In the age of the remake, originality is key when it comes to vibrant colour and sharp definition, says OKI Europe.
The world is awash with remakes. Recent blockbuster A Star is Born was the third version of the movie to hit cinema screens. Disney’s The Lion King is another recent remake to grace the screens and even cult classic Clueless will be given a refresh for modern audiences.
No matter how well movie remakes turn out, all of this recycling of ideas begs the question, does originality matter anymore? You could argue that it doesn’t and that it all comes down to putting on the best possible performance. Whether you’re producing a creative masterpiece or navigating your business towards the best possible results, there’s no doubting strong performance is important. But originality can be key to performance.
You wouldn’t hire an underqualified person with no professional experience and expect them to deliver the results the business expects for a fraction of the cost of a skilled professional. Yet, when it comes to office supplies and equipment, business buyers can be less discerning, unwittingly compromising print quality, performance and equipment by gambling on third-party compatible consumables to save budget.
Unlike a movie remake where the latest technology will make everything sharper, brighter and better quality, choosing not to buy original consumables can often provide poor results. With many looking to the web for office supplies, ‘grey’ goods are big business. Difficult to regulate, products may look authentic but often fall short on performance.
As industry body the Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, Middle East and Africa (ICCE) points out, in addition to potential performance issues, buyers also have no idea how and where third-party goods are made and, in the case of counterfeit imaging products, whether they pose a risk to health and safety
Unaware of the potential pitfalls, business buyers often purchase third-party compatible consumables on the grey market
– i.e. outside the original manufacturer or brand owner’s official distribution channel – in good faith, based on the assumption that, if a generic third-party consumable is compatible with their print device, it will meet the same industry standards as an original product and deliver a comparable performance.
In reality, businesses opting for print consumables that are not tested and guaranteed by the manufacturer risk losing face by compromising performance and lifespan of print equipment, as industry tests have shown. When third-party consumables go wrong, device warranties can be invalidated, leaving the business with a potentially hefty repair bill or replacement cost.
Independent testing by Buyers Laboratory LLC (BLI) has confirmed that lower-cost consumables often fail to deliver, contributing to poor-quality results, lower page yield and potential damage to devices.
In a report
evaluating the performance, quality and integrity of an OKI Original toner and non-genuine supplies sourced from a supplier of colour toner refills and other third-party consumables, BLI found that while the OKI Original consumable produced superior image quality and clear, readable text as small as 4 pt. font, the pages produced using the generic third-party consumable were unsuitable for presenting both internally and externally.
Worryingly, it highlighted unwanted impressions left on printed documents produced using the third-party consumable – including evidence of toner contamination, excessive spotting and vertical lines indicating drum surface damage.
Rather than enabling staff to perform, poor-quality printed documents have obvious potential consequences for productivity, from time wasted attempting to reprint documents to frustration and delay in meetings. Likewise, instead of capitalising on the potential to impress customers using the latest print equipment and produce detailed designs in glorious colour or grab attention with eye-catching posters that are bag on brand, in customer-facing situations, presenting poorly produced images and illegible text will fail to impress clients and prospects and could result in embarrassment and lost business.
As well as delivering quality results, when it comes to print consumables, good performance also means going the extra mile – something which compatibles frequently fail to do.
While generic third-party consumables often claim to produce an equivalent page yield (the number of pages a device can print using one toner cartridge), BLI tests found the generic third-party product failed to meet its stated yield and produced significantly fewer pages than the OKI Original consumable that it was tested against.
In the case of print consumables, the old saying “buy cheap, buy twice” can hold true: In some cases, compatible consumables have been found to produce up to 50% less print yield than OKI Original consumables. Original consumables meanwhile are subject to rigorous industry-approved testing methods that accurately determine the declared yield for toner cartridges and ensure they meet the exact specifications for the print device – meaning that when it comes to quality and performance, originals always deliver the strongest performance.