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UAE small businesses being ‘wrung dry’ over liquid ink costs, says Oki

United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, October 24 - 2007 @ 12:18

The claim comes as Oki Middle East general manager John Ross addresses the First SME Forum, held in Dubai this week.

“Small businesses are often being sold short when they buy desktop ink-jet printers rather than more professional networked colour solutions,” said Ross. “The costs are potentially significant and can mount up with remarkable stealth. Any small business will agree that almost Dhs60,000 is a lot of money – and that a potential saving of almost 30% of that bill is desirable.”

The claim comes as part of an analysis of the cost of printing for small businesses prepared by Oki for the conference. The model assumes a business is using eight standalone ink-jet printers and reviews the cost savings of replacing these with a single networked colour unit. A fast-growing market trend, the replacement of ink-jet technologies by more effective toner-based colour machines is currently driving a major increase in the Middle East’s A3 and A4 toner-based printer market, with the regional market growing by as much as 150%, while ink-jet colour printer market share both by value and volume is dropping.

“You just have to do the maths. An inexpensive-looking colour inkjet printer can easily cost a user over 18 fils a page more than a toner-based printer. Although the ink-jet technology is fine for very short run applications such as home offices, we do feel that small businesses are being sold that home office approach rather than a more professional solution that is more tailored to their needs and a more efficient use of resources,” said Ross.

A conservative model, using an example 200 pages per printer per month (or 10 pages per day) shows that replacing eight ink-jet printers could not only pay for a networked Oki printer in one year, but could save enough to buy two more. And a more aggressive model, based on manufacturer’s recommended maximum rated usage, puts the saving at a whopping $4,700. “And if you want to incentivise your staff, just think of it this way. The saving you’d make would pay for those eight members of staff replacing their ink-jets to go along to one of Dubai’s top luxury hotels for the night with their partners,” says Ross. “Or to buy a new company car.”

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Wednesday, October 24- 2007 @ 12:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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