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Nubeprint studies HP’s Instant Ink programme

Nubeprint studies HP’s Instant Ink programme

September 12, 2014

Antonio Sanchez Navarro

Antonio Sanchez Navarro

The MPS software company ponders whether “the future [has] arrived” for MPS.

The company’s article, written by CEO Antonio Sánchez Navarro and titled HP Instant Ink – has the future arrived?, and starts by noting the printing industry awaits “the results of the HP Instant ink programme”, as it is “quite unique compared to what the OEMs have done up until now”, with HP including “what most other players wanted to do but never had the courage”.

With the programme allowing customers to “pay a flat fee with a cap on the number of pages printed per month”, Navarro notes that “the customer can exceed the number of pages printed” by paying an extra payment, and goes on to break the programme into three smaller areas: auto-fulfilment, risk management and attractiveness.

Instant Ink, he argues, is an “attractive offer that solves, in a smart way, the customer’s fear regarding the cost of printing”, as the customer “pays for what he prints [and] his costs are known from day one”, though there are two risks: the “free-bar” issue of a customer “not perceiv[ing] the cost associated” with his print levels, which Instant Ink “neutralises” through printing caps, and “excess of delivery” in terms of cartridges.

This issue is solved by HP making less profit by shipping more ink, as “80 percent of the cost of the programme is the ink”, so it “has to be certain that it only ships cartridges to the customer when they are needed”. This links to automatic order fulfilment, as such a system “can become a huge problem” if successful “due to the amount of small tasks that need to be performed” and paid for, meaning the entire system needs to be automated.

Should human intervention be required therefore, the profit “would be cleared”, and the MPS compliance of the device “influences the capacity to auto-fulfil it”, which Navarro points out is “certainly the reason why HP Instant Ink is limited to two printer models”. This, he adds, is a limitation of the service, and “not the result of a marketing strategy”, as, if HP wants to expand the offering to larger businesses, it will need to “open the offer to all or most of its models”.

Questioning whether Instant Ink is “an MPS killer”, Navarro states it “may perfectly be the first step to something larger”, such as “a long-term contract […] which is exactly what any company dreams of”. He believes that if Instant Ink was available for any device, “the individual sale of cartridges would drop down to a residual level”, and customers would “buy page contracts” to “print as much as you need and pay a flat fee”.

He adds that HP “is not alone” in offering such a service, as Iecisa, an MPS provider in Spain, Portugal and Latin America, has “its own multivendor and multi-model programme”, called GIO, which is available for all segments covering a multitude of devices for just a “flat monthly fee”, though the programme’s unique feature is its incorporation of “existing printers to [a] contract”.

Navarro concludes that “we shall see many more [programmes] coming in” over the next year, and as a result, the printing distribution channel “will change dramatically” over the next five years, and he urges industry companies to “start making” plans for an MPS and auto-fulfilment service, as the “time has come to execute” such plans.

Categories : Around the Industry

Tags : HP MPS NubePrint

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