Print in the Channel - issue #12


Issue #12



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Reflections on 2023 As 2023 draws to a close, it has a busy year in the print channel, in a market that continues to evolve thanks to the emergence of hybrid working, networked devices and cybercrime – among many other things – but also provides plenty of opportunities for forward-thinking businesses.

As the year rapidly approaches its end, it is time to reflect on another busy 12 months in the print channel. While there haven’t been the sort of global events the past few years have been characterised by – thank goodness – it has still been a year full of challenges. For instance, there have been ongoing high prices to deal with, as well as an economy that has only just avoided recession, as well the continuing evolution of the way people work. But that doesn’t tell the full story. Among the challenges there were many causes for optimism in the print channel, not just with businesses looking to renew and upgrade their fleet, but new opportunities as technology and customer demand evolves. As is traditional, we have asked a range of thought leaders from across the print channel to give us their thoughts on how 2023 has been for them, including the trends in the sector among customers, the new technologies that are disrupting the market and what 2024 might bring. Read more on p26. One of the bigger trends in 2023 was the importance of sustainability being placed by customers on their print solutions, and it has now reached the point where it is, in some cases, influencing buying decisions. This has been growing over recent years and is something that manufacturers and resellers have reacted to. In our feature on p40 OEMs discuss how the way printers are being manufactured is changing to align with this.

In a similar vein, Epson has recently announced that it is extending its warranties for its printers to reflect the growing desire to keep printers active in the field for longer. Read more on p12. Likewise, manufacturers are working towards making toner cartridges more environmentally friendly and easier to recycle as businesses increasingly look towards this as part of their overall sustainability goals. In our feature on p20, OEMs talk about how toner cartridges are being manufactured to have less parts as well as recycling schemes available to keep them out of landfill. Another trend in 2023 has been the rising threat from cybercriminals, and how they are targeting businesses of all sizes. This means that security for print devices is more important than ever before. But there is plenty that can be done to ensure the print fleet is kept safe from ever-evolving threats. Read more on p34. On a personal note, I would like to thank all those who have read Print in the Channel over the past 12 months. Your support is always appreciated and never taken for granted. We will be back, better than ever, in 2024. As ever, it is great to hear from people – if you have any topics that you want us to cover, or you want to get involved in editorial or even send through an op-ed please drop me a line at I wish you all a happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Dan Parton


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News You should know p6

Warehouse Scanners – p16

Printer Sustanability – p40

Epson Live long and prosper p12

Sustainability has risen up the corporate agenda in recent years, with all aspects of a business charged with reducing their environmental impact.

Warehouse Scanners Moving in the face of demand p16 Toners Recycling priority p20

Now that social media giants like Meta and TikTok have launched e-commerce shops, the online shopping trend is almost certainly going to continue to grow, along with demands for ever- shorter delivery times.

Paper Recycling reputation p24

Mobile Receipt and Label Printers – p42

How mobile printers can be used to print clear labels and receipts to convey essential information to customers ahead of checkout.

Review of 2023 We take a look back p26 Print Security Emphasis on enhancing security p34 Printer Sustainability Every little helps p40 Mobile Receipt and Label Printers Handling peak season queues p42

Epson – p12

Toners – p20

Sustainability is becoming an increasing priority for many businesses, and toner cartridges are part of that focus. Manufacturers are responding by making toner cartridges more environmentally friendly and easy to recycle, but how can resellers sell these benefits to customers?

Epson has sought to address product circularity and waste goals through offering extended business printer warranties and parts replacement; guaranteeing serviceable life for up to eight years.



Review of 2023 – p26

Editorial Dan Parton 07941 979 845 dan@ Elliot Mulley- Goodbarne 07910 441 024 elliot@ Head of Sales Martin Jenner-Hall 07824 552 116 martin@ Publishing Director Justin Penn 07816 573 186 justin@ Written permission from the publisher is required before any part of Print in the Channel can be reproduced. © 2023 In the Channel Media Ltd.

As 2023 draws to a close, it is a traditional time to look back over the previous 12 months. For the print sector, it has been a year of continuing change, with ever-increasing emphasis on sustainability and cost- effectiveness.

Cover Story: CMS Store – p22

Christmas Offers: Redeem fantastic deals on the CMS Store

Office printers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, with access to cloud storage, Wi-Fi connectivity and mobile printing, which is great for end users, but also leaves them open to cybersecurity threats, which is why there must be an emphasis on enhancing security.

Paper – p24

Published by: In the Channel Media Ltd Company registration number: 14363401 Registered office address 14-18 Heddon Street, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom, W1B 4DA In conjunction with:

Paper has an excellent recycling rate. What’s more, the paper industry also contributes to the growth of European forests, produces hardly any emissions and is the largest producer of renewable energy. You don’t believe it? The Initiative Online Print has compiled the facts.

Printer Security– p34



BIXOLON and OCHNIK partner to drive retail pricing transparency

BIXOLON Europe GmbH has announced a strategic partnership with OCHNIK, a Polish fashion retailer, to improve retail pricing transparency to comply with a vision to meet the EU Omnibus Directive. BIXOLON, in collaboration with LSI Software S.A, has installed more than 120 pairs of BIXOLON XM7-20iWK 2-inch premium mobile label printers within in collaboration with PDA devices. The printer and POS devices will operate across LSI’s POSitive Retail software platform. The new system and printers will ensure consistent pricing messages are delivered to customers throughout price tagging and on display labels, while complying with EU regulations. They will enable staff efficiency and productivity to be maintained and enhanced too and product price updates will be better maintained across the entire store chain. OCHNIK was established in 1989 and has more than 120 stores throughout Poland and is one of Poland’s most recognisable brands. Equipped with premium functions and value-

added software support, the XM7-20iWK 2-inch mobile label printer provides legible, high-volume outputs with diverse fonts, logos and barcodes at speed. This versatility makes it ideal for a range of applications, including markdown labels, replacement tags, leisure

tickets, specimen labels and more. Additionally, this printer seamlessly

Jay Kim managing director

integrates with OCHNIK’s existing ERP system. Since this printer is mobile, employees can carry it around with them and print price and display labels directly on the shop floor as and when necessary. This results in instant updates to promotions and pricing information, helping to enhance the customer experience and meet the EU directive. “The use of mobile printers within retail applications allows powerful productivity enhancements to be gained too,” said Jay Kim, managing director, BIXOLON Europe GmbH. “Here, we see staff no longer have to execute all their printing at a stationary printer – they can take their label printing with them directly to where labels need to be printed and applied.”

Survey highlights rise of technology-infused supply chains to address disruption, uncertainty and cost pressures

More than half (52%) of companies currently host critical enterprise applications in the cloud while 76% believe artificial intelligence (AI) will be an important part of their supply chain within the next three years, according to a report published by Loftware. The global survey, which draws on insights from more than 300 labelling, packaging and supply chain professionals across industries in 55 countries, found that investing in cutting- edge technologies such as cloud computing, AI and IoT solutions is no longer a tactical necessity but an enabler for business growth and agile supply chain operations. This shift in prioritisation has primarily been driven by ongoing supply chain disruption, heightened consumer expectations and growing sustainability demands. “As companies plan for 2024 and beyond, the combination of geopolitical uncertainties, climate instability and the threat of recession

continues to impact companies of all sizes,” said Josh Roffman, EVP of marketing at Loftware. “Organisations are grappling with disruptions that extend far beyond the traditional scopes, requiring a strategic recalibration to weather the storm and emerge stronger in the face of adversity. With this in mind, a commitment to bolstering digital transformation strategies through investment in innovative technologies will be critical to streamline operations, drive growth and increase profitability.” The Loftware report also revealed that sustainability has become a crucial strategic and operational priority for organisations of all sizes around the globe. Of those surveyed, 78% said they have already adopted sustainability initiatives across their organisations due to increased regulations and shifting consumer preferences. In fact, 77% of respondents believe stricter

Josh Roffman ECP, marketing



regulations and compliance requirements are pushing businesses to adopt sustainability practices, while 82% reported that consumer preferences for sustainable products are driving this approach. Facilitating transparency is a vital step in creating resilient supply chains and fostering better sustainability practices, so it’s no surprise that 79% of respondents flagged global traceability as a priority for their company – an increase from 70% 12 months ago. Using cloud technology, digital traceability helps companies to ensure sustainable sourcing, protect consumers, streamline the location of inventory, guarantee on-time delivery to market and address the growing issue of counterfeiting. Indeed, 48% of those surveyed believe the inability to effectively manage recalls is the biggest risk of not being able to track products through the supply chain. This compares to 33% five

years ago. As highlighted by Loftware’s report, Industry 4.0 will continue to have an impact on companies and their manufacturing operations. Organisations operating across a range of industries, from automotive, electronics and manufacturing to consumer products and life sciences, are embracing automation and standardised solutions that help them meet their requirements. This is especially true for mission-critical business processes such as cloud labelling and printing, with 91% of respondents reporting seeing an advantage of using a single platform to support thermal transfer labelling and direct marking and coding. By adopting such a solution as part of a cloud-first strategy, businesses gain printing flexibility, accuracy, production line uptime and efficiency to manage costs and support global growth.

Lexmark becomes back-to-back sustainability leader in Quocirca report 2022. Additionally, the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Programme, Lexmark Equipment

Lexmark has been named a Leader in the 2023 Sustainability Vendor Landscape report by research firm Quocirca for the second consecutive year. The report highlights three significant advances for Lexmark in 2023: l Achieving CarbonNeutral® manufacturer certification for its manufacturing plant in Mexico, as well as its headquarters in Lexington, Ky l Significantly increasing its use of renewable energy l Receiving validation from the Science Based Targets initiative for its targets for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. “Lexmark sets a remarkable standard in the industry with its ambitious carbon neutrality goals, clearly demonstrating commitment to not only minimising its own energy consumption but also empowering customers, partners, and the wider industry to seize sustainability opportunities and overcome challenges,” said Quocirca director Louella Fernandes. The report also highlighted Lexmark’s progress on sustainable product design and energy efficiency, including achieving a 26% energy consumption reduction from 2015 to the end of 2022, and a 43% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions between 2015 and

Collection Programme, and Lexmark Evergreen Remanufactured Hardware

Programme received high praise in the report. Other Lexmark priorities and commitments noted by Quocirca included: l Lexmark’s commitment to reducing single- use packaging by 50% by 2025 l Achieving 50% post-consumer recycled plastics in its product portfolio by 2025 (current progress at 40% average) l Increasing PCR and reuse to 50% in cartridges and supplies by 2025 l Continuing a goal of 100% EPEAT and ENERGY STAR® certification within the hardware portfolio. “Lexmark has an extensive track record of eco-friendly practices, and we are proud to be acknowledged once again by Quocirca as a sustainability leader in the industry,” said Lexmark chief sustainability officer John Gagel. “Our commitment to the environment starts with the deliberate design of durable products and encompasses the services, solutions and programmes that minimise paper usage, encourage efficient utilisation and boost our customers’ sustainability efforts.”

John Gagel chief sustainability officer


NEWS targets new markets with RICOH Pro Z75 B2 inkjet sheetfed press, a French online printer, has installed the first RICOH Pro Z75 B2 perfecting (auto-duplexing) sheetfed inkjet platform in the world after the successful beta test at Heeter in America. provides commercial printing services to more than 50,000 graphics arts professionals in France, Spain and Italy, offering products including brochures, flyers, signage, rigid panels and point of purchase displays. The Pro Z75 provides the advantages of a sheetfed platform with the low running costs and high productivity of inkjet. It delivers higher print quality, faster turnaround times and ease of use for fewer demands on staff. Every day, prints and dispatches up to 1,500 client orders across its many product lines. The new press will enable the operation to continue its entry into new sectors of the market such as commercial print, improve lead times, increase profit margins and enhance its client services. The Pro Z75 will transform print production with its ability to: l Print at speeds of up to 4,500 sheets per hour in straight printing or 2,250 SPH in duplex/perfecting printing l Produce 1,200 dpi native resolution at all speeds with four colour (CMYK) pigment- based inks l Ensure high quality results ready for

immediate finishing with its proprietary drying system l E xpand substrate flexibility with the ability to handle uncoated, inkjet treated and offset coated media, up to 400gsm with a maximum sheet size of 585mm x 750mm. Also important was the Pro Z75’s ability to connect to’s workflow automation tools, helping to optimise production efficiency. As a result, orders to the e-commerce store, data files are automatically routed to the relevant production device based on size, volumes and preferred media. “Throughout the decision-making process we were fully supported by Ricoh and its experts in Europe, Japan and America,” said Rafael Mari,’s co-founder. “The new press will enable the operation to continue to open up new sectors of the market such as commercial print applications, and it will also help to maximise our production capacity.” Sander Sondaal, director, Commercial Print Sales, Ricoh Graphic Communications, added: “With the Pro Z75’s superior levels of print quality, efficiency, and automation can keep production costs as low as possible and improve profit margins. In turn, this will support an enhanced proposition for current and prospective clients with very attractive prices.”

Rafael Mari co-founder

Sander Sondaal director, Commercial Print Sales, Ricoh Graphic Communication

Automation focused RICOH Pro VC80000 launched

Ricoh Europe has launched the RICOH Pro VC80000. With this new high-speed inkjet webfed platform, print service providers can harness enhanced automated production, closed loop quality control and more advanced production floor integration. The Pro VC80000 builds on the success of the Pro VC70000 and is designed to produce exceptional quality direct mail, colour books, catalogues, magazines and commercial print applications on coated media up to 300gsm. A unique family of software and hardware tools delivers increased automation of production, print quality control and communication with many AI, machine learning and data analysis

features that ensure predictable and repeatable output with minimal operator intervention. The smallest machine in its class, with a full duplex engine measuring less than 10 metres, it incorporates the latest generation ink and temperature-controlled inkjet heads. It introduces several groundbreaking technologies that achieve a maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200dpi, a maximum speed of 150mpm – a 50% increase in production output compared to previous generation presses – and focuses on maximising productivity to drive down the total cost of ownership. They include: l Faster startup times with new ‘firefly’ dryer



technology. An innovative configuration of small, heated rollers that bring the press up to temperature in less than half the time of a typical drying system l N ext level automated quality control with a fully incorporated RICOH Pro Scanner. The scanner actively monitors multiple facets of print quality and constantly reviews the performance of each individual head allowing the Pro VC80000 to automatically maintain a consistently high level of output quality. Colour to colour and front to back registration are automatically controlled and corrections immediately implemented l E limination of manual image adjustment with a spectrophotometer for real time monitoring of colour reproduction. Any variance in the target output can be identified and the necessary adjustments made on the fly l R ICOH Supervisor™ collects and interprets operational data sourced from the RICOH Pro Scanner and other connected production print devices and creates web based dashboard views using analytics from its business intelligence tool to optimise device utilisation and throughput l H ighly automated quick paper setup, enabling a new substrate that is not stored

in the media library to perform optimally at the touch of a button. A SmartStart feature allows automated machine setup prior to the start of a shift without an operator on site l Enhanced communication for inline finishing facilitates complex end to end solutions working more effectively. Auto splicing units are also supported for nonstop production l Intelligent communication enables maintenance and performance improvements. Service intervention can be predicted, and data collected to improve operational efficiency. The Pro VC80000 is supported by Ricoh’s diverse portfolio of brand agnostic software, including automated end to end workflow management solution RICOH ProcessDirector™’ RICOH Auto Color Adjuster, which provides precise colour management and matching capability without the need for a colour specialist, and FusionPro to handle all personalised communication needs, which drive efficiency and a stronger return on investment. The RICOH Pro VC80000 high speed inkjet press is available from early 2024 across EMEA.

TCW Solutions invests in Canon’s varioPRINT iX3200

TCW Solutions has invested in the Canon varioPRINT iX3200 to replace its lithographic production process. The quality output offered by the new device will support TCW’s goal to increase its market share. TCW Solutions has increased its production capability at its site in Wrotham, Kent, with the varioPRINT iX at its core. The investment strengthens TCW’s existing capacity to deliver high-volume personalised mailing projects for the financial and retail sectors. By transferring its traditionally lithographic print runs to inkjet, TCW will be able to benefit from enhanced automation, productivity and flexibility. This will particularly support the production of gaming sleeves for point-of-sale applications. Thanks to Canon iX technologies, which facilitate reliable high-speed inkjet printing, TCW has been able to enjoy quality that rivals any other established print technology. With true 1200dpi printheads and advanced colour management, TCW can print on a range of coated and uncoated media with consistent

precision. The innovative ink and printhead technology can achieve 91% reproduction of Pantone spot colours, having been verified by certifications from Fogra. These have enabled the business to take its print services to the next level for its customers and continue to meet their ever-evolving needs. A further consideration for TCW was the environmental and sustainability credentials of the device. The iX uses less power consumption per page and uses water-based ink, which has a very high deinkability rating. This is fundamental to a sustainable paper recycling process and minimises its impact on the environment. “Over the years, we’ve had all types of different toner-based machines but have never known reliability like that of the varioPRINT iX,” said Tom Lipman, director, TCW Solutions. “As one of the fastest print providers in the market, we’re excited for the new device to push us even further to offer our customers bespoke high-quality products with even more competitive turnaround times.”



Toshiba launches BV400T thermal transfer printer range any requirement. Transforming an application

Toshiba has launched its BV400T models, which makes its BV400 series – BV400D and BV400T models – one of the most extensive desktop ranges available with nine separate printer models. This desktop series comes with a broad set of features and functionality to enhance any labelling application. For ribbon compatibility, the BV400T enables the use of both 100m on ½” and 300m on 1” cores, providing users with the widest choice of desktop printing solutions when it comes to thermal transfer applications. Industry leading speeds of up to 7” per second combined with RFID capabilities, when using the optional UHF RFID module, ensure that the printer is future-proofed for

into an RFID one can be done at the time of installation or later depending on the customer’s requirements. It is ideal for applications like RFID retagging at store-level ensuring end to end traceability of goods moving. “Our complete entry model range offers unparalleled performance in the industry, ensuring that there is a perfect product for every application,” said Dave Solomons, head of barcode, Toshiba Tec UK Imaging Systems Ltd. “This new lineup of thermal transfer products compliments our comprehensive range of desktop printers, providing even more options to choose from.”

Toshiba BV400T

Major cyber risks not covered in IT security training

Despite human error being the biggest IT security concern for 34% of SMEs across the UK, IT training is missing some of the most common cyber weakness areas for more than half, according to a pan-European survey from Sharp Europe. The survey reveals a worrying disconnect between levels of IT security concern and the specific training businesses have in place to address the most common cyber risks. The research of 5,770 professionals responsible for purchasing IT in their SME reveals that, employees not following or even having any cyber training is seen as the biggest risk overall to the effectiveness of their businesses’ IT security; more so than large scale industry attacks or concerns around not having the right protection in place. In fact, 24% are now more concerned than previously about technology security risks because of the lack of training for employees. Despite the importance of training, and the concerns around human error, the research reveals that areas that would help address threats, that have impacted UK SMEs, such as virus attacks (25%), phishing (31%), data loss (30%) and password attacks (24%) are simply not covered by a significant proportion of the current training provided to employees. Security training programmes in less than half of SMEs cover passwords (46%), downloading files (46%), connecting to a secure network (45%), or even the basics

around logging on and off (44%). “IT security is as much a people issue as it is a technology challenge, our team members are ultimately our last line of defence against threats,” said Matt Riley, director of security at Sharp UK. “Businesses and organisations of course need to have all the right technology in place, such as firewalls and anti-virus software, but they also need to create a security culture and robust training that covers all employees, not just the IT team and senior management. “Failing to have continuously refreshed cyber training in place for dealing with everyday issues like changing passwords, spotting phishing emails and downloading files is a real concern. The recent surge in AI-enabled phishing attacks is rising to new levels of sophistication, meaning more businesses are more vulnerable than ever to attack. To combat this at Sharp UK, we are using new tools to educate and put knowledge into practice. Traditional training methods such as watching videos don’t provide an engaging way for knowledge to be embedded through practical application. New training tools simulate phishing, raising awareness of the threat and fostering positive conversations within our own teams about cyber security. Ultimately, these training oversights can cost businesses significantly so it’s important to keep investing and evolving IT security training.”

Matt Riley director of security





Live long and prosper Epson has sought to address product circularity and waste goals through offering extended business printer warranties and parts replacement; guaranteeing serviceable life for up to eight years.

For many businesses, regardless of the sector(s) they operate in, sustainability is becoming an increasingly important consideration. Businesses want to use less energy and emit more carbon and look at all aspects of the business to achieve this – including the print fleet. To that end, in November, and in a move to further address circularity and waste reduction goals, Epson launched an extended warranty and parts replacement programme for its business printers. The scheme extends typical contracted printer life cycles by up to three years to a maximum of eight, in turn supporting end user and channel partner efforts to improve sustainability. “Epson’s extended warranty and parts replacement programme goes beyond the typically offered five-year warranty period,” says Dan Wogan, office printing product manager, Epson UK. “The new scheme will guarantee serviceable life for business printers for up to eight years, marking a significant extension that sets a new industry standard.” Dan explains that the move to extend the warranty and parts replacement programme has been fuelled by demand from channel partners and end users. “The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant decrease in device usage over an extended

period, preventing many business printers from reaching their ‘lifetime profit value’ within the standard five-year timeframe,” he says. “Recognising this shift, Epson responded to the increased demand for extended serviceable life for printers and provided partners with additional support, while giving office products a second life. “That said, the driving force behind this programme extends beyond customer needs and is more so grounded in Epson’s overarching sustainability goals – specifically around pursuing a circular economy. By ensuring these printers can seamlessly integrate on-board software solutions, with the flexibility for upgrades throughout their operational life, Epson can empower its customers to keep products in the field for longer and in turn, help to address their own sustainability goals.” Dan adds that extending the life of their printers by three years could result in substantial savings for businesses. “Not only will they be able to cut back on the costs associated with frequent printer replacements, they’ll also be able to eliminate the need to dispose of older ones,” he says. “Therefore, by extending the printer life cycle, businesses can save money while reducing electronic waste.”

Dan Wogan office print product manager

Recognising this shift, Epson responded to the increased demand for extended serviceable life for printers and provided partners

with additional support, while giving office

products a second life.



Extended play The way Epson’s printers are built also plays a part in extending their lifespan, Dan adds. “The use of Heat-Free technology in Epson’s inkjet printers imposes fewer stresses on serviceable parts compared to those using laser technology – resulting in a longer product life,” he says. “Additionally, the inkjet printers use fewer serviceable parts and consumables than their laser counterparts, making them more user-friendly for efficient servicing and management.” Even if a part does fail, Epson’s easy parts replacement

“The program allows Epson to gain maximum value from resource use and contributes to the company’s goal of being underground resource-free by 2050. “Epson is always looking for ways to decrease the impact of our business, from our own corporate impact to the more product-direct targets which aim to reduce scopes 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 34% by 2025. “As a company we’ll continue to focus on developing technologies that

are precise, compact, and energy efficient. This is true of Epson’s heat-free inkjet devices as it is across Epson’s technology range. “Furthermore, Epson is continuing to invest into research and development and our commitment to sustainability is prominently showcased in our annual green report, providing a comprehensive overview of our ongoing efforts and achievements.” This is something Dan feels will become more commonplace in the sector. “It’s easy to imagine more players in the industry wanting to explore and implement initiatives to extend the life cycles of their printers, not only to remain competitive but also to keep up with increasing demands to support both end users and channel partners,” he says. “We’re not the only vendor promoting keeping devices in-field for longer, but this trend will no doubt evolve to become even more widespread.”

programme is there to help. “The easy parts replacement programme provides a ‘parts only’ warranty option — akin to an insurance plan — extending up to five years for dealers capable of handling their own service needs,” Dan says. “This way, dealers have the flexibility to opt for a hassle free ‘pack-it-off-to-us’ arrangement, ensuring full support and peace of mind throughout the extended warranty period.”

Resellers promoting Epson’s extended warranty and easy parts

replacement programme

should focus on the remarkable advantages these initiatives bring to customers.

Focus on advantages Advantages such as these should be

emphasised by resellers, Dan says. “Resellers promoting Epson’s extended warranty and easy parts replacement programme should focus on the remarkable advantages these initiatives bring to customers. By ensuring a serviceable life of up to eight years, surpassing the standard five-year warranty, customers benefit from extended reliability and value. “As a result, this reduces costs linked to frequent replacements and removes the need to dispose of older devices. Furthermore, resellers should stress how these programs contribute to a circular economy, emphasising the positive impact on improved efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and ecological responsibility.” Increasing sustainability The move to extending the life of its printers is part of Epson’s ongoing commitment to sustainability. “Epson’s extended warranty and parts replacement program aligns with its sustainability goals by addressing product circularity and waste reduction,” says Dan.


EKM GLOBAL LIMITED HP SDS CLOUD DCA Fully integrated into the EKM Insight system


CLOUD DATA COLLECTION AGENT Collect data and manage supported HP devices over the internet Suitable for customers who are not able to host a DCA onsite OR, office locations that are not connected to their central IT network


All communication is initiated within the customer environment. The HP MPS Printer onboarding tool will configure the printer to connect to the cloud. This connection allows the printer to send page counts, consumable levels, and device health information. Security The device uses standard internet technologies such as TLS for end- to-end encryption and reply attack prevention, as well as Public/Private Key signing and validation so that the cloud can trust the device and the device can trust the cloud.


As the devices exchange data continuously with the cloud, the HP SDS advanced functionality features are readily available.

HP SDS Cloud DCA enables you to remotely monitor and manage HP devices, whilst reducing operational costs, and saving you the time of installing and maintaining onsite DCAs.




No onsite DCA installation or configuration Automatically scales DCA instances in the cloud when needed Previously onboarded devices automatically connect after being powered on Devices can move from location to location within the same managed customer


HP SDS Cloud DCA allows data collection and management for devices at locations with internet access but without an onsite DCA. It reduces non-reporting device remediation and increases device connection rates (no need to track device network address information) Manage, monitor and track dispersed fleets Removes, or reduces, the need for managing software in customers’ environments No need for credential management in HP systems

+44 1985 217920

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Meeting demand How mobile scanners are keeping delivery vans moving in the face of exorbitant demand.

Now that social media giants like Meta and TikTok have launched e-commerce shops, the online shopping trend is almost certainly going to continue to grow, along with demands for ever-shorter delivery times. According to Forbes, the global e-commerce market is expected to surpass $6 trillion this year, putting pressure on the warehousing team to become increasingly efficient in its operations to get orders out faster. As a result, mobile barcode scanners are becoming an ever more appealing prospect to warehouse managers who need their staff to focus on picking products, according to David Craggs, growth product manager – EMEA at Newland ID. “Mobile computers with integrated barcode readers have enhanced the warehouse industry by increasing accuracy, steam lining operations and boosting efficiency,” he says. “These devices have become an indispensable tool for warehouse management. “The key advantage lies in their ability to expedite inventory management processes. By allowing real-time data captures and wireless transfers, mobile computers enable accurate and timely tracking of stock levels or precise picking fulfilment of customers’ orders, leading to a reduction in human error.” This admin elimination is a common trend throughout businesses. As bosses look to get the most out of employees, the repetitive tasks can often be automated as, Stefan Spendrup, VP of sales, Northern and Western

Europe at SOTI says. “In an industry that revolves around being able to provide your service faster, more efficiently and at a lower cost than your competition, mobile technology means more than just barcode scanners in workers’ hands. “It means automating and eliminating manual and paper-based processes that create bottlenecks and risks of inputting inaccurate information. These manual processes often lead to a loss of productivity that can be felt throughout business operation.” Meeting expectations While data capture and reducing paperwork will always be seen as a plus in this digital age, it may not always be the primary reason why these mobile scanners are so popular. In fact, according to Carlos Villafane, country manager for UK, Ireland and Benelux at ProGlove, there are “several factors” that go into the purchasing decision. “The choice of a barcode scanner depends on several factors, including the use case, application, user experience and ergonomics of the device,” he says. “Different scenarios may require different features and capabilities from a scanner. “For example, in a manufacturing environment, a scanner may need a short range, while in a warehouse picking environment, a scanner may need a long battery life. Both scenarios may also benefit from a feedback option to confirm a successful scan, such as a beep or vibration.

David Craggs growth product manager, EMEA

Admin elimination is a common trend “

throughout businesses.

As bosses look to get the most out of employees, the repetitive tasks

can often be automated.



businesses receive is now a huge focus within the technology industry. With competition ready to take customers away, and customers themselves possibly reluctant to part with their money, the right enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution can make all the difference. “As with most hardware solutions, it is the software that can really make a difference,” says Carlos. “This is a factor that many companies are considering. After all, a barcode scanner captures most transactions on a shop floor. “When you contextualise and refine that data, it can really tell the true story of your shop floor. This bottom-up view is a perfect complement to the top-down perspective provided by your traditional enterprise solutions such as warehouse management system or enterprise resource planning.” Stefan adds that companies leverage mobile barcode scanners to help digitise processes that previously were done manually. “This digitisation allows employees to more efficiently and effectively do their jobs,” he says. “However, any device downtime means downtime in business operations, preventing organisations from maximising ROI. If the IT team has insight into scanners in real time, they can proactively solve issues to prevent device downtime. Hence why it’s critical for businesses to use an EMM solution to gain intelligence data about its mobile fleet. “Intelligence analytics like battery health cycle, visibility on apps that drain battery life and devices that need software updates to ensure they are kept secure will help organisations solve the toughest mobility challenges. If devices need to be sent back to headquarters to be fixed, this increases device downtime, which ultimately has a detrimental impact on a business’ bottom line.” Making the sale Now that the advantages are outlined, resellers can focus on making the case for a change and getting those sales over the line. While the technology itself may be compelling enough, David says that training and support programs go a long way, with

Stefan Spendrup VP, sales Northern and Western Europe

In an industry to provide your service faster, more efficiently and at a lower cost than your competition, mobile technology means more than just barcode scanners in workers’ hands. “ ” that revolves around being able

“Some applications may have very specific requirements, such as scanning multiple barcodes at the same time. “Ultimately, the scanner should deliver the desired business impact, such as improved productivity, efficiency, accuracy, error reduction and worker wellbeing.” David agrees, while emphasising the importance of a good user experience. He says that “when it comes to customer preference, the choices made in selecting their mobile computers are based on a few factors. “While a wide scanning range is crucial for handling items stored at different heights and depths, speed and accuracy are equally significant for swift and error-free scanning. “Additionally, an intuitive and user-friendly interface is essential for seamless integration into existing warehouse systems. Android OS is the current lead in mobile computers but there are still many instances of Terminal Emulation and some legacy Windows devices.”

Providing the best experience The experience that end users and





Future As resellers look to take advantage of partner programs and build relationships of their own, they may like to know what’s coming around the corner in the sector. Carlos says the current trend is towards using wearable devices to scan barcodes rather than a stand-alone device. “More and more companies are finding that industrial wearables, such as barcode scanners that can be worn on the back of the hand, can offer significant advantages over traditional handheld scanners,” he says. “According to our latest survey, 40% of larger warehouses are already using industrial wearables. Another 42% are certain to invest in industrial wearables within the next five years. That is probably because industrial wearables can provide hands-free scanning, which can increase speed and convenience for workers, as well as reduce the risk of dropping or losing the device.” As with every other industry, artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of people’s minds, specifically Stefan and David as they look to the future. David also highlights wearable technology as one to look out for too. “The Nwear range by Newland of wearable watch mobile computers in combination with barcode scanners worn on the hand, are the torchbearers for the surge in innovative warehouse technologies,” he says. “The industry should be braced for advanced features like augmented reality for hands-free picking, AI for predictive inventory management, and Internet of Things integration for real-time monitoring that is expected to transform warehouses into highly efficient hubs.” Stefan adds: “AI and more specifically, automation will be a huge trend over the coming year. Critical to enabling greater automation is increased adoption of and reliance on devices. Recent SOTI research revealed that 36% of UK companies have seen substantial growth in the number of devices deployed, while 35% have seen an increase in the mix of device types. “As the mix of devices continues to increase across organisations, including within warehouses (smartphones, barcode scanners, rugged handsets, printers, etc.), it means that more data is being collected, processed and stored than ever before, fostering a greater need for data management, security and compliance.”

Carlos adding that understanding the customer is also a key component to making the sale. “Resellers looking to enter the established market of warehouse solutions and hardware supply should look to select a vendor that stands out,” says David. “Sway away from market leaders and select a manufacturer that compares to market leaders technically but has a pricing and margin edge. “It’s also important to establish a good relationship and support structure with the selected vendor and invest time in support and training programs.” Carlos adds that what matters is the quality of the customer relationship. “The reseller needs to understand the customer’s needs and pain points and then come up with the right solution,” he says. “But the beauty of our business is that resellers have the opportunity to deliver significant productivity and quality improvements to their customers. They can be seen as innovation enablers, which will certainly strengthen their ongoing business relationship. This will help them identify and create new revenue opportunities. “Of course, we have a reseller program. The program includes dedicated support materials such as marketing assets, business case insights, campaign materials, technical product training videos and partner training.”

Carlos Villafane country manager, UK, Ireland & Benelux

According to our latest survey, 40% of larger warehouses are already using industrial wearables. Another 42% are certain to invest in industrial wearables within the next five years. “


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See the bigger picture


Setting the tone Sustainability is becoming an increasing priority for many businesses, and toner cartridges are part of that focus. Manufacturers are responding by making toner cartridges more environmentally friendly and easy to recycle, but how can resellers sell these benefits to customers?

Every year in the UK, millions of toner cartridges are produced, yet only a fraction of those are recycled and millions of spent cartridges end up in landfill where, due to their parts, they can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. This, of course, adds to their environmental cost. With many businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint and enhance their sustainability, it means that things like toner cartridges can be an important consideration, especially in print-heavy sectors. Customers are increasingly looking for options that do not have the environmental impact but do have recycling options. “In our experience the environmental impact of used toner cartridges is very important to customers and can determine purchasing habits,” says Trevor Maloney, product marketing manager: TASKalfa, at Kyocera. “Kyocera has been at the forefront of toner cartridge design with our toners made up of as few as eight components all plastic made from two types of plastic, all ID marked for ease of recycling.” Kyocera is indicative of OEMs that are looking to make toner cartridges more environmentally friendly, and for many

years the company has been working towards this goal, Trevor notes. “Many of our [Kyocera’s] toners are designed to use far less components that our competitors thus reducing manufacturing, running costs and environmental impact,” he says. “Our TASKalfa SRA3 range even enables users to repurpose the black toner cartridge they have used as the collection bottle for the discarded toner used within the cleaning process.” Return and reuse But it isn’t just about making toner cartridges more environmentally friendly in their manufacturing and composition, it is also about what happens once they have been used. Brother has made strides to promote toner cartridge recycling and has a long-established scheme for this. According to the company, it remanufactures or recycles three million toner cartridges every year, saving about 5,300 tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to taking 1,150 cars off the road. In addition, Brother’s European recycling facilities have been zero waste to landfill accredited since 2013 – stopping 1,500 tonnes of material from ending up in landfill every year. “We’ve built a one-of-a-kind service where

Trevor Maloney product marketing manager – TASKalfa


Many of our [Kyocera’s] toners are designed to use far less components that our competitors thus reducing manufacturing, running costs and environmental impact. “


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