The Widthwise Report 2011 has come out stating that number one priority with us printers is that we would like the machine manufacturers to spend more on R&D to bring running costs down. Personally, I think there should be more transparency in cost. I bet my last pound that if every person who took part in the Widthwise survey had shopped around for ink and other consumables they would have found that the running costs of the machine they had bought could tumble.
Just because you have bought a machine from, say, CWE because it quoted the best price, does not mean you cannot ring Perfect Colours the day after it’s commissioned and get that company to quote the ink as well.
And what’s wrong with ringing other competitors who have the kit that you want to buy? Any machine I have bought in the past I have always made a point of asking the sales rep. who else has one and whether or not they can produce a reference site for me to speak to. I do this because whatever the salesman says it will cost, it won’t - it will be more.
Then there is maintenance, those that read this column regularly will know I don’t buy it. Before you decide on a machine ring a company like Tech 8 or Hallmark Equipment Services, which do aftermarket repairs and service. Ask if they can support the machine now before the first year’s warranty is over and you are staring at a £8k a year maintenance contract. While you are on the phone to them ask if they know a good aftermarket ink manufacturer as well!?
So don’t ask what the machine manufacturers can do to help you bring down costs, ask yourselves!