Automatic Toner Replacement

February 18, 2021 | Advanced Office

Perhaps among the greatest fears for anyone using a copier is the realization that you’ve run out of toner in the middle of your job and there is nothing available to replace it with.

Pure panic sets in. 

When it comes to multifunction printers, which most people refer to as copiers, it’s not as simple as running down to your local office supply store and picking up more.  Most of these products are not available in retail outlets, and what’s more, you’re likely already on a maintenance contract that includes supplies at no extra cost; you don’t want to have to pay extra money to some third party to get back up and running.  But you know that if you call your contracted supplier, while they will happily ship one out to you, it will likely take at least another day to get to you through a standard carrier service.  So, what do you do?!

The truth is that toner products used in multifunction printers have seen dramatic increases in cost over the past 10 years.  As output quality has improved, so has the engineering that goes into these supplies to create crisper, cleaner images.  Not only has it been refined further at the molecular level, but computer chips and sensors have also been added into cartridges to improve communication and output during the print job session.  Of course, all this translates into added expense and to keep rates low to customers, service providers have had to scale back on the traditional back-up supplies that customers used to line their storage room shelves with, in order to eliminate waste.  Premature replacement of cartridges, toner expiration and even theft due to the high value of toner have all played a major factor in the supply control element most dealerships are now being forced to implement.

So where does that leave the end user?  Fortunately, as these cartridges have become more sophisticated, they’ve also provided more real time visibility on their status to the dealerships supporting them.  Either by cloud technology or through data control agents (DCA’s) installed on the customers server, dealerships now have the ability to not only see a machines toner level in real time, but also to be able to predict when that toner will be depleted based on what that machine is currently running.  Because no two offices are the same, one cartridge may last an eternity compared to that same cartridge type in another business environment that may consume it within hours.  However, using algorithms driven by the information the DCA’s are collecting, dealerships are now able to predict when a specific device will run out of toner based on its history of consumption and the nature of the current jobs the unit is running.  That allows the dealer to automatically trigger supplies to ship and arrive before the end user even realizes they’re running low.

This not only eliminates the original dread of running out of supplies, but also the need to spend time and employee hours re-ordering and managing the supplies on hand, not to mention allocating valuable office space in your facility to store them before they're used.  It also removes any financial burden of liability for supplies, as the fine print of most lease agreements states that the end user is responsible for any toner lost or not used.  However, even more important, this eliminates waste for the dealership and allows them to continue to lower the costs to customers for using their services.  It’s a win-win, really.   Maybe even a win-win-win.

So, let’s review how this works:

  1. Put a new toner into the machine
  2. Print, copy and scan as normal
  3. Don’t worry about toner running out
  4. New toner shows up automatically
  5. Replace toner when device alerts you
  6. Repeat

Are you ready to make worrying about toner a thing of the past?  Contact your Account Executive today to discuss setting up an automated toner program and save time, money and most importantly headaches.