The Aftermarket Informant

Ian Elliot, President of Print-Rite N.A., along with esteemed guest bloggers will educate and empower readers with a fresh, forthright approach to sourcing aftermarket imaging supplies.

In sharing philosophies and experience pertaining to manufacturing innovations, IP, patents, litigations and effects to the channel, The Aftermarket Informant will prepare you to make strategic, informed aftermarket purchasing decisions.

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  • Better than OEM? The Market Tells Us a Different Story for Color and Monochrome

    Good Better Best

    After nearly 30 years of continuous improvement, it's time for the aftermarket industry to become more aggressive with our messaging. Can we really say we are better than OEMs? In many respects we can. Our ability to communicate a "better than OEM" message is critical for the aftermarket as it enters a new phase in our relationship with OEMs. ... more

  • Supplies Packaging: Are You Onside With What's On the Outside?

    Mystery Toner Box

    The aftermarket industry has an identity problem. It may not exactly be a crisis, but it has caused us legal turmoil in the past, and it is bound to be more problematic as OEMs become increasingly protective of their brands. I'm talking about how we package and identify our products. Some vendors deliberately mislabel their aftermarket products, putting their customers at risk of litigation from OEM vendors.

    Ho ... more

  • The Law of Unintended Consequences and How It Applies to High Yield Toner Cartridges

    With the advent of MPS, manufacturers like Print-Rite are always being asked to increase the yields of their toner cartridges. The reason of course is that the more pages you can squeeze out of your toner cartridge, the more profitable you are. Some vendors are running out of superlatives to describe their cartridges: the "Extra-High-Super-Jumbo Yield" is a hot seller these days. Based on this logic, you can increase your gross margins ... more

  • Why the Long Faces? Office Printing is a Great Industry to be a Part of

    Cheerful businesspeople

    It is hard to read any industry publication today without some reference to the end of office printing. OEM vendors like HP seem to be bleeding red ink. Some like Lexmark are shedding entire product segments. Others like Sharp are fighting for existence. Still more such as Oki and Xerox seem to be betting that "greener pastures" such as Managed Services are the next wave. All of the negative press has tak ... more

  • Managing For Profit, Not Growth


    Did you hit your revenue and profit targets in 2012? What will be different in 2013?

    As we all put a close on another calendar year of business, there are two questions to consider asking yourselves as business owners: did we hit our profit and revenue targets this year? (I have talked to many owners in the industry over the past 12 months and the answer from the majority was 'no'). Where do we go from here?

    First, the bad news: the indus ... more

  • Going Online With The Other 70 Percent

    How are you increasing sales for the 70% of your business that will never move into a managed print service contract?

    With all the hype around MPS in our industry over the past five years, you could be forgiven if you ignored customers that were not MPS prospects. However, the sober reality is that most small- to medium-sized businesses in North America will never ad ... more

  • The Odd Couple: A Drum Gear And Your Toner Vendor

    Odd Couple

    Of late, there have been numerous settlements between Canon and various aftermarket supplies manufacturers who violated Canon's drum gear patent. As an industry, many of us are likely thinking the drum gear patent issue is over and we can all now breathe a unified sigh of relief. As a reseller, you may be thinking that these patent litigations did not impact your business at all. Much ado about nothing? Fair point, however I believe the drum gear patent ... more

  • Are Your Cost Drivers Changing Under MPS?

    Service Guy

    "Why aren’t your CPP rates competitive?" This is a great question to ask your sales manager.

    Not long ago I tried to break down a cost per page offering for one of my dealers. The owner was complaining that the sales team was losing deals because they were not competitive on price. Does this sound similar to your business? I started with an assumption for monoc ... more

  • Do You Speak Legalese?


    With all of the legal terms thrown around our industry over the past year, you may be excused if you feel like the whole conversation surrounding intellectual property including patents, general exclusion orders, and INS seem to be written in a different language. These topics can be a drain on your business, when all you really want to do is, well, your business. What do you need to know about IP? What is noise and simply a distraction, and what are som ... more