4 Costly Mistakes You Could Be Making When Refreshing Your Copier

Customers commonly make these four costly mistakes when replacing their obsolete copiers and multifunction devices or MFDs (the modern “copier” is actually an all-in-one that can copy, print, scan & fax).

1. Automatically signing a lease or purchase agreement without examining current needs

Be careful about automatically signing a lease or purchase agreement for ‘the latest and greatest’ version of your old device without a thorough examination of your office's true needs as they exist today. For instance, many organizations copy less today even while their print volumes are growing. Since the 80’s, copier sales reps have become expert at upgrading their customers to the “latest and greatest” even though overall copy volumes have been declining worldwide. This had led to expensive, space-hogging, over-capacity and under-utilized systems.

2. Not shopping around

Some companies are so busy (or trusting of their current vendor) that they don’t take the time to meet with one or two competitive vendors. With technology changing so quickly these days, it pays to meet with 2-3 vendors as not all ‘copier’ dealers package their offerings the same.

For instance, most traditional ‘copier’ dealers charge a monthly advance base amount that covers up to (fill in the blank) pages per month. If you go over that monthly allowance, you are billed in arrears for ‘overages’. What happens if you don’t utilize the full base allowance that month? You’re stuck.

BETTER: find a modern vendor that only bills for service and supplies in arrears based on actual pages produced so you aren’t stuck paying for pages you don’t even produce.

3. Choosing your vendor based on lowest price or lowest lease payment

It’s true today that modern imaging system regardless of the brand are more reliable, more productive and less costly to operate than copiers and MFPs introduced only a few years ago. All of the major manufacturers of imaging systems offer similar features and reliability. Be leary of a sales rep that wants to constantly trumpet her brand's ‘specifications’ or ‘features’. The real differentiator is the servicing vendor… how quickly do they respond onsite? Do they subcontract out the service or have their own employee-technicians? Are they authorized? Check a few references. Getting the lowest price won’t mean much when you are waiting for 4 days for a tech to arrive or the tech never seems to arrive with the right parts.

4. Assuming your new multifunction printer needs to accommodate 11-inch x 17- inch paper just because your old copier did

Yes, it’s true that all copiers (digital and analog) historically came standard with the ability to print and copy onto 11x17 paper (also known as ledger size). And of course, the document feeders could accommodate 11x17 paper also. Today, businesses have the choice between these more expensive and larger devices (commonly referred to in the industry as A3 devices) and devices that have a smaller footprint and cost less but can accommodate only up to 8.5-inch x 14-inch paper (legal size). These devices (known in the imaging industry as A4 devices) have a lower cost of acquisition and smaller footprint (saves your expensive office space!).

According to recent usage data, there is very little demand to print 11x17 inch documents. In fact, paper companies tell us that 11x17 paper typically accounts for less than 4% of all paper sold in the United States. Yet, the majority of the copiers sold in the United States have 11x17 capabilities. As a result, many organizations choosing to roll their copier fleets to newer technology today may be, in effect, building under-utilization into their environment and may be paying more in acquisition and usage costs for a rarely used capability.

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