Steve Neal is hoping that success in corporates can be replicated in SMEs
THE FIGHT FOR SIMPLE BUSINESS PRINTING IS increasing as Office Depot enters a market where Printing.com and Printed.com are slugging it out to be the UK’s leading online printer while competitors from Europe and the US are also competing for the attention of the country’s small enterprises.
Office Depot, which owns the Niceday brand of stationery products, the Viking catalogue business and runs 300 delivery vehicles in the UK, is teaming up with Xerox to provide the one stop shop managed print service. SMEs will be able to operate a Xerox device provided by Office Depot on a tariff based on a calculation of the users needs. Rather than click charges, the customer pays a monthly fee to cover service and support depending on a predicted level of usage.
STEVE NEAL. HEAD OF MANAGED PRINT SERVICES, at Office Depot UK says: “We will analyse the customer’s print usage at the outset. The data collected from this will be used to suggest the most appropriate tariff for the customer. This tariff will be a monthly one-off payment which will include toner, pages produced, machines and maintenance.”
The deal follows a similar arrangement between Office Depot and Xerox to cover larger business and public sector organisations and comes after running a pilot programme. Based on this, Office Depot reckons that print costs can be cut by 30% against what an SME might be paying currently.
THE DEAL FLIES IN THE FACE OF THE INCREASING USE use of the internet to provide stationery and office print requirements. Tangent Communications has placed great emphasis on the potential of its Printed.com brand, expecting to see rapidly increasing sales, while Printing.com is expanding its online print purchasing business.
From the US Mimeo is trying to gain a foothold in the market for print to both smaller and larger businesses having bought CPL last year. Its focus is on training materials accessed through a cloud-based print service with overnight printing and delivery. It has a template driven tool for online creation and proofing of materials.
OTHERS WITH A SIMILAR MODEL INCLUDE CATS SOLUTIONS with three UK locations in Swindon, London and Glasgow to offer a combination of print on site and rapid turnaround print from these central print units.
The question is whether businesses in the UK want to retain control over their print by retaining everything on site or to what extent planned purchasing and online technologies can reduce or eliminate the need for a staffed printroom.