What You Should Know Versus What You Think You Know

Office-WYSK_03_29_09_Page_1At first glance, our What You Should Know (WYSK) product evaluations may look like simple spec sheets to you.  However, we want you to know that a great deal of research and analysis goes into each and every one of them.

For the most part, what’s contained in a WYSK can be found in a product brochure–albeit with considerable parsing.  (We know you and your salespeople cannot afford to wade through four-page marketing brochures endlessly praising a given device’s virtues.)

However, our WYSK Evaluations also contain considerable strategic information that is not found in a brochure, and which your salespeople must know in order to succeed against the competition.

Device and accessory pricing – Because they wish to protect their exclusive dealers (and third-party leasing companies), many vendors do not publish list or suggested retail pricing for their digital-imaging devices or pricing for optional accessories and solutions.  Of course, as any purchasing agent can tell you, the cost of acquisition is an important gauge of value.  As a result, we at Wirth Consulting spend a great deal of time contacting vendors and Googling the night away in our quest to obtain pricing.   Consequently, even if a vendor does not publish pricing, we will eventually find it.

Supply types, pricing and yields – Once again, in order to protect their exclusive dealers, many vendors do not publish supply pricing.  Some will publish the various types (toner, developer, drum, transfer belts, etc.) but not the page yields.  Others will publish the types and page yields, but not the pricing.  As a result, we at Wirth Consulting devote considerable time combing the Web for this information.  We have found that many third-party consumables’ vendors publish the OEM consumables types and yields as a competitive advantage for their products, while others price and sell the actual OEM supplies.  Under these circumstances, pricing can be all over the place, so we publish the average pricing found in the top tier of all the pricing we have found.

Maintenance items, pricing and yields – Some users don’t know that they need more than toner or ink in order to produce images on paper.  Many devices, primarily toner-based devices, require regular replacement of components such as fusers (highly-stressed components that apply heat and pressure to a page), feed rollers/friction pads, ADF feed rollers/belts, waste tanks, etc.  While most of these components are covered under the typical service contract, many devices are sold business-to-business (B2B) and the customer is responsible for purchasing and installing Customer Replaceable Units (CRUs) or “Maintenance Kits.”

Cost Per Page (CPP) – The cost and yield of supply and maintenance items determine a device’s Cost Per Page.  While many people only consider the cost of ink and toner, the price and yield of maintenance and other supply items must be considered as well.  While the CPP in our WYSK Evaluations includes only ink or toner and/or imaging drum, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculations (see below) factor in the cost of all supply and maintenance items.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) – We use all of the above–toner or ink, imaging drum, and maintenance items–to calculate Total Cost of Ownership, or how much it will cost to run a device at various monthly volumes over the course of five years.  TCO can be eye opening, as even a $100 printer can cost you tens of thousands of dollars to operate throughout its life span.  TCO is critical information that every buyer must know.

Energy consumption, security features, maximum media weight and more – Finding this critical information generally involves parsing every line of a product page or brochure, and may even involve downloading and searching through user manuals.  This is something that nearly anybody would be loathe to do, but not to worry, the experts at Wirth Consulting do this for you.

All of the above consumes considerable time and we’re sure that you don’t want your salespeople spending time surfing the Web looking for product info that is conveniently supplied in our WYSK along with the insight that comes along with our 30+ years of experience testing and evaluating digital-imaging devices.  We also use our considerable expertise to award scores of 1-5 in our exclusive Feature Analysis Ratings and scoring system for the following areas of performance:

  1. ValueWYSK_Ratings_Scoreboard
  2. Features
  3. Copying
  4. Printing
  5. Scanning
  6. Image Quality
  7. Ease of Use
  8. Software
  9. Maintenance
  10. Media Handling

Our mission is to provide a service that will save you considerable research and time in your quest to obtain competitive information, and for end-users, enable you to purchase the most appropriate digital-imaging device, and we hope that you take advantage of our services.

Happy Reading!
Terry Wirth