In the not too distant past, only big businesses with deep pockets could create quality in-house color brochures, presentations and collateral.
Even in these organizations, the need for cost-effective, in-house produced promotional materials was evident.
To a large extent, small and mid-sized companies (SMB) were forced to take printing projects to the local print shop.
While those local commercial print shops had the tools and processes that the SMB lacked, the turn-around time for projects was usually long and personalization not an option.
In addition, businesses were typically locked into bulk runs.
But dramatic advances in printing technology are turning the old paradigm on its head and enabling businesses of all sizes to produce impressive color documents in-house for everything from marketing collaterals to customer communications.
Many factors are making in-house printing a viable option for SMBs, but two in particular are making it a reality: cost and supporting applications.
Today, it’s more affordable than ever to buy a color printer that produces vibrant color documents.
Desktop color laser printers are available for less than $350.
Solid ink printers, which produce brilliant prints, can be used with almost any type of media and are friendly to the environment, start at $699.
In addition, new high-yield cartridges make it more affordable to use color printers. High-yield cartridges give you more toner at a lower cost per page. And, because they don’t need to be replaced as often as standard cartridges, using them lowers your overall consumable costs.
It’s also easier than ever to create your own rich marketing materials and other deliverables. Software applications for brochures, business flyers, customer coupons and product sheets abound.
When you combine such supporting software with the improved technology in printers and MFPs, it’s easy to produce marketing materials that leave a big impression for little cost.
David Bates, vice president of product marketing, Xerox Office Group, stresses to SMBs that today’s printers pack a more powerful punch than ever before.
“You can find print speeds as fast as 30 pages per minute and automatic two-sided printing for under $800,” said Bates. “And, with 1200 dpi image quality and color calibration tools, networked color devices create more vibrant and crisp images.
"In some cases, the end result on a solid ink printer or MFP offered by such companies as Xerox is near-photographic quality. That, combined with the ability to handle glossy papers and a wide range of media, equals endless in-house printing possibilities,” said Bates.
Newer MFPs aren’t just faster. They also have more features and capabilities - previously limited to enterprise level equipment - that boost productivity and allow SMBs to tackle more of their own printing projects.
“Booklet printing, poster printing, and advanced finishing options, such as ‘c’ and ‘z’ folding, give small and medium business the tools they need to create a wide variety of materials,” Bates said. “Those documents can be customized as needed and make a professional ‘big company impression’ on customers and clients.”
Printing is changing for the better – saving time and money while letting you do more with your documents. The office MFP and printer are vital tools for small and mid-sized businesses to level the playing field with bigger companies and create impressive documents in-house.