Black and white is so passe – Leaders Forum

Richard C. Norton

For a number of years now, pundits have been asking the question about when the office will adopt color. That’s the wrong question. Offices have been adopting color ever since inkjet printers became cheap, and the image quality was reasonably good–more than a decade ago. Ink jet printers are extraordinarily slow when printing in color, and the cost per page can be high. Every type of company uses color to some extent and has readymade applications for color–presentations, brochures, bids, financial reports, and virtually any document that goes outside the company. Besides using slow ink jet printers, many offices spend a small fortune at print shops for their color needs.

The question to ask is not when the office will adopt color, but when will manufacturers make products that allow an enterprise to use color to its best advantage? The answer is now.

Over the past two years, several manufacturers have introduced full color printers that answer the needs of the office worker. We’re referring to printers that run at 20+ ppm in color and black and have a reasonable running cost for toners and inks. Many of these printers have a faster running speed than the most popular monochrome laser printers currently in use. In addition, the running cost in black is the same or less than existing monochrome lasers. This combination makes the new full color printer perfect as the single printer in the office because it can replace the existing monochrome laser at the same running cost and add color on demand at a reasonable price. When these new products hit the market, less than 5 percent of network laser printer sales were color, according to the research firm IDC. We’re currently running at a rate where color may represent 13 percent of networked printer sales this year. It would not be surprising if color lasers represent half of the network printer sales within a couple of years.


By RICHARD C. NORTON, president, DocuTrends

Richard C. Norton founded DocuTrends, a market research company, in 1996 after a successful career at Dataquest and Giga Information Group. Since 1986, he has enjoyed worldwide recognition as an expert on the office equipment market. At DocuTrends, Norton consults with manufacturers and vendors of printers, copiers, and fax machines in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Quality Publishing

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

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