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 user 2007-11-28 at 12:05:00 pm Views: 53
  • #20894

    Moorpark company tests printers and their ink
    QualityLogic evaluates claims of products, their competition
    wonder if that ink jet refill is worth it? Or just how much that
    printer ink costs per page?A Moorpark company does the legwork to
    answer those kinds of questions for companies that want to verify their
    claims and challenge those made by competitors.

    formed in 1999 from the merger of two firms that were started in 1986
    and 1994, offers software that companies use to test their products. It
    also tests a company’s products to find out if they perform as promised
    or to assess how they compare with competitors’ items.QualityLogic’s
    customers include some big names in the digital imaging and
    telecommunications industries, such as Microsoft, IBM, Xerox, Lexmark,
    Cisco, Dell, Lucent, Nortel and Motorola.The company recently completed
    a report for Hewlett-Packard where it tested original ink cartridges
    against refilled cartridges, including those filled at ink refill
    kiosks popping up in office supply stores. Company employees would
    wander in, get their cartridges refilled, then head back to the lab to
    run them through a series of tests.Another report was for Kodak, which
    is trying a new approach to selling printers and ink. Many
    manufacturers practically, or literally, give their printers away and
    then make money on the cartridges.”Kodak announced an ink jet with very
    low-cost cartridges. They’re trying to turn that razor blades business
    model on its ear a little bit,” said Dave Jollota, QualityLogic’s chief
    operating officer.Kodak called on QualityLogic to figure out the cost
    of ink per page for its cheaper ink, compared with its
    competitors.Kodak’s internal testing doesn’t carry the weight that a
    third-party test does, said Roderick Eslinger, technical marketing
    manager for Kodak.Eslinger said QualityLogic is “highly regarded across
    the industry — not just in the U.S., but abroad as well.”

    decided to pursue cheaper ink cartridges after studies showed that
    people would print more if it cost less. Eslinger said the analysis
    done by QualityLogic reaches beyond simply looking at how many pages a
    cartridge can print to really looking at the cost of each page.”We’re
    setting a new standard in how we’re doing this competitive analysis,”
    he said. “It’s a huge deal. I would predict these other companies are
    probably going to follow suit.”There is a delicate balance that
    QualityLogic maintains as it works with different clients. One week,
    the company might be testing for HP. The next, it might be testing HP’s
    cartridges against Kodak. Rather than posing a problem, however, it
    gives the company’s test results added credibility, Jollota said.”We’ve
    been in business a lot of years,” he said. “We have a stellar
    reputation for our integrity and independence. It helps all of our
    customers to know we are doing work for them as well as their
    competitors.”It helps particularly when companies can point to results
    from QualityLogic tests that support their claims, and also point to
    tests that didn’t come out in their favor. It shows the third-party
    objectivity, Jollota said.”If a customer has a competitive advantage in
    an area, it will show that. If they’re trying to invent (that
    competitive advantage), independent testing will not show that,” he

    The company also provides test software to industry
    magazines for product reviews, and for large IT departments trying to
    make a purchase decision.Jollota said there is a lot of potential to
    boost QualityLogic’s business in the coming years.While research and
    development, sales and marketing, and administration are based in
    Moorpark, much of the testing is conducted at a location in Boise,
    Idaho, Jollota said. But the Boise facility, with between 60 and 70
    people, is “bursting at the seams,” he said.The company plans to add
    some additional testing capability in Moorpark, as well as employees
    during the coming quarters. About 35 to 40 people now work at the
    Moorpark location.The company expects revenue this year to be about $8
    million to $9 million, and is forecasting that to grow 20 percent to 25
    percent next year, Jollota said.Several factors should help
    QualityLogic grow its business, he said.First, printer companies are
    vying for market position.”The printing war, when it comes to
    consumables, is just beginning,” Jollota said.Refill kiosks are
    springing up all over, and companies selling original ink cartridges
    are trying to protect their turf.Then there are new approaches, such as
    Kodak’s low-cost cartridges.All of that adds up to more companies that
    are going to want comparative tests done, Jollota said.And new products
    being developed, such as HP’s high-speed ink jet printers for the
    office, will demand various studies and tests.Then there is the
    anticipated roll out of products that will work with Microsoft’s new
    XPS portable document technology, which will compete with Adobe’s PDF.
    Jollota said the adoption of Vista has been slow, but is expected to
    pick up in the coming year, which should drive use of XPS.

    also will call for more testing.Even the weak dollar is working in
    QualityLogic’s favor since about half of the company’s test software
    business is with companies outside the United States, primarily in
    Japan.A weaker dollar allows foreign firms to spend more on testing
    software, giving a boost to QualityLogic.”We have the benefits of being
    a small company that’s in the middle of some very large technology,”
    Jollota said.