In the past, the business sector wrote off inkjet printers as slow and designed for the home. Instead, they preferred laser printers that were faster and more reliable.
But things are different now. Way different.
Most of the processes that were driven by paper in the past can be handled efficiently today with digital automation. But it doesn’t mean that business users don’t want to print anymore — it just means that business users’ motivations for printing are different. Business users are shifting toward increased use of color, the need to produce marketing materials in-house on a wide range of media, and production of short-run, customized marketing collateral. Yet business users also want to manage printing, control the color of color printing, and ensure their printers are fully integrated into the workflow solutions already deployed in the office.
Today’s business inkjet multifunction (print, copy, scan and fax) printers are designed for the office, not the home. They are fully IT compliant and support a variety of third-party software applications so they can easily be managed on the network and integrated with office applications. As office printing requires workgroup sharing, business inkjet printers offer business class print speed, a broad range of paper handling, and job management applications covering security, privacy and user management tools.
Why should dealers embrace inkjet in 2019?
According to the IDC Inkjet Printers Market Global Industry Analysis (2013 – 2017) and Opportunity Assessment (2018 – 2028), the inkjet printer market totaled revenues that were just north of $40 billion in 2018. The report predicts that the inkjet market will grow at a CAGR of 6.5 percent by the end of the forecast period, with MFPs and large format devices leading the charge. This comes at a time when overall the overall market for print is in decline. Business inkjet printing is increasing because inkjet printers meet the office needs of today’s businesses.
The growth in office printing today is largely centered on the SMB market, where affordable color printing is a key concern. SMBs need color printing to deliver their brand to their customers in all market segments. Yet SMBs also need to manage their devices, control the cost of color printing, and ensure their devices are reliable and easily serviced and maintained. Recent innovations in inkjet technology are surprising businesses with new benefits, such as making it possible to go years without replacing the ink, savings costs of printing and also saving storage and management costs of keeping extra supplies in case printer run low on toner or ink.
While laser printers have been the standard in the office for decades because they met the reliability, print speed, and performance requirements of the office for years, inkjet printers are better suited to meet these emerging SMB needs. Inkjet printers are typically able to deliver lower color printing costs, require less service due to fewer moving parts and therefore increase the value to the IT staff.
Customers demand high-quality, color output that can add value to their business processes. They want an easy user experience that they’re familiar with, and they don’t want to have to worry about the costs and technical problems that come along with managing a print environment. In 2019, inkjet might be the catalyst you’re looking for to jumpstart a major growth spurt for your business.
is Director of Business Imaging at Epson America, and leads the marketing of Epson’s WorkForce products into North America, including the revolutionary new 100-page-a-minute WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 printer. He is an industry veteran with more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience.