TONING UP !
TONING UP !
2005-07-06 at 10:37:00 am #11797
Toning up: Laser Technology makes mark managing printers
A company’s laser printers can get a vigorous workout during the course of a day.
Printers in many offices run virtually nonstop, printing everything from official documents and reports to personal e-mails and information culled from the Internet.
Since 1988, family-operated laser technology has built a business around repairing those printers and reconditioning toner cartridges. More recently, it has focused on helping companies manage printer use and contain in-house printing costs.
Laser Technology estimates that companies spend between 6 cents and 12 cents for each page that rolls off a laser printer.
A partnership with Richardson, Texas-based MiraPrint Services has allowed Laser Technology to sell the Web-based MiraPrint print-management solution, which lets Laser Technology monitor clients’ printer performance from its La Grange headquarters and provide off-site diagnosis of hardware problems.
Laser Technology also is certified by Hewlett-Packard Co. to perform repairs on its products.
Laser Technology rolls its services into a one-stop shop that provides preventive maintenance, toner replacement, hardware repair and cost analysis aimed at improving efficiency of a company’s information technology department and providing a consistent price that allows clients to accurately budget for printing costs.
Laser Technology owner Robin Work and her husband, company president Andy Work, who got their start reconditioning toner cartridges on a Ping-Pong table in their basement, recently talked with Business First about the challenges a niche business faces. How has your industry changed since the business was founded?
Andy Work: “When we started, there were quite a few smaller businesses doing what we did. Now it’s getting harder to stay small because of the pressures from big companies who offer similar services. The small companies like ours that are able to tough it out are the ones that stand to get bigger.” What is your strategy for toughing it out?
Robin Work: “It may sound like a cliché, but it’s all about building relationships. We talk to all of our clients at least once a month, and some of them much more often. We know when not to bother them because it is their busy time, but we let them know that we’re always here for them when they need us.” How can smaller businesses compete with the giants?
Robin Work: “We’re a member of a dealer network that allows us to share information and experiences with other businesses around the country that do what we do. Technology is constantly changing, and (the network) comes in handy when we need to find a solution to a problem quickly.”