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A Little Know Secret to Saving Big Money on Your Next Copier Purchase or Lease

business man holding money

With today’s business climate being so uncertain many business owners and executives have become highly price sensitive when it comes to making purchases for their company.

I’ve been in sales and marketing for over 20 years in the Baltimore, Maryland and Washington DC Meto area during that time I’ve observed the level of price awareness rise each year.

I think I can safely assume that the same is true all over the United States and even overseas.

I can remember a time in the early 2000’s when a purchase of a few thousand dollars could be made relatively quickly, in 1 meeting, by a single decision maker who sometimes didn’t even get more than one quote from prospective vendors.

Now, that same purchase of a few thousand dollars requires multiple decision makers, several meetings and multiple price quotes from different competing vendors.

Obviously, things have changed.

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Business owners and executives are looking at business expenditures, especially larger ones, much more closely due to the economic pressure we all feel.

One of the larger single expenditures for most companies is the purchase or leasing of copying and printing equipment.

Although many companies have initiatives to reduce paper, businesses in America still spend considerable amounts of money for the ability to copy and print documents.

If there was a way to reduce that cost you’d probably want to know about it right? Well there is!

If your organization never or rarely prints or copies 11″ x 17″ (ledger)  paper I have good news for you.

In the copier/multi-function printer world there is a way of classifying these machines.

The distinction is made by how large of  a sheet of paper the machine can print or copy on.

There are 2 classes and they go by the names A3 and A4. I won’t get into why they are named this way in this post but just know that there are 2 major classes.

To keep it simple an A3 machine can print and copy on to 11″ x 17″ (ledger) paper. In some cases they can even print up to 12″ x 48″ banners.

An A4 copier/multi-function printer is limited to printing letter (8 1/2″ x 11″) sized paper and legal (8 1/2 ” x 14″ ) sized documents.

As you may have guessed an A4 machine costs less because it doesn’t contain the components that are needed to print larger pieces of paper.

Years ago an A4 machines were typically only printers, usually desktop style, and A3 machines were copiers.

Over the last 5 or so years there has been a trend among copier and printer manufacturers where they have begun adding copying, scanning and faxing capabilities to their A4 model printers.

The result is a multi-function printer that does everything print,, copy, scan & fax) an A3 device does but for significantly less cost.

So if you are in the market for a new multi-function printer and don’t need to prints 11″ x 17″ documents ask your copier vendor and a few others to quote you on an A4 device as well so you can compare the two.

If your organization does occasionally need to print ledger sized documents keep in mind that you can always outsource that printing to a local printer who will happily take care of it for you.

So now I’m going to board up the doors and windows of my house because I’m sure I just ticked off a lot of copier sales guys by telling you this information.

Basically they’re going to make less money because of me.

Hopefully upon further reflection they’ll realize that although they are going to make less money they have most likely created a long term customer who is grateful  (and therefore more loyal) that the rep told them the truth even though it cost him or her commission dollars.

One last point.

Some people in my industry may make the point that an A4 machine cannot handle large copy and print volumes like an A3 can.

I don’t believe there is much validity to this point unless you are truly copying and printing large volumes of paper per month.

Even in that case, these machines are very reliable.

My best advice is to check the manufactures specifications for the device your considering use that as your guide.

I hope this helps.

As always, if you have any questions feel free to email me or simply give me a call.

If you’re in the market for a new copier, printer, document management software or IT services and you’re located in Baltimore, Maryland, Washington DC or Northern Virginia please allow me to provide you with a quote.

If you’re not in one of those areas and need quote please contact me anyway. I have a network of qualified, screened copier dealership in all 50 states, Australia, Canada and South Africa.

Thanks and have a fun day!!

443-570-0414 (cell)  edworthington@outlook.com

 

Have a fun day!!


Ed

 

 

 

 

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Should You Include Copier Maintenance Plan Costs into Your Copier Lease? Updated

copier : young worker using a copy machine

Back in March of 2014 I wrote a post titled, Should You Include Copier Maintenance Plan Costs in Your Copier Lease?.

At the time I was very against including copier maintenance plan costs (also referred to as a copier service plan) into the lease of the copier.

I noted that in many cases the reason the copier buyer does this is for the convenience of having to write only one check while some copier companies may be motivated by the fact that they can get interest and fees on the maintenance plan costs whereas if the maintenance plan is billed separately they don’t.

Please note that I said “some” copier companies may be motivated by interest and fees on the service plan. I don’t want to paint the whole industry with a broad brush. That really wouldn’t be fair.

While I still feel that it’s generally a bad idea to add the service cost to the lease I have discovered a new way to go about this.

A way that you can combine the lease and the service agreement together without paying ANY interest or fees of any kind on the service. The best of both worlds.

It’s called a pass-through. The reason it’s called a pass-through is that the leasing company will accept their monthly payment from the business who leased the copier and then  pass the copier service/copier maintenance agreement portion of the payment back to the local copier company who sold the machine and performs the service/maintenance on the machine.

This is done without you the customer paying any fees whatsoever to the leasing company for passing the payment to the local copier company.

This can be a little confusing so I’ll sum up the whole process for you.

When you lease your new copier you purchase a service agreement on the copier.

A copier service agreement covers toner, repairs (including parts and labor) and preventative maintenance. All you have to do is buy paper. Everything else is covered.

When is comes to billing some copier companies will add the service/maintenance costs to the lease. The problem with this is that you are paying interest and fees on the service plan.

It doesn’t have to happen this way because the copier company who sold you the copier and will service the copier can bill you separately for the copier service agreement.

In other words you pay the leasing company their payment for the copier and write a separate check to the local copier company for the service plan on the copier because they will be performing the service on your copier.

Many copier buyers love the convenience of making only one payment but don’t want to pay interest and fees on the service plan if they don’t have to.

This is where the pass-through comes in.

The leasing company sends the customer one monthly bill which includes the copier and the service agreement and then passes the service plan portion of the payment back to the local copier company.

The copier buyer is happy because they only had to cut one check.

It’s a great service that provides the best of both worlds for the copier buyer.

I now offer this single payment service to my customers here at my copier company in Baltimore so if you are in Maryland, DC, Northern Virginia or Delaware and would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for honest copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you with the names of some trusted companies.

As always feel free to ask me any copier buying question and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington

 

 

 

 

 

Save your organization BIG MONEY on printing & copying costs by knowing and controlling who’s printing & copying what, when, where, why and how!

Contact me for more information on PaperCut MF

If your business is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

As always you can also ask me any copier buying question you like and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington

Should You Include Maintenance Plan Costs In Your Copier Lease?

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Recently I met with a prospective copier lease customer located here in Baltimore, Maryland.

The company is what I would consider a mid-sized manufacturing business with 200 employees.

They have 3 copiers and 3 large commercial color printers at their facility.

During our initial meeting I asked the CFO of the company how his billing was set up with his current copier vendor and he informed me that everything was included in his lease.

By everything he meant that the copiers, the printers and the maintenance agreement for all of them were all rolled into one lease.

Just to be clear, when I say maintenance agreement/plan I’m speaking of an agreement that covers toner, all service and repairs as well as preventative maintenance. Basically everything except paper and staples for the copiers and printers.

When I asked the CFO if he’d ever considered having the maintenance agreement billed separately from the lease he looked puzzled.

I explained to him that he was paying interest/leasing fees on the maintenance agreement and that he really didn’t have to do that.

I further explained that all copier companies will bill you separately for your maintenance agreement and that keeps you from paying leasing fees on your copier maintenance plan.

I told him that many copier companies don’t actually hold your lease in-house but instead send it to an outside company. In these cases the leasing company sends you the lease invoice each month for the lease and the copier company will send you the bill for the maintenance plan because they are the ones providing the maintenance.

Then what the CFO said next had me puzzled. He said he likes to keep the copiers, printers and maintenance together in the same lease so he doesn’t have to write 2 checks every month. Huh?

This business does a fairly significant amount of printing and copying so they are paying A LOT of money unnecessarily.

Unlike this CFO many businesses who have the cost of maintenance rolled into their copier lease don’t understand that they’re paying leasing fees on the copier maintenance agreement.

I’ve even had prospective customers tell me that the sales rep of their current vendor told them that there are no fees whatsoever associated with putting maintenance into the lease.

That sounds like a bunch of poo poo to me. There could be many reasons a copier salesperson is encouraging you to do this but my bet is that it benefits the salesperson to do so.

One possibility is that the copier company actually holds the lease in-house and by rolling maintenance plan costs into the lease they make increased profits on that maintenance. Therefore the copier company may be giving the sales rep an increased commission for putting the maintenance costs into the lease.

If the leasing company (whether in-house or not)  is allowing you to have maintenance costs rolled into your copier lease they are charging you for the privilege one way or another.

They are leasing companies, not charities. They didn’t get to be the incredibly profitable entities they are by lending money to businesses for free.

It seemed to me that this CFO was costing his company a boatload of money for the convenience of writing one check per month instead of two. Heck, most copier companies will bill you quarterly or even annually for maintenance so you really don’t even have to write a maintenance check every month.

My advice is to have your maintenance agreement billed separately to avoid unnecessary costs to your business.

If your business is located in Maryland, Washington DC, or Northern Virginia and you would like a competitive quote from a copier salesperson who will tell you the truth (even when it hurts), please fill out the quick easy form below and I would be glad to help.

If you are anywhere else in the United States and would like my recommendation for copier companies in your local area fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you asap.

As always you can also ask me any copier buying question you like and I’ll do my best to give you a solid answer.

Thanks for stopping by. Have fun.

Ed Worthington.     edworthington@outlook.com.                           443-570-0414

 

 

 

 

How Small Businesses Can Save BIG Money on Copying & Printing Costs

Last week I received a call from a small professional services company located in Bethesda, Maryland. The bottom line of the call was that this company was struggling with declining revenues since 2008 due to the economic downturn and is looking to save money on their copying and printing costs.

My experience in the field tells me that they’re not alone. I seem to be getting more and more calls and emails from small business owners and executives with the same questions and concerns. The owners of these small businesses are feeling uncertain about the future and looking to save money wherever they can.

As a matter of fact, this company wasn’t just looking to save money, they needed to save money to stay in business.

They wanted to know if I could help. I could, and in a BIG way. I’ll explain how I did it in a moment but first here is some important background information.

There are approximately 28 million small businesses (under 500 employees) in America . Approximately 90% of these companies have 20 or less employees and about 96% have 50 employees or less. Chances are pretty good that if you’re reading this you’re one of them.

The bottom line is that there are a lot of  small businesses in America and many of them are unknowingly throwing money away every day by using very inefficient and expensive desktop printers and all-in-one (print,copy, scan, fax) desktop printers. I’m not talking about a few dollars here.  There is much more than that in play here.

I’ve been told by more than one business owner that they’ve always assumed because they have so few employees and do such a small amount of printing and copying that it wouldn’t be cost effective for them to purchase or lease a stand alone copier. That assumption is costing many of them thousands of dollars per year.

When I say thousands I mean that literally. No exaggeration. If that sounds like a lot of money that’s because it is. Especially for a small business.

Many businesses based on the assumptions I listed above go to Staples, Office Depot or go online and purchase multiple desktop printers and/or desktop all-in-one printers.

Although these desktop models are less expensive than a stand alone copier to purchase up front, in the long run they can be considerably more expensive to operate due to the high cost of their consumables such as toner, drums, ect.

It’s important to take a close look at the total cost of ownership of your current copying & printing equipment.

I designed The Copier Cost Comparison Worksheet to give businesses and professional practices like yours a way to assess the monthly cost of your current copier(s)/printer(s) to the cost to the cost of the solution that a prospective vendor is offering.

This worksheet is especially helpful for businesses that are using multiple desktop all-in-one machine like the popular Brother or HP models.

There are many variables that effect the overall costs of copiers and printers so you may have questions about your specific situation. When these questions arise feel free to call me directly or fill out the easy contact form at the bottom of this post.

1) How much do you spend on toner per month for all existing machines? Include all desktop printers and all-in-one printers.

__________

2) How much do you spend per year over the last several years replacing  fax machines, desktop printers and all-in-one devices?  (Divide annual amount by 12)

__________

3) Total Monthly Cost of Existing Copier/Document Management Process (Add lines 1 and 2)

__________

4) Proposed Monthly Investment for Stand Alone Copier (Lease Payment or Purchase Amount Divided by 60 Months)

__________

5) Proposed Monthly Investment for Service Plan on Stand Alone Copier

__________

6) New Monthly Investment for Stand Alone Copier (Add lines 4 and  5)

__________

7) Savings Per Month with Proposed Stand Alone Copier Solution (Subtract line 6 from line 3)

__________

8) Annual Savings with Proposed Stand Alone Copier Solution (Multiply line 7 by 12 months)

__________

9) Savings Over Full Lease Term with Proposed Stand Alone Copier Solution (Multiply line 7  by number of  months of lease term)

__________

Other Considerations:

In addition to the savings shown above, your office staff will now be much more efficient in their daily work. The time invested in repeated workflow processes will be dramatically reduced due to the unique features of a stand alone copier solution. There is a definite savings in cost of man hours due to this increase in office efficiency.

Additionally, if you currently receive a high volume of inbound faxes you can save additional revenues by using the stand alone copier as a fax machine. Each fax printed on a stand alone copier is far less expensive than that of a fax machine.

Also with a stand alone copier you don’t have to print every fax. You can have the faxes routed to an email inbox as a pdf document. Many businesses receive several pages of fax spam per day. You no longer have to pay for toner and paper to print out these advertisements. Just view and delete them right from the an email inbox.

These savings are in addition to the savings on this worksheet.

If your organization is located in the Baltimore, Washington DC, Northern Virginia metro area I’d be happy to perform a cost analysis to see if I can save you money. Chance are good that I can whether you have desktop equipment or stand alone copiers.

It never hurts to get a competitive quote to compare your current vendor to.

If you have any questions feel free to call me or fill out the easy contact form below. Have Fun!

Ed Worthington 443-570-0414

Copier Buying Tip- Keep the Future in Mind

November 13, 2013 Leave a comment

The purpose of this blog is to pretty straightforward. To save you time, money and pain when buying a copier for your business. professional practice or church. Whenever I see what seems like a buying mistake made by a business I try to bring it to you in hopes that you won’t repeat others mistakes.

Recently I was working with a customer in Baltimore who bought a copier from my company about 4 years. The customer bought the copier from someone else in the company so I was not the person who originally sold the customer this copier.

When I sat down with the customer and began to ask him some questions to get familiar with his business he expressed his dissatisfaction that the copier he has currently wasn’t keeping up with the needs of his business. He had recently began to experience some service issues with the copier and felt he had actually been “undersold” when he purchased the copier.

In other words he felt that the previous representative from my company that he worked with didn’t sell him a machine that was made for the high volumes he was printing and copying.

Upon further review of his account I realized that the original service agreement he signed 4 years ago was for 20,000 copies/prints per month and they were now doing over 80,000 per month.

I asked him if the company has grown over the last 4-5 years and he expressed that the growth has been significant. I explained to him that based on my research his volumes had increased significantly over that last 4+ years and that when he originally purchased the copier he himself felt that 20,000 copies/prints per month was sufficient.

It really wasn’t the previous salesperson’s fault. She thought she was doing the right thing at the time. The only mistake she may have made was to neglect to ask the customer about their growth expectations. At that point if the customer was anticipating rapid growth maybe higher volume model could have been recommended.

I quickly remedied the issue by recommending that the customer purchase either 2- 65 page per minute copiers or one 135 page per minute copier. Having 2- 65 page per minute copiers has some advantages over 1- 135 page per minute copier like the ability to have 2 people sending faxes at once.

In the end this customer opted for one copier but the moral of the story is when buying a new copier keep in mind that if you anticipate company growth you may want to go one or 2 models up from what you current needs warrant.

If you don’t, you may end up having service issues when the copier is being used more than the manufacturer recommends for that model.

Also keep in mind that manufacturers tend to exaggerate the number of monthly copies/prints their machines can reasonably handle without having service issues. Sometimes I get a good laugh when I read manufacturers brochures. I have no idea why they put such unrealistic numbers on these spec sheets but I find all manufacturers do it.

The other option is to keep in mind that you may have to expand your copier budget to purchase a second machine while you still have an active lease on the first one.

If you choose the two copier option keep in mind that you don’t want to wait until your first copier is having a lot of service issues to add the second one. By that time the first one may be burnt out and have to be replaced well before the lease ends. This would defeat the purpose of the strategy.

So the copier buying tip today is to keep future needs in mind when purchasing a new copier for your business.

Thanks for stopping by and reading. If you have any questions  or comments please feel free to fill out the form below.

Have fun!

Read more…

5 Steps to Buying The Right Copier for Your Business or Professional Practice

If you or someone you know is in the market for a new copier here is a simple 5 step formula for selecting the right copier for your business or professional practice.

Although my 5 step copier buying formula gives you a good framework for buying a copier your bound to have many more questions.

If that’s the case for you feel free to email me.

ed@edworthington.com

I’m happy to help.

Here are the 5 simple steps.

Step 1 is to decide on the speed of the copier. Standard office copier speeds range from 20-85 pages per minute. If you need help in deciding what speed  your copier should be than click over to my post titled, How Fast Does My Copier Really Need To Be?

Here’s the link.

https://baltimore-copiers.com/2012/11/11/copier-speed/

Step 2 is deciding whether you want a copier that prints and copies in color or just in black.

Buying a color copier if you don’t truly need one can be a real drain on your budget.

So before you pull the trigger on a new color copier click the link below and read my post titled, Color Copier, Do You Really Need One?.

https://baltimore-copiers.com/2013/01/31/color-copier-do-you-really-need-one/

Step 3 is deciding what additional accessories you want for your new copier.

There are many options but the main ones are as follows.

1) Does the copier need to be able to fax? This ones easy.

2) How much paper do you need the copier to hold? Based on the amount of printing and copying your office does you may want to add additional paper drawers. Additional copier paper drawers keep users from having to stop frequently to add paper to the copier.

3) What type of copier finishing options do you want to add? Finishing options include things like sorting trays, stapling, folding and booklet making.

In Step 4 you’ll decide whether you are going to lease or purchase the copier.

A large majority of businesses and professional practices lease their copiers. There are many solid business reasons to lease your copiers but sometimes it make sense to purchase your copier outright if you have the means to do so.

For a more in depth study of this question check out my blog post below  titled, Copier Lease vs Buy: How to Decide if You Should or Lease a Copier for Your  Business.

https://baltimore-copiers.com/?s=lease+vs+buy

In Step 5 should you choose to lease your new copier, is to choose a lease  type and term of the copier lease.

By lease type I mean whether you are going to do a fair market value copier lease or a dollar buyout copier lease.

For more check out the link below which will take you to my post which explains the 3 types of copier leases.

https://baltimore-copiers.com/2012/02/10/3-types-of-copier-leases/

By lease term I mean the length of the lease. 12, 24, 36, 48, 60 month copier leases are all readily available in today’s highly competitive market.

Obviously the longer the copier lease term the lower your payment will be. The downside is that you will pay more interest and fees on the longer lease.

My recommendation on copier lease length is to go with a 36 month lease for 2 reasons.

1) Technology changes rapidly and new technologies can save your company time and money.

One example of this is toner efficiency. Every year copiers become more and more efficient in their toner use. This is good for you because if you use less toner, you have to buy less toner.  This should lower the cost of your service plan thus saving you money.

This is just one of many examples of how new copier technologies can save your company or professional practice money.

2) The second reason is simple wear and tear.

As copiers get older and get more and more use they will go down more often. Copiers are machines and machines wear down and break down.

One mistake many companies make is taking a 5 year lease on a machine that just barely fits their needs today in terms of speed and maximum total monthly usage.

When these companies begin to grow they naturally make more copies and prints. Now they may have a machine that no longer fits their needs but has 2 years left on the lease.

In addition to having a copier that no longer fits their needs they may also have a copier that is breaking down often because it wasn’t designed to handle  the volumes it’s doing. These frequent breakdowns will result in the copier company raising the service rate to offset their increased costs.

Of course you can upgrade to a new copier but you WILL pay part or all of the money left on your existing lease no matter what the salesperson tells you. No copier company is going to eat 2 years of a lease in order to sell you a new copier.

Any company doing that would be out of business very quickly. It’s just too much money to absorb.

The dirty little secret of the copier industry (much like the car industry) is that they are simply adding the existing lease buyout amount into the new copier lease.

The bottom line is if you’re going to do a 5 year copier lease be sure you’re thinking ahead about how your company may grow. Even if you don’t forecast growth over the next 3-5 years I would recommend buying a faster copier that can handle larger monthly volumes than you think you now need.

It will save you a lot of headaches down the road and it only costs a small amount more per month.

I hope this was helpful. Feel free to contact me with your questions by email or by filling out the form below.

ed@edworthington.com

If your located in the Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, DC, or Northern Virginia area feel free to call me for a no obligation quote. I will give you a solid quote with no sales games or pressure. I can be reached at eworthington@abscare.com or 443-570-0414.