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MicroPro Computers places sustainability first

Dublin-based MicroPro Computers, a mid-sized computer sales and repair company with a staff of 25 people, has a heavy focus on extending the life of IT hardware in order to support a more circular and sustainable industry

At MicroPro, an Epson partner, sustainability takes form with a focus on the repairability and upgradeability of IT hardware.

Founder Paul Maher said: “We noticed that in the IT industry, most pieces of equipment were being thrown out after three years. What we like is modularity, taking out one section and putting in another without breaking it, and ultimately reducing the habit of replacing things.”

He continued: “When we started focussing on sustainability nearly 20 years ago, people didn’t care about it. Now people are beginning to see the importance of reduced waste and energy consumption.”

As a case in point, travel agents Just Split were previously using laser printers across its five branches. MicroPro replaced these with business inkjet models from Epson, giving them the advantage of 96 per cent lower energy consumption and 98 per cent less intervention compared to a laser printer.

However, high print capacity meant they were consuming ink on a frequent and costly basis and so they needed a new solution. To resolve this, MicroPro provided five Epson WorkForce Pro WFR5690 RIPS printers fixed with Epson’s managed print service, Print365. This meant that print costs became fixed on a monthly basis and Just Split could continue the benefits of minimal waste and intervention thanks to the high yield ink pack system, and low energy thanks to the business inkjet technology. Just Split are now in their second year using Print365.

Jim Vaughan, Just Split Managing Director said: “We’re very happy with the product, I can’t think of any negatives. As MD I’m also responsible for the IT installations at Just Split so my focus is to avoid overspend and to minimise downtime. A lot of our print is put in the hands of the customer, so keen colours and overall quality are things I’m not willing to compromise on. Prior to the Epson kit we were losing a lot of money through ink and media, and we suffered a lot of downtime through product repairs and this just wasn’t great for business. MicroPro offered a solution that dealt with our concerns around productivity and cost, and the reduced eco footprint that came with this was a great benefit that any company would welcome.”

Maher added: “Our consumer customers are more easily swayed by cartridge-free EcoTank printers that are more expensive to buy but save them money in the long run thanks to high-yield ink bottles, which also help them avoid any concern around recycling ink cartridges. People understand that cheap and cheerful cartridge printers can be a more costly and time-consuming investment if they’re frequently printing. For businesses, we can meet the demand for reduced print costs through managed print services while cutting their consumables through Replaceable Ink Pack System (RIPS), another high-yield printer range from Epson that runs off business inkjet rather than high-energy consumption laser.”

Five years ago, around 98 per cent of the consumer printers MicroPro sold were cartridge printers. Now, 98 per cent of consumer printers sold are EcoTank. “I love working with the Epson team – they’re so approachable and they’re a great match for MicroPro as we continue our endeavours to help create a more sustainable existence,” Maher concluded.

Eco merits

Social Print & Copy (SP&C), Scotland’s first social enterprise within the print and copier sector chose to partner with Epson, largely thanks to its strong alignment with their own goals around sustainability and CSR. SP&C will predominantly stock and sell Epson printers due to their low-energy consumption, low waste and low costs to the customer. While their core market is print and copier solutions, SP&C will also look at widening its product offering towards large format print and projectors.

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