledge of a customer’s business operations, since this information will impact on the cost outcome.
This knowledge includes:

  • how will the purchase be financed?
  • how will the hardware be used?
  • how will it be serviced?
  • what is its expected life span?

Servicing is a cost area often overlooked. Break-fix type servicing can work out more costly in terms of lost production compared to regular service visits as covered by vendor contracts – even in situations where service visits do not require actual repairs. Bryan S Ryan’s managed print service contracts include remote monitoring that can spot potential trouble before it escalates into a problem.

Other information needed to accurately determine TCO can only be discovered through a process of analysis and tests. Such detail includes

  • printer engine design
  • cartridge capacity
  • volume of toner usage
  • service method employed
  • device functionality & setup
  • throughput (volume)
  • equipment environment and use

Traditional printers and photocopiers have very different running costs to new models and, where once the cost of colour and the expense of printing mono on colour devices were prohibitive, that is no longer the case.

The cost of consumables is not always fully understood. The most costly element of printer consumables is the print system – whether it takes ink or toner cartridges, drums, or ribbons in thermal or impact devices (dot matrix).

What is not always recognised is that savings can be made by procuring consumables from a variety of suppliers – an area where Bryan S Ryan excels because of its cross-brand ethos and its access to leading brand names.

Determining which brand or device model is ‘best’ for a specific customer is another area of TCO where Bryan S Ryan’s multi-brand know-how and years of experience really pay off for the customer, since that knowledge is indispensable in determining which devices will deliver optimum return on investment in a specific situation.

The total cost of ownership concept may seem like a complex labyrinth in which to easily become lost. But with Bryan S Ryan to guide you, you’ll easily achieve your expectations and goals.


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