Printer Shortages and Supply Chain Challenges Continue in 2022 - June 02, 2022
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Printer Shortages and Supply Chain Challenges Continue in 2022

Thursday, June 02, 2022

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Company: KICTeam

Though the spread of the Coronavirus seems to be abating worldwide, supply chain challenges continue to affect the availability of printers, which is impacting businesses across the globe. The “Great Printer Shortage” is being caused by a few factors:

– The global supply of ink and ribbon has been significantly disrupted
– Severe access limitations to raw materials and components to build products, such as chips
– Covid-19 related labor shortages in manufacturing and logistics
– Significant increases in demand for products in a recovering economy

According to the US Census Bureau, 38% of small businesses and 28% of global retailers have reported severe shortages and out-of-stock items.

Not only is printer equipment in short supply, evidenced by empty shelves across the nation, but spare parts are in very short supply as well. It raises the question, what strategies are businesses using to adapt to this current reality?

Traditional supply/demand strategies can be used, such as starting the quoting and negotiating process earlier and “further ahead” inventory management planning for 3 – 6 months out. However, equipment manufacturers, distributors and resellers are offering another piece of seemingly uncommon common-sense advice in this short-supply environment…

Have you tried cleaning your equipment to restore it?

A favorite slogan here at KICTeam is: “It’s not broken – it’s dirty.” We work with thermal and label printer OEMs around the globe and have conducted cleaning pilot studies ranging from 3 – 6 months to demonstrate how cleaning not only restores functionality to devices in the short-term but over the long-terms it improves the overall performance of the equipment and extends its lifespan.  In fact, one impressive pilot study done with the largest retailer in the UK, who wanted to reduce their thermal printer replacement costs, had excellent results.

Over a 6-month period they used thermal printer cleaning cards after every label roll change and found that, compared to the printers that were not cleaned, the print heads on the maintained printers lasted almost 3X longer!

Another large OEM that KIC works with discovered that 74% of premature print head failure is due to overheating caused by a buildup of residue on print heads.

Non-maintenance is the single, largest reason thermal printer equipment fails. And right now, with severe shortages and supply chain issues, routine cleaning is a simple, effective, and economical solution you have at your fingertips. This doesn’t just apply to thermal printers, but to any electronic technology that is critical for your business.

By the time you see the problem, it’s often already too late.
It doesn’t have to be this way.


About KIC

We specialize in developing cleaning products for technical devices such as point of sale systems, payment capture terminals, check scanners, printers, kiosks, and self-service technologies.  Our engineers have worked closely with more than 50 equipment manufacturers to understand the specific capabilities of their devices, and how to maintain and restore system performance through cleaning.  KIC engineers also ensure that our cleaning products are safe to use, so they won’t harm the equipment, your staff, or the environment.


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