6 Reasons Product Development Is Good For Your Company

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in General |

What drives established UK based product engineers to spend valuable resources (time, money, human capital, etc.) on new product development. Here are six reasons to invest in new product development.

Competitive Advantage:

Staying ahead of the competition should always be front of mind for existing companies.  New products give you a competitive advantage over your competition.  It might be new sales, more shelf space, consumer impressions or other advantages. If you are the market leader, you want to keep your competitive advantage, if you are not the market leader – you need a competitive advantage. New products allow you to focus on taking a competitive leadership position. There’s leadership position in the nut category is clear and their continued focus on new products keeps them in front.  Their new dessert inspired mixes are definitely look mouth-watering.

Innovation Story:

Speaking of competitive leadership, there is the credibility that comes with being the category innovator.  Innovative companies are thought of as creative and ground-breaking bringing more excitement to their brand and solving consumer problems. Being first is always better than needing to flatter your competition by replicating something they did first and you wish you had thought of earlier.

Ancillary Sales:

Every brand wants more sales and new products help. New items might not be your number one SKU driving the most sales, but they drive new sales to your brand or category and they provide a continued look at existing products consumers may have forgotten about keeping your brand front of mind. I’m sure watermelon flavored Oreo’s are not their best seller, but each new offering generates loads of consumer media attention and new purchases.

Reason to See Your Buyer & Engage Your Consumer:
Depending on your category you might see your buyer one to four times a year…maybe monthly if you’re lucky. During those meetings you probably discuss general category data including pricing, promotions and performance, but what about products.  Same story different day doesn’t create a lot of reason for the buyer to schedule an extra meeting with you or give you more business.  New products on the other hand generate new discussion and new opportunities.

Test Consumer Trends

Consumers are constantly evolving which means their tastes and preferences change with them. In recent years we’ve see probiotic foods, gluten free, and paleo emerge as just some of the important consumer food trends. Your ability to maintain an active focus on innovation and stay current on trends allows you to be ahead of the curve with emerging consumer trends and test new concepts in early stages of trends and refine them as the trend becomes mainstream. This test and refine concept allows you to see what concepts have potential and which were fleeting while still maintaining a competitive advantage. 

Explore Technology

Just like consumer trends drive new products, advances in technology drive new opportunities in various food products as well, typically in the area of food packaging. Food packaging and processing advances have opened up entirely new product opportunities. Your innovation, production and marketing team should constantly be exploring new technology that will aid in new product development.

New product development doesn’t have to be costly, but it must be a priority. Just like we talked about the power of building a marketing-minded culture, it’s equally important to include innovation as part of that ideal to foster continued organizational growth.

Read More

Business Printers: Which One Is For You?

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in General |

The type of printer you’d pick up at an office supply store like Blackbox Solutions is going to cut it for business use, at least in most cases. Even small offices usually need far more sophisticated machines for efficiency and productivity. Most businesses opt for networked printers that can be shared by multiple users, rather than individual printers for each desk. These machines save resources and tend to last much longer than out-of-the-box varieties. They also offer faster printing speeds, better handling and advanced finishing options. Most are also capable of copying, scanning, emailing and faxing. Networked business printers are available in hundreds of models and in varying types, all with different features and capabilities, which can make the buying process daunting. They can be wired or wireless; laser, LED, inkjet or solid-ink; and monochrome or color. Some are compatible with mobile printing, while others are not. You’ll also find wide variations in cost.

Types of Business Printers

Laser/LED Laser and LED printers, which are very similar, are by far the most popular in offices.  Using a light source, they project an image onto a rotating drum, which then transfers toner to the paper. These are reliable and fast, and they produce high-quality text. The memory and hard-drive capabilities are ideal for networking. Ongoing costs are reasonable because toner is relatively inexpensive compared with other methods of printing. On the downside, laser and LED printers are expensive upfront. They’re also not ideal for photo printing.

Inkjet printers are more common for personal use and home offices, although they can be suitable for some small business uses. These work by squirting liquid ink through a pinhead. Inkjet printers are less expensive up front and the photo quality is high, so they are great for brochures, fliers and documents that contain graphics. They can print on many types of media. Although it is possible to find an office-quality inkjet printer with networking capabilities, these are less common. This is primarily due to the high ongoing costs of replacing ink, which is not practical for high-volume printing. These printers are also much slower.

Additional Printer Types

Less common printer types include:

  • Solid-ink printers, which melt blocks of colored wax onto paper. These tend to be comparable to laser printers in black-and-white print quality, reliability and ongoing costs, but they are superior for color printing. They’re also smaller and more compact. However, solid-ink printers are prone to smudging. And because they’re less common, there are far fewer models from which to choose.
  • Snapshot printers thatonly print images. The photo quality is much higher than with other types of printers. These are more common for home use, but they can also have business applications.
  • Dye-sublimation printers, which come very close to photograph quality by using heat-transferred dye. Typically, these printers are reserved for businesses such as graphic design firms, which must have superior image quality. Costs per page are extremely high —often $2 or more.
Read More

Photocopier Or Multifunctional Printer?

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in General |

The modern office, despite best efforts to remain eco-friendly, sees each worker copying or printing in excess of 10,000 pages a year on average. With these rigorous demands still such a prominent part of office life, it’s difficult to know which machine would be best for your workplace ­– the traditional photocopier, or its multi-talented cousin, the multifunctional printer (MFP) from Blackbox Solutions. If we use the average office as a benchmark… which one do you really need?


A photocopier makes copies of documents without necessarily being connected to a computer – simply insert your sheets and receive instant copies. Today’s photocopiers from Blackbox Solutions are far more functional than their predecessors, and many include features of multifunctional printers, such as support for different paper sizes. They are quick and simple to use, and can be more robust than their multifunctional counterparts. The largest copiers need their own sizeable dedicated spaces in order to reduce misfeeds and jams, but in return can offer a level of quality that could, in the case of the most costly machines, rival that of a professional printing press. Traditionally, the small machines are cheaper than multifunctional printers, but offer less economical benefits overall, so you may be spending more in the long run. While the photocopier certainly does one thing very well… it does just that: one thing. It may not quite meet the needs of a particularly busy office.

… or multifunctional printer?

A multifunctional printer acts as not just a photocopier, but has printing, scanning, email and fax capabilities rolled into just one machine. As an all-in-one solution, these devices can offer large cost savings to businesses that print and copy lots of items. As organisations spend up to 3% of their annual revenues on printing, when managed properly through a complete MPS solution, these printers can make a real difference to your business’ overheads. Outright monetary savings are supplemented with time savings: one machine is a lot less time consuming than 3 or 4, and they save room in a smaller office too.

However, MFPs often offer quite a low scanning resolution, so specific models should be examined carefully by those with high-resolution scanning needs.

While ‘jack of all trades, not quite master of any’ is an unfair brush to tar multifunctional printers with, depending on your specific performance requirements, a modern multifunctional printer could be exactly what you need… or a little lacking.

To know which device would most suit your business, it is important to make a variety of considerations. How many people are using your machine, how many at the same time, and for what purposes? How much space do you have, and what is your budget? For those offices seeking a highly economical ‘little bit of everything’, a multifunctional printer might just be the way to go.


Read More

Why You Should Look Into Stand Alone Photocopiers

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in General |

Many businesses still prefer to have a high volume stand-alone photocopier in the office, even if it is used alongside a multifunction printing device. And when you look at the benefits of this type of photocopier for office use it’s easy to see why. Combined scanners, printers, copiers and fax machines certainly have their place, but if you need a large amount of copying done very quickly, a stand-alone copier from Blackbox Solutions will save you time, money and the hassle of outsourcing copy jobs.

A good quality office photocopier is an invaluable investment, and with the right servicing, one that will last for many years.

  • Fast copy speed. A stand-alone office copier will have a much higher ppm (pages per minute) rating than a multifunction photocopier, with high end models reaching over 90ppm. Think how much time this could save employees.
  • Low printing cost per page. The photocopy machine may be expensive in the first place, but per page, the cost of copying is very low, especially when you consider how much an external printing firm would charge for the same job.
  • Durable. This type of office copier is designed to withstand very heavy use, making it the best choice for businesses that need daily copying.
  • Document finishing features, such as binding, sorting and stapling. These features are far less common and less durable in multifunction photocopiers.
  • Excellent functionality. Because stand-alone copiers are designed to do just that, copy, they are extremely fit for purpose. This means that they can cater for complex copy needs, such as duplex printing, different paper sizes, paper thicknesses and alignments.
  • Easy to useand benefit from large, clear display panels.
  • No need to connectthe photocopier to a desktop in order for it to make copies. However, the flexibility is there should you wish to do this, which then makes it possible to work as a printer or scanner should the need arise.
  • Inbuilt memorymeans that documents can be backed up for quick access and amendments.

Large volume office photocopiers from Blackbox Solutions can be expensive pieces of office kit. So firstly, you need to make sure that it will be a good investment and there is a need for it in the office. Secondly, you should compare the cost of photocopying on a bought or rented machine. It may be that the copier is simply too costly to purchase outright, in which case, taking out a leasing contract could provide the perfect solution. This will also give you the advantages of inclusive servicing contracts, repairs and consumables. Although ubiquitous in companies around the world, photocopiers are not one and the same. They may fulfill more or less the same task, yet it is important to assess your needs and get proper information to find a model which will match your expectations and at the same time be simple enough to operate. Besides, when you intend to buy a photocopier, it’s also crucial to consider other options such as renting or leasing, to make sure you get the best service at the right price.

Read More

Financing Your Office Printer

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in General |

Printer photocopiers with Blackbox Solutions may be relatively expensive equipment, but buying your own could yield major returns. The right machine will save your business precious time and help generate profits.

Buying your printer photocopier

First you need to sift the offers available on the market, looking closely at features, cost, service plans as well as any brand affinities or recommendations you may have had. The good news for business consumers like you is that suppliers like Blackbox Solutions are numerous and therefore choice is abundant.

The most common places to buy a printer or photocopier are the following:

  • High Street retailerssuch as PC World, Currys or even Tesco. Here will you find a range of different brands, although choice will be limited by the size of the store and products are generally more suited to the home market or low-volume needs. Most will offer free delivery and you will have greater choice if you buy through their online stores.
  • Onlinewhere you will generally find a superior range of products from Web retailers such as Amazon or Blackbox Solutions where you can easily compare features.

Renting your printer photocopier

Reasons to rent a photocopier printer are numerous: you run a small office where space is tight, or don’t have fixed premises at all; you’re trying to conserve capital; you only print large volumes of documents occasionally. These are some of the most common justifications for renting your photocopying or printing solution.

Printer-photocopier rental companies offer you the option to choose a short- or long-term agreement. Your contract will include delivery, set up, installation, servicing and all financial invoicing, so don’t need to give a second thought to running your printers and photocopiers.

Additional benefits include the following:

  • You’ll face no large upfront payment
  • You can choose the length of your rental contract
  • You retain the flexibility to upgrade or change your printer copier
  • Rental contracts are easy to budget for
  • All servicing and maintenance visits are included
  • Business machinery rental costs are tax-deductible

Leasing your printer photocopier

No matter what type of machine you’re looking for, leasing offers many benefits:

  • It’s easy to upgrade your machinery or software.
  • Service and maintenance are included in your contract.
  • Deals o consumables such as ink and toners can also be included in your contract.
  • Predictable monthly payments are easy to budget for.
  • Second-hand photocopiers and printers can be leased at bargain rates.
  • Short-term printing equipment leases are available
  • You can get all the features you would find in machine you purchased.
  • You can buy your printer or photocopier at a discount at the end of your lease.
  • Tax rebates are available on leased business equipment.
  • You choose the length of your lease, payment terms, upgrades and training.
  • You are not shouldered with depreciating machinery.
Read More

Why Your Business Needs A Rental Printer

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in General |

Are you using an old, inefficient printer simply because you can’t justify outlaying a significant amount of cash for a new one? If so, it’s worth investigating options to rent a printer as legacy devices are probably costing your business.

Like most pieces of technology, new printers from Blackbox Solutions are much more cost-effective to run than old printers. Many newer models use less toner and paper, can be programmed to reduce overall printing volumes, are engineered to break less often and feature smart software that minimise the time your staff spend manually managing documents. This reduces the overall costs of consumables and service, and delivers significant efficiency benefits for your business. As your business grows, it’s vital to upgrade your technology environment to meet changing operational requirements. While your loyal printer may have served you well in the early days, upgrading to a smarter solution can streamline the way you work, helping you to cut costs and get ahead of competitors.

How to buy a printer without tying up cashflow

Purchasing a printer outright is rarely the most cost-effective method for buying a business printer. It ties up cash flow and makes it difficult to budget for consumables. Instead, look for rental options or pricing plans from your local IT provider. These include regular fixed payments for easier accounting and allow you to conserve cash. This means you know what you’re paying for your printing solution and when – with no nasty surprises.

  1. Rent the hardware, buy the consumables

Under a rental only contract, you pay a fixed sum each month for the printing device. Service and toner are additional costs. This option means you can purchase the device you need and set up your print environment sooner, even if it is a little more expensive, without compromising cash flow.

It’s ideal for SMEs that need to conserve cash and rely on quality printed materials for service delivery, marketing or promotions.

  1. Rent the hardware, pay a cost per page for consumables and service

This type of contract means you pay a fixed rental fee for the device each month plus a fixed cost per page to cover consumables and service (based on a minimum number of pages per month). If your business uses an expensive printer and costly toner, this type of contract can make it easier to manage and budget for consumables or servicing costs. This contract includes an extended warranty and automatic delivery of consumables, which means you don’t have to worry about remembering to order each month or being stuck without toner. The quantity of consumables depends on your business’ average monthly print volumes, which will usually be determined with your IT provider and laid out in the contract.

It’s ideal for SMEs that use lots of toner and want to avoid unexpected or uncapped consumables costs.

  1. An all-inclusive cost per page contract

This type of contract specifies an all-inclusive cost per page, based on a minimum monthly print volume. Essentially, the total cost of the device, service and toner is divided across the number of pages you print. You know exactly how much each printed page costs your business. It means you only pay for what you print (provided you meet the minimum monthly page quota). Because costs are apportioned per page, it makes it easier to compare costs when outsourcing printing and pass costs on to clients.

It’s ideal for small businesses who need to know the exact cost per printed page, especially those in client or professional services industries or those that often outsource print jobs


Read More