Let’s face it, your copiers and printers aren’t the most thrilling aspect of your IT Infrastructure. Just the thought of them is enough to make most of our customers’ eyes glaze over and think of plans for the weekend.
However, neglecting this aspect of your IT hardware can cost your business considerable time and money and even threaten your data security.
In defiance of an increasingly digitised world, many businesses, charities and schools still rely on print to conduct their day-to-day processes, and therefore temperamental printing devices can be a colossal cause of frustration in the workplace.
We’re sure you’ve been there, hours crawling around on the floor on the phone with a printer support helpdesk trying to diagnose an issue.
Or the ominous ‘Replace Toner’ message appears just as you prepare to print out reams of paper for an important presentation, and to your horror, find the replacement toner hasn’t been ordered…
We get it. Printers can be a real pain, which is why many customers despise talking about them altogether.
However, as previously put, to some organisations, they’re crucial. We’ve seen far too many clients tie themselves up in unscrupulous contracts, spend a fortune on toners and consumables and spend endless amounts of time trying to troubleshoot ageing equipment, which would be better placed in the British Museum than a modern workplace.
There are two things to consider when looking for a new printing device – How you will fund the equipment and how you will run and maintain it.
In this article, we list some pitfalls of what can be a minefield of a marketplace to shop in, what to look out for and why our Managed Print solution could be the missing piece of your IT jigsaw.
Acquiring The Equipment:
Speak with most copier suppliers, and they’ll tell you that leasing your new machine is the most cost-effective funding solution available.
This is nonsense. In our experience, leasing your printing equipment will result in a customer paying far more than the device was purchased in the first place, only to be left with nothing to show at the end of the agreement.
We call leasing ‘The loan where you don’t own’.
Copier salespeople will insist leasing provides a customer with flexibility and more control over their printer fleet should they wish to change their equipment early.
We refer to leasing as a loan because that’s exactly what it is. You’re in for the payments whether you like it or not.
Imagine you’ve taken a 5-year bank loan with Barclays – Do you think they’ll just let you walk away after a couple of years without paying them back because you don’t fancy it anymore?
Yeah right! And that’s the same with a copier lease agreement – after three years into a five-year contract, you’ll likely get a phone call from your supplier looking to upgrade your equipment and the remaining balance will simply be ‘taken care of’.
Unfortunately, no one gives away free money. You’ll find that those final two years of payments will be wrapped into your new agreement, massively inflating your new payments, and you’ll likely be stuck in your lease for the rest of time.
So you get the idea. Leasing a printing device is seldom in your best interests.
Are you leasing your printing equipment? Calculate how much you’re due to pay over your term and work out if you were better off owning it outright.
Contact Kingstar Services if you’d like to discuss our unique funding solutions for your next copier.
Service & Maintenance:
The other aspect to consider when shopping around for a new printer, is how you will run and maintain it.
You can go down two routes: A warranty-supported machine where you buy your own toners and consumables from somewhere like PrinterLand or a Managed Print Solution.
In our experience, a Warranty supported machine will do the job for small home offices or workplaces that rarely rely on their printer.
However, we’d almost always recommend a Managed Print Solution for anyone doing even an average print volume.
This is traditionally charged as ‘cost per page’, a set rate for colour or monoprints. These charges typically include all the toners, parts, callouts, support and labour.
You pay for the prints you do each month safe in the knowledge that everything you need to run and maintain the device is fully included, and should an issue arise, an engineer is just a phone call away.
It works out considerably cheaper to run a printing device this way, but the hardware itself will be slightly more expensive than a warranty-based device. This is why a company doing only a small print volume is unlikely to benefit from a Managed Print solution, as they won’t see enough savings in printing costs to justify a higher hardware price.
Whilst a Managed Print solution could be a huge asset to your business, you must tread very carefully when finding the right terms of the solution, as this is where we have seen many customers get caught out.
When looking for a new printing device, you’ll probably want to go to market and get a few quotes to ensure you get the best deal possible.
This makes sense – as long as you’re comparing the whole package, not just who’s presenting the lowest ‘cost per page’ or equipment price on their proposal. You must also ask for a copy of the contractual T&Cs you would be expected to sign.
We live in an age today where we are constantly clicking ‘Accept’ to terms and conditions.
Even if you attempt to read Facebook’s T&Cs, it’s written so that wading through just a few lines is enough to confuse and bewilder even those fluent in legal jargon, let alone us mere mortals.
The truth is that they are written like this on purpose. Even if the average Joe reads through their T&Cs, they probably won’t understand what they agree to.
We just accept, putting huge trust and confidence in these companies. The way copier dealers operate is no different.
Making terms so confusing and complex, it’s just a copier maintenance contract, right? Surely it can’t be devious? This is what copier suppliers prey on and proves why it’s so dangerous to compare one price with another, without looking at the bigger picture.
The big danger with getting caught out by unfair T&Cs is that there is usually little you can do about it once you’re in the contract, which is why copier suppliers love five-year contracts.
Once you’ve got wind you’re being ripped off, these agreements are written so you’ll either have to grin and bear it or pay through the nose to get out of it. Neither are fair or palatable.
So make sure you look for a provider that can provide their Service and Maintenance contract on a short rolling agreement – which brings us nicely to our solution – Kingstar Services will never ask you to sign a long-term agreement.
It goes against everything we stand for, as we want our customers to use these services because they want to, not because a contract says so!
Unhappy with your current Managed Print provider? Unsure if Managed Print is even for you?