A flat click charge rate, Kneeland points out, would punish—and discourage—those at the low end of the digital printing spectrum, who could not substantiate a high benchmark volume. The most obvious analogy is that of the automotive lease, with allowances of 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 miles per year. Someone who drives 8,000 miles per year would not want the rates built into a 20,000-mile-a-year lease.

“So what a click charge allows us to do is…not penalize people who are just getting into digital printing,” he says. “Sometimes that low entry point is not a direct reflection on profitability, either. A printer may be running much higher payback applications through a digital box, such as highlight color or one-to-one personalization, that would drive higher revenues with lower volumes.”

From Xerox’s perspective, the click charge format starts with a base charge, with a certain amount of volume built into it (such as 500,000 four-color sheets). Anything above the base volume triggers the click charge. The trick is in selecting the most suitable plan.

“If you select the right base plan geared toward your specific needs and if then you start to grow and go above that, you just pay for that increased usage,” Kneeland says. “So your cost may go up, but your revenues are also going up because your volume is increasing. That matches the cost of the equipment with your revenues coming in, resulting in a positive impact on your cash flow.”

Hewlett-Packard (HP) offers both the click charge model, as well as an a la carte proposition that caters to the offset mentality in regards to service/support and consumables. According to Avi Basu, HP Indigo category manager for digital press business in North America, the pricing offered with an individual a la carte, caters to experienced users with a wealth of knowledge regarding the application, their usage, the technology and getting the most from that technology.

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