Maintain Multi-Part Forms Sales
Showing customers that cut sheets don't always cut costs can increase profits.
Looks can be deceiving. Customers see cut sheets laser printed with black toner and automatically see it as an economical alternative to preprinted, multi-color, multi-part forms used in impact printers.
And as customers are being lured away from multi-part forms by the assumed benefits of cut sheets, distributors' profit margins are being adversely affected. But according to Bill Powers, marketing manager for Carbonless Rolls at Appleton Papers, Appleton, Wis., "Distributors assessing the needs of forms users may want to encourage them to hold on to impact printers, at least for some applications."
Powers contends that laser printers—while great for documents such as letters, memos and reports—are not an adequate tool when it comes to many business forms applications. He encourages distributors to educate their customers about the big printer picture and the true added value of carbonless multi-part forms.
"Impact-printed savings are the main issue, but, in addition, many end-users are also getting burned by laser copies that are really altered originals," he said, noting that alterations to carbonless paper are easily detected.
"Also, an impact printer hits the form once with variable information, producing a free, automatic copy, while hardly using any consumables, except for a relatively inexpensive ribbon," said Powers.
Laser-printed cut sheets, however, capture both fixed and variable information. Factor in additional copies of the document, and you're talking major consumption of budget-busting toner.
For Steve Marsh, director of line matrix product marketing for Printronix, Irvine, Calif., perhaps the most significant benefit of impact printers and line matrix technology over other technology is their lower cost per page.
"Ribbon is the only consumable cost with a line printer," he said. "A ribbon costs approximately $10 and yields 30 million characters or 8,000 to 10,000 pages of print toner costs 10 times that amount for similar coverage." Cost-effectiveness is further underscored by the fact that an impact printer will outlast a laser printer.