This is a guest blog from our friends and fellow bloggers at Market Point.
Historically, businesses have purchased printers and used them until they expire, which can take 10 years or more in some cases (we know some of you still have Optra S devices from 1997 out there!). Yet, these same businesses are leasing other output devices, such as copiers and fax machines, and replacing them every three years. Why is there such a big difference in life-cycle strategy for such similar technologies?
Is it because copiers are thought to be inherently less reliable and require replacement much more frequently? Traditional copiers may have been less reliable, but the migration to digital printing engines brings them into a class that is much closer to printers, simply with added scanning mechanics on top. For example, Lexmark’s multifunction printers (MFPs), which can be used as digital copiers, are built upon the same reliable engines as our award-winning printers. So, the reliability of the mechanics in the MFP is similar to the printers, which may be used for many years. With that in mind, the recommended life span should be similar between MFPs and printers.
Several years ago, Lexmark engaged in a study with a large corporation to determine how often it should replace its printers. As a high volume user, we looked at its increasing device failure rates due to heavy use and wearing mechanics, as compared to the expected increased reliability of new devices, enabled by both new parts and more reliable designs. We also looked at the soft costs of user interactions created by device failures, and the impact of lower consumables costs from new, higher yield cartridges.
What we found was that the financial tipping point, when it made sense to replace the company’s printers and MFPs, was around 48 months. If it had been running lower volumes, the life-cycle recommendation would have been closer to 60 months. In short, the study showed that it made sense to replace the printers more often than what’s typical in the market, but less often than what is typical in the market for MFPs.
You can read the full article in its entirey HERE.
Time for a New Printer?
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