HP is adding ‘per click’ charging to its customer options for ink and printheads used in its wide-format Designjet range of printers, with photo channel distributor Photo Direct offering the innovative ‘SmartClick’ pricing model to a range of new and existing customers in the photo channel.
‘In essence we will come into your store and find out how much ink you’ve got in your machine and how much you’ve got on your shelf,’ explained Steuart Meers, Photo Direct. ‘We’ll give you a credit back for all of that ink, and then we would own that ink and we will resell it back to you each month on a per mil basis – just on consumption after you have used it.’
HP SmartClick program covers ink cartridges, print heads, maintenance kit replacements if required, replacement parts and onsite support services.
SmartClick will be folded into the service maintenance agreement for both new and existing customers,
New printer purchasers won’t need to buy additional printheads or inks, reducing the investment normally associated with buying a new machine.
‘We have a vested interest in ensuring our customers never ever run out of ink or printheads,’ Mr Meers said. ‘Each month we’ll do an audit of what you’ve got on hand via an embedded web server, and make sure you’ve got sufficient shelf stock to keep on going.’
He said this will improve cashflow as businesses won’t need to have hundreds of dollars tied up in ink and replacement printheads, and consumables costs will be more directly linked to actual production volumes.
‘It moves some focus back to Photo Direct, because we want our customers to use more mils of ink every month. So we will be looking for ways to help them drive more volume.
‘All that really changes is that we own the cartridges that are on the shelf and in the machine – so we will need to have the empty cartridges returned.’
‘So far the SmartCklick program has been very well received by customers we have discussed it with,’ said Tracy Lints, Photo Direct. ‘We expect that most customers with existing Designjet printers and those considering purchasing a new machine will be keen to take it up.’
SmartClick also has an environmental advantage: since all cartridges are returned to Photo Direct, they will be processed through the HP recycling program.