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Give the click the flick – Andy McCourt’s ReVerb

Tuesday, 25 June 2013
By Andy McCourt
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The click-charge has come a long way since its earliest days in the office copier market. Now it’s king of digital production printing. Andy McCourt reckons it’s time to give the click the flick and move to a more mature charging model for what has become a major print production sector.

When the wonders of digital production printing arrived in the printing industry in the 1990 it came complete with a business model directly from ‘photocopier central casting’  – the charge-per-click impression model. But as digital printing becomes mainstream, it is time to abandon this taxation-like system and consider non-click models that allow printers to take back control of the pages.

The best business model to accumulate large sums of money is the taxation system. With GST, for example, the more we buy and use, the more we pay to the state and federal coffers. In return, we receive benefits back: schools, roads, health services, a defence force and of course the machinery of government itself; those lovely Canberra and Wellington pollies and public servants that we cherish so dearly.

The attraction of the taxation system did not escape the pioneers of photocopying. Making copy machines, selling them and supplying toner and developer would deliver only a manufacturer’s profit margins. But what if they could gain a small amount of revenue from every page that was copied? In return, the copier suppliers would provide maintenance service, parts and toner – maybe even paper at a push. All they needed to do was get the maths right.

A case of doing too well

The pioneer copier company – Xerox – did get the maths right and how. So successful were the Xerox copiers of the 1960s and 70s, particularly the iconic 914, that the US Federal Trade Commission took anti-trust action against the company, since it held almost 100 per cent of the market. Xerox was forced to license its entire patent portfolio so other firms could make copiers – and also charge click rates. The torrents of cash flooding into Xerox resulted in the establishment of the famed PARC research centre, where the PC, GUI, mouse, laser printer and PDL were developed, but never commercialised by Xerox as young tyros like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates seized on the computer revolution.

So, the copier world became addicted to clicks – and why not? It was, literally, a license to print money – for the suppliers. When Canon introduced the CLC 1 in 1987, the licence extended to CMYK colour – with some villains taking ‘printing money’ too literally and forging banknotes on them. They were always caught, unaware of certain security features woven into the images, that enabled tracking back to source (warning: they are still there today).

Click charges made fortunes for copier suppliers and paid for the BMWs beloved of highly-commissioned copier salespeople in the 80s. But then someone wrote a RIP that turned colour copiers into printers; page-per-minute speed accelerated and in 1993 Indigo and Xeikon set the copier world on a collision course with traditional printing with the introduction of the first true digital colour presses.

As digital page volumes increase, the stampede to ‘control’ page output and secure click charges accelerates. Theoretically, the number of MIF (machines in the field) should bear a direct co-relation to the monthly click volumes charged, but faster digital presses have made this assumption suspect. The game now appears to be identifying the high volume printers who can guarantee a fixed number of impressions/clicks per month or year. We are talking several millions here.

No ‘clicks’ with offset

The notion of an offset press manufacturer charging a ‘click’ on every impression made on one of their machines is horrifying to any self-respecting printer. However, back-door ‘click-model’ offset press sales have been made here in Australia and New Zealand – with disastrous results.

Where a press supplier offers a TCO (total cost of operation) deal to a printer that includes finance, plates, prepress, blankets, ink, service maintenance and buy-back/trade-in prices based on annual metered usage after 3, 4, 5 and up to 7 years; this is a click charge by another name. It was a method favoured by Geon and the ‘old’ Blue Star Group, and we all know where that ended up.

Being given a heatset web press on a payment holiday did Diamond Press no favours in 2000 – they won most of the Olympic printing contracts but went under owing millions in April 2001. There were others. Events such as these should make one think about the long-established and proven way to start or expand a business: begin with a great idea and business plan, investment, working capital, proficiency and hard work. If you make it too easy for anyone to enter a business sector with little or no capital commitment, no concept of real costs and suicidal pricing, there is only one likely outcome.

The click-only trap

A recent development in click marketing is for high volume digital presses installed on a ‘click-only’ basis. With no capital outlay and the press remaining the property of a supplier, the printer is in effect a ‘facility manager’ on behalf of the supplier, who reaps a fixed per-page ‘click tax’ based on a guaranteed minimum number of impressions.

A printer under such an arrangement becomes little more than a labour-and site-provider for the supplier, who benefits from ‘gifted’ clicks that can be serviced directly should things go wrong because most digital suppliers have print management divisions. The ‘free machine, pay click’ model also disadvantages other printers who have financed their equipment, perhaps securing it against personal assets.

Perhaps, now that digital presses are faster, more robust and utilised on more than one shift, it is time to sell them on an equipment + service + consumables + parts basis and leave the cost calculations up to the printer, just like the offset world. Operating leases can still be used to make monthly payments on a rental basis and keep Capex off of balance sheets, should that be desirable.

As click-charges go down, it becomes more attractive for suppliers to pitch for major volume accounts through their print and facilities management divisions. This presents an ethical, as well as commercial, dilemma to the industry – just when is it acceptable for your machinery supplier to also compete against you as a print service supplier?

One complaint on the supply-side is that ink or toner coverage in practice, exceeds that which is the norm when click rates are set. In mono transactional statement days, a high-volume digital press could be assured of no more than 15 or 20 percent coverage. Enter CMYK++ and solid colour backgrounds and it can rocket up to over 100, 200 or 300 percent – no problem if you are on a fixed click-rate regardless of coverage but take a look at the fine print of your contract and you may find ‘excess toner use’ clauses in there!

Maybe we should ‘flick the click’ altogether for production printing, keeping it only for light volume and office-type printing which is where it all began with copiers. Efficient suppliers should still be able to make their profit goals by pricing service contracts, parts and consumables appropriately. The fear of inferior third-party inks and toners finding their way into big brand equipment is easily addressed in the warranty and service contract terms.

However, to do this, digital printers need to know their true costs and very few do. In the next ReVerb, I hope to have ready a downloadable spreadsheet that should help anyone considering a new digital press to calculate their true cost-per-impression and make informed decisions on whether a click or no-click model is better for their business.

Digital printing is generally a more profitable business than offset but it’s just a question of who gets the lion’s share of the profits.

24 Responses to “Give the click the flick – Andy McCourt’s ReVerb”

  1. June 26, 2013 at 10:39 am,

    Flavio
    said:

    Andy

    The myth of the “click only” is the rental is amortised over the number of clicks. Try and terminate a contract early and see what the payout is. Remember the Ricoh Click Charge contracts that forced early terminators to pay for unrealised service as well as the machine lease.

    “Operating leases can still be used to make monthly payments on a rental basis and keep Capex off of balance sheets,”

    I find the thought that these operating leases are not classed as a liability on the balance sheet as companies are still required to pay the rental over the full term of the contract even if they want to terminate early – too many think its the same as renting a car

  2. June 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    Hi Flavio,
    Thanks for your comments..very insightful and interesting. I have heard of ‘click only’ deals offered where the machine rental is not linked but the printer must guarantee a high number of monthly clicks. Of course, suppliers must protect themselves against early termination since if they are supplying a machine, the point at which they make a profit from the deal can be a year or more ahead. However, my own view is this is desperation marketing and fraught with dangers.
    Regarding OLs – taxation law allows them to be deducted as operating expenses so they are off-balance sheet and preserve cash. The key is to agree an OL that is shorter than the useful lifespan of the equipment. All suppliers will try and roll you over to a new machine and some will try and buy out a competitor’s OL in order to change you over to their own kit – it can get nasty. Any finance agreement has penalties for early termination, some harsher than others but consumer finance laws do offer protection, especially if you are 24 months into a 36 month lease eg. I guess the key is knowing what you are getting into, negotiate like heck, and always read the fine print! Thanks again Flavio.

  3. June 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm,

    Chris Day
    said:

    Andy, Couldn’t agree more, except it should have been done right from the start of colour digital print and i believe the manufacturers would have been much more successful selling their equipment. I went to the States in the 98 looking at variable digital and where it would fit into our DM offering. We banged our head against a brick wall with suppliers who saw digital as their next gold mine after photo copying. The difference was they couldn’t sell variable colour digital equipment to instant print shops or in house print as they did not have the production skill or market to sell variable image colour. For the print companies we didn’t want someone else telling us our cost to produce something, or to be the supplier of products we could buy ourselves. The print industry knew how to buy equipment, run it, produce it and most importantly where to sell the product in the marketplace. In my opinion in the long run they cost themselves a lot of sales of their equipment and restricted the potential growth of digital colour in the market place. The fact we’re talking about it 15 years later shows the message has never got through.

  4. June 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    Chris – That’s exactly what I am hearing from so many printers but either a supplier refuses to supply digital on a non-click basis, or makes the service costs so high it is untenable (I have seen quotes at $450 an hour!). To be fair, there are some suppliers like Kodak, MGI (Ferostaal) and Screen who sell digital just like offset – you buy what you need and there is no click or a minimal one for toner. For others it’s all about protecting the rivers of gold – click charges. Maybe for low-volume users the click is still convenient and takes a lot of the brain-work on costings away; but now a digital press can pump out around 50 million A4 impressions a month, is the click not an intrusion into a customer’s business? Look at wide-format digital and flatbed UV – no clicks there and business is booming. It can be done. Good to hear a printer’s own view on this issue, thanks.

  5. June 27, 2013 at 9:57 am,

    Fred
    said:

    Sorry, but this is a load of rubbish.

    Printers usually don’t know what the true cost is.
    Show me a printer that really knows the cost of a sheet produced, without using general estimates on all consumables used. How expensive is the maintenance per sheet.

    Click makes it easy to determine the cost of production, therefore estimating is easy and no nasty surprises.

    There are more digital production machines sold and 99% of them run on a click model.
    Every party involved knows what the cost it.

    The suppliers also have it easier, as they can turn the tap off, if the customer doesn’t pay. And let’s be honest, the printing industry is one of the worst in paying bills on time.

    Clicks are much lower and won’t go down much more. Profits in the 80’s were great, but this applies to the traditional offset as well.

    Let’s do a pay-as-you-go model with toner, consumables and service, and then hear the printers screaming about the excessive bills they can’t pay in time.

    By the way….
    Today a printer only has to invest approx. $70,000 to purchase a decent digital print engine to produce good results. Small footprint, low capital cost and good quality.

    It was never easier to make money of a print engine, so who cares about click?

  6. June 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm,

    Dave
    said:

    with Fred on this – why would you buy a machine not on a click.
    first year maybe ok but after that who knows. You have an inexperienced tech who stuffs up the machine.
    Customer blames the tech and expects it to be put right for free, service blame the stock you are putting through the machine all you would have is frustration – definitely click for me.

  7. June 28, 2013 at 9:47 am,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    Fred and Dave – what you are both admitting to is
    a) Printers are thick and can not work out their own true costs
    b) Printers are bad business people who can’t manage their cash flows and payments
    c) Printers are quite happy to donate a portion of their profits to someone else in return for service on poorly manufactured equipment and paper that keeps jamming, breaking down and even ceasing to work completely. (and if you doubt me on this I can refer to several Court cases where equipment, even on click-service, has not worked; one of which went all the way to a Supreme Court trial)

    Fred, if you read my article again I do say that ‘Production light’ is probably suited to the click model and this covers your $70,000 machine. It’s heavy production, 1 million impressions a month and upwards where the click model is outdated because this starts to encroach on the offset model where clicks are not common. These machines can cost between $1 and $4 million and have duty cycles up to 50 or more million impressions per month.

    If clicks work for you guys then fine – I’m not saying you’re wrong. But as volume digital becomes more mainstream, I’m suggesting manufacturers lift their game and make equipment that works well enough to enjoy service contract-based maintenance and let the printer determine his true costs and profits.

  8. June 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm,

    Fred
    said:

    Andy,
    how many print companies have gone broke in the last three years, owing millions of dollars?
    Yes, they didn’t know the true cost and couldn’t run a business owing suppliers and staff.

    Why are we seeing quotes out there that barely covering the cost of paper and labour?
    Surely not, because they are great business people.
    The good ones suffer and have to let people go, so they can manage to run their businesses.
    Supplier are getting paid last, hence everybody tightening the credit terms.

    I’m in this game for many years and printers in general don’t pay on time. I’m not saying every printer, but many printers.

    The MGI machine is a glorified KM (same print engine) but costs 5 times the price,
    I bet, if you offer KM to buy a $70,000 for $400,000 you will never ever pay for anything, not even toner.

    I’m not sure if Oce charges a click on the JetStream, but it wouldn’t make sense.
    Neither would it high volume digital machines or the Digital-Offset (Naographics) of the future.
    But up to an Indigo it makes perfect sense, and they only produce up to 900,000 clicks per machine.

    Who is again sponsoring print awards, are major advertisers and had a good presence at PacPrint?
    Digital vendors.

    Cheers

  9. June 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm,

    Ink in your veins
    said:

    I have seen a situation with a large multi national who had multiple sites where the digital lease costs varied and length of lease varied. In one situation the costing was based on a click charge and the manager was unaware that a lease cost was additional, they thought the click charges covered the lease. Part of the big problem is that many digital sites are run by non industry people who don’t understand print processes and don’t cost allowing set up time and labour costs. They just you push a button and walk away. In the end they fall over as well

  10. July 01, 2013 at 12:47 pm,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    Sincere thanks to all contributors to this debate – which I believe is one we have to have because it drives to the heart of our future industry. The click issue will always be divisive, a bit like whether Abbott or Rudd will make the better PM! Businesses go broke for all sorts of reasons and even digital ones on click deals (Rapid Digital NSW eg). Some of the feedback I have received on this issue comes from printers who know their costs and are well managed and have no intention of going out of business. They are not only stars of the printing industry, but of small business in general – the fantastic unsung heroes of employment, profit and growth while we (and I have also been guilty) have focused on Geon and Blue Star etc. Their consensus is that as click printing increases, it becomes more of a profit drainer than creator. Up to about 2-300K impressions a month clicks seem preferable but once in the high volume league – and digital will grow more and more into this area – it is a business model not preferred by major printers.
    Think about this – you guarantee a vendor 2 million clicks a month at 1cent per A4 impression for argument’s sake. That’s $20,000 a month in click charges that include service and maybe toner and you still have to pay leasing costs for the hardware unless a sweetheart deal on this has been done.
    Could you manage the service and buy toner/ink for $20,000 a month//$240,000 a year? Bet you could and come out ahead. One dear mate digital printer actually offered to take over the service from his press supplier because a) he would do it better and b) it would cost less. (Can’t name him sorry)
    Rest assured, clicks can and do apply to high volume machines as well.

    Before I go (I’m almost writing next week’s ReVerb here!) I really must jump to the defence of MGI, Fred. The MGI Meteor machines are not ‘glorified KMs’ – they are heavily engineered paper feed, transport and delivery systems that happen to use the KM engine to put toner on not just paper but almost any substrate. You get pile-feed, an almost jam-free transport system, extended length of imaging – 1040mm I think – and complete control over your costs because of no clicks. Ferostaal will take care of service for which they are renowned. Suggest you give David Downie of Kosdown Printing Port Melbourne a call and ask why he bought one! This is not an ad for MGI or Ferostaal, I have no commercial interests there.

    Thanks again for these well-thought out and argued posts – keep ’em coming!

  11. July 01, 2013 at 4:25 pm,

    Dave
    said:

    Andy,
    The good part about a click model that I like and, I may be wrong in saying this, is that most printers are not buying at a similar price incl. cost of purchase and click.
    Maybe the printer with a bad credit history will pay more, but anybody who has good credit I would
    think are gold to a copier supplier and so with a bit of negotiation would offer a good deal just to keep a good paying customer.
    So cost-wise everything is even-stevens for everybody – not like the old days when click charges were high. So if I was competing on a job with another three digital guys then it all comes down to how cheap you want to go to get the job.
    You are not losing out because somebody’s running costs are way cheaper than yours.
    I would think old Karl Marx would love the click model.

  12. July 01, 2013 at 5:00 pm,

    Dave
    said:

    should read are buying at a similar price…….

  13. July 01, 2013 at 5:30 pm,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    Comrade Dave – “All clicks are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

  14. July 03, 2013 at 9:41 am,

    John
    said:

    “Think about this – you guarantee a vendor 2 million clicks a month at 1cent per A4 impression for argument’s sake. That’s $20,000 a month in click charges that include service and maybe toner”

    So if I make it 1.17c per click – I’ll give you a $150,000 machine (150k = about 3380 per month)
    Or if I make it 1.19c per click – I’ll give you a $150,000 machine and pocket and additional $25k margin

    0.02c doesn’t sound like $25,000

  15. July 03, 2013 at 11:16 am,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    Exactly John – it depends what is being hidden. Transparency is often not in abundance when such deals are being negotiated. This applies to finance companies too, who are sometimes the victim of inflated machine cost invoicing – all very well when monthly payments are made on time but when things go bad and machines reposessed, the market value is strangely a tiny fraction of what was paid by the finance company – because it’s all hidden in the click.

  16. July 03, 2013 at 9:27 pm,

    Fred
    said:

    Andy,
    I doubt you really know a lot about digital print engines.

    Clicks are usually calculated in SRA3 size and very rarely in A4.
    The click on a high volume monochrome engine is way under 1 cent including toner, parts and service. You’ll get the lease included for around 1 cent, if you have enough volume.

    Colour clicks vary, I totally agree. But it depends on the size of the engine and the average volume.

    A printer that buys 500kg ink usually gets a better price than the one buying 20kg.
    Makes perfect sense in both scenarios.

    The MGI engine is not really that sophisticated, as it uses feeders from a Swiss finishing company and a Konica Minolta C7000 print engine. The KM C7000 can actually print up to 1200mm long and print on various substrates, not as many as the MGI though.

    The cost of service an consumables is nearly as high as a click, I know exactly what I am talking about.
    How many machines has MGI placed in Australia since they came on the scene the first time?
    Less than five machines with three different agents.
    If it was such a great thing, why didn’t more printers jump at the fantastic model?

    They purchased Konic Minolta, Fujo Xerox, Ricoh, Indigo or NexPress’ instead, as this suited their business model much better.

    Compare apples with apples please and don’t throw high volume machines in the mix with low and mid volume machines.

    Regards,
    Fred

  17. July 04, 2013 at 1:41 pm,

    said:

    Hi Andy,

    We have reviewed your article and the numerous comments. Yes, it is time to review the click charge model. It is a matter of what is fair and equitable for commercial printing purposes.

    We agree that in some cases, there is a need for click, traditionally an initiative for office printing & copying devices (MFD’s).

    The click charge model is based on an average coverage per page, average cost for parts, maintenance and support. For the office environment, this provides simplicity and peace of mind – somewhat like insurance. For some folks, the click charge is also perfect. It provides the simplicity in billing and allows operators to just get on with the job.

    But, average costs do not apply to high volume production printers. When print volumes increase, the plot thickens. As you rightly point out, the average costs are surpassed at higher volumes; the profit goes back to the manufacturer, not the print provider. What is fair about that?

    A NO click charge model offers many advantages:
    • Flexibility
    • No minimum print volume charges
    • No monthly contracts
    • Allows for variable print volume
    • Enables printers to maintain profitability whatever the page coverage

    The pricing model can then resemble that of calculating pricing for an offset print process. The printer purchases ink and consumables as required. The annual maintenance agreement is the only other expense.

    Regarding the comments on MGI. The MGI Meteor digital press is manufactured from metal to resemble an offset machine, the environment that it will most likely reside. Most importantly, the MGI press is different from all other digital devices. The machine complements offset and other digital devices by being able to print on many different substrates – plastics (cards), laser safe envelopes and POS banners (1020mm), plus all other standard digital applications (short runs, etc). It is not intended to be a replacement for offset printing, although some customers have done this successfully. Hence, the attractiveness of no click charge. Just pay for what you use. Printers can offer value by providing printed output for not only standard digital applications but also on unique substrates, profitably. Keep it simple.

  18. July 04, 2013 at 2:32 pm,

    Banksy
    said:

    I think the danger in this article is it is putting forward a position about all “digital” using information taken only from big printers.

    The travails of a company running 2 million clicks a month are interesting to read about, just like watching Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous is interesting. But their problems are as removed from everyday life for 90% of us as the swimming pools in that awesome old TV show were.

    The comments are bringing it back to reality a bit which is making for more interesting reading.

    Still, this is something that really bugs me about the printing trade press. The vast majority of the industry are small family companies for whom this discussion is mostly irrelevant because they lack the buying power to get any changes to the supplier’s standard contract. This article is written about the big guys, for the big guys, by the big guys.

  19. July 04, 2013 at 2:32 pm,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    “Fred” please keep you comments on-topic and not of a personal nature. For your enlightenment, I have been involved in digital printing since its inception; under non-disclosure with both Xerox and later Indigo in the late 80s through the 90s. I covered the release of the first print controllers for the Canon CLC-1 while working from London before both of those. Of course clicks are calculated on A3 passes these days but printers sell A4 sheets mostly so this is the one that matters for profit calculations. Continuous feed digital ‘clicks’ are calculated on a linear meterage converted to A4 or US letter equivalents. Yes, the A4 equivalent impression click can be under one cent but that’s not the point – the point is what does the printer get in return for his monthly payments to the supplier, and would he be more profitable with a no-click model buying consumables and a service contract at a fair rate?

    The click debate is one that the industry must have and is a hot if not the hottest topic right now as digital presses print more and more sheets. I reject entirely your rather bizzare assertion that an industry analyst and writer such an myself should write about the broad spectrum of digital printing, low, mid and high volume, and how it affects the profitability of printing companies. The entire message of the article accepts that clicks may suit the office and low volume digital world but as digital presses get faster the model and methods are up for questioning, at least giving the customer the choice of a click or no-click model.

    If you feel you have something important to add to the debate, why not submit an article to the publisher of this forum under your own identity and company? I’d love to comment on it.

    Regarding your comments on MGI; I’ll defer to Nigel Alexander’s well balanced comment under yours. Ferrostaal has held the MGI agency since only this year; I am sure you will learn of more installations going forward.

  20. July 04, 2013 at 4:01 pm,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    Banksy – well argued and point well taken. It may seem that way and yes, I am arguing that click-charge printing might be out of place in high monthly volume page cases but I promise, I always have the Mom and Pop SMEs in mind too. I have worked with these at franchise and independent level and, without being unkind to suppliers, let me say some are paying too much per page click for what they get in return. Click contracts need to be negotiated very intensely at all volume levels whether 50K, 100K or 500K + A4 impressions a month or more. I’ve seen deals come unstuck at 3 and 30-employee shops and it’s never pretty.
    SMEs are the backbone of the industry; we’ll try and do better editorially in the future mate.

  21. July 04, 2013 at 5:20 pm,

    Banksy
    said:

    Andy – you are doing fine. It wasn’t a criticism of you per se, so much as the way most articles are framed.

  22. July 05, 2013 at 8:30 pm,

    Fred
    said:

    Andy,

    sorry for getting personal, but click rates have changed dramatically changed since the days you worked with the digital manufacturers.

    I agree that we need to have a click discussion. It’ll shed some light on the matter and approx. 40% of printers will actually pay more, some will pay less and some the same.
    Click is based on an average coverage, as mentioned before, but the guys with heavy coverage will pay a lot more for their toner and consumables.

    I’m interested to see how it works with the service, when the techs tell the printers that they have to pay for transfer belts, fusers and so on, because they run substrates out of specification or mistreat the machines
    Something that can get managed under a click agreement.

    The article wasn’t about discussing the MGI machine in particular, so we shouldn’t focus on this machine too much.
    I’m watching it with interest, but I doubt it will succeed.
    Two agencies have failed with the product and customers were not pleased with the previous support.
    I wish Ferrostaal all the best with the product.

    What is much more of interest is that Indigo customers pay relatively high click rates, and do so fully aware of the click rates of dry toner machines. They take this into consideration, to get the desired quality.
    I don’t share this opinion, but this brings me back to the original topic of the article.
    Is the click too high and are printers really aware of their true cost?

    I’m happy to reveal my identity in an open forum or face to face, but won’t right here.
    I’m in the industry for many years and have worked with and for some of the largest suppliers in offset and digital.

    Regards,
    Fred

  23. July 08, 2013 at 5:06 pm,

    Andy McCourt
    said:

    Fred, thanks for your comment. Just to clarify; I still work with digital manufacturers and global research organisations; the ‘days when I was involved’ include today and tomorrow! I was illustrating a continuation of involvement; uninterrupted since around 1990.

    You articulate your point of view well so why not write an 800-word article and submit it to the publisher of Print21? It will add to the debate.

  24. September 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm,

    digital dave
    said:

    We’ve been running digital boxes for many, many years now. Never had a click charge model, always paid for our own toner and service and parts when required. We’ve had machines from Oce, Canon, Xerox, Minolta, Konica over the years and we have always come out ahead. Even when we have had some major repair bills, we’ve always come out ahead when averaged out. Machinery today (as long as you buy the right gear) is super reliable compared to that of 10/15 years ago and maintenance is less frequent.

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