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Our Newsletter

2020 in review... And where we go from here...

Posted on 23rd Dec 2020 @ 9:24:44 PM

2020: What happened?

The last 9 months have been some of the most challenging that we as a company have experienced.. but for very different reasons compared to those of so many other companies and individuals this past year.

What started out with a long ranging concern about what would happen with Brexit, soon became a journey into a Pandemic and trying to understand and adapt to the limitations that presented. It quickly became apparent that we were uniquely positioned to help those trying to work and educate from home. Later, as we approached July we started to see a surge in demand for our waste ink solutions which appears to have been fueled by the manufacturing lockdown, and thus almost no printers available to replace faulty ones. People were forced to find a fix for their service required error and thankfully we were able to help.

In amongst all of this we had to put a hold on hiring a new staff member and instead we were forced to apply our problem solving skills to re-tooling almost all of our manufacturing systems. As a result we invested heavily in time and labour saving equipment that will:

  • Allow us to clean, rinse and dry more than 400 inkjet cartridges in a single day.
  • Re-manufacture a number of Canon ink tank cartridges at more than double the speed we could previously achieve (Now approximately 1 cartridge every 40 seconds).
  • Improve our Printer Potty design, removing a small amount of unnecessary plastic, add a thread to the waste kit and improve the overall speed of manufacture by 30-40%.
  • Allow us to fill, label and barcode our ink bottles approximately 60% faster than previously.
  • Shoot video support instructions, guides and other tips on multiple camera feeds, with improved audio.

All of these changes made it possible for us to (mostly) keep up with demand, improve our support information and just about keep ourselves on top of all except our admin.


Ending 2020 and into 2021... What now?

As we draw to a close in 2020, Covid-19 remains very much a problem in all our lives but the changes in the UK's relationship with the EU has once more come to the fore and frustratingly the lack of clarity on that relationship is the main reason the last 2 months has been filled with "what if" updates where we have attempted to anticipate what will happen and worked to avoid as many of the hurdles as possible. We have also struggled to understand the mindset of the people allegedly responsible for tackling this process.

So, as we have wound down for 2020 and prepare for 2021 we wanted to make a few things absolutely clear.

  1. We are not closing down.
  2. We are not abandoning nor ignoring our European customers, or those of the wider global community.
  3. We have prepared a number of courier and postal service relationships to try and cover our options.

  4. We are waiting patiently for the new rules of trade to be clarified, particularly those regarding exports into the EU.
  5. Our experience has taught us that packages get lost during the Christmas period and this year the volume, complexity and potential for loss/damage/etc... has been magnified ten fold.
  6. So, we have chosen to rest and let things calm down, develop some level of clarity and then we will be able to move forward.

The key thing to note here is that until we understand what will happen from January 1st, we don't know how or how much to charge our customers properly. We also don't know how much it will cost to replace stock which in turn means we have to guess how pricing will be affected. We could go on with the huge number of currently unanswered questions we have that all affect our ability to move forward but you honestly don't need the huge headache. It's just complicated.

So, our primary requirements to allow us to reopen orders to our International customers are:

  • Full understanding of what information will be required to dispatch order to European customers
  • Confirmation that no additional requirements for non-EU countries (most UK trade relationships were actually EU based and may be void)
  • Full understanding of the correct pricing (with/without tax/charges) for customers
  • Ability to communicate any additional costs for customers accepting orders in the EU (eg: Import duty/taxes & admin charges)
  • Reasonable guarantee of successful delivery of orders without unreasonable delays, seizures or losses.


It's a long list but right now we're resting up and preparing ourselves as much as possible. So, when things are clear, we can get moving again. In the interim, if you have questions, please contact us... if you need help, please contact us... and if you just want to do something positive, please donate to food banks, support your neighbours and look out for each other.

Thanks as ever for your custom, your trust and your patience... Stay safe, keep healthy and see you in 2021.