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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

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Avoid Unexpected Copier Service Plan Fees

January 23, 2015 Leave a comment

With business expenses going up every day it’s hard to create and keep a consistent budget in today’s world.

Most businesses are  paying for a copier lease and maintenance costs and the last thing you need is to have unexpected charges from your copier vendor.

But for many companies that’s exactly what’s happening.

I recently received an email from a blog reader located here in Baltimore, Maryland asking for my advice.

She leased a new copier several months ago and recently an alert message popped up on the copier screen letting her know that one of her toner cartridges needed to be replaced.

Imagine her surprise when she called her copier company and was told that she had to pay for the toner cartridge which was a few hundred dollars.

This shocked and angered her because she was already paying for a service plan on the copier which supposedly included the toner. So why was she being asked to pay for this toner?

When she asked why she was told that she was using too much toner. This seemed very confusing. If she has a service plan which includes 5,000 prints/copies per month how can she be using too much toner when you make those 5,000 prints/copies.

Here’s how it works.

When a copier manufacturer makes a toner cartridge they fill it with an amount of toner that is enough to cover a specific amount of prints or copies.

That number of pages, sometimes called a yield, is based on a specific percentage of page coverage.

For example you may see toner sold online saying “32,000 yield at 5%”.

What their saying is that this cartridge will produce (or yield) 32,000 pages when each page is 5% covered with toner from that cartridge.

When a user makes copies/prints that average more than a 5% coverage on the page they will get less than 32,000 pages from that cartridge.

When they run out of toner they call their copier company and are told they have to pay for more toner because they are using more than 5% toner coverage per page.

Although the contract states you will get x amount of copies/prints included with the service plan, that x amount of copies is based on a 5% page coverage.

If your average page coverage happens to be more than 5% you’re  going to be asked to pay for more toner.

This is a tricky situation because in order for the copier/toner manufacturer to say a toner gets X amount of pages they must base that on a certain % of page coverage.

Otherwise they have no way to state how many pages you’ll get from a toner cartridge.

If they were to base the yield on 100% page coverage you would only get 1,600 pages on what is otherwise called a 32,000 page yield cartridge at 5%.

32,000 pages at 5% coverage or 1,600 pages at 100% coverage. Same cartridge with the same amount of toner. The only difference is what the page coverage percentage is.

If you want to avoid this happening you can adjust the toner density on the copier. There should be a setting on your copier called “quality/density” or something similar.

It basically just tells the copier or printer to lay down less color toner when printing or copying a color image.

At my company we don’t make the customers buy extra toner unless they are really going crazy with color usage.

If this does happen to you ask to speak to a manager at the copier company and ask them if they can make an exception just this one time since you weren’t aware how this worked.

This scenario should never happen to an average business. It usually only happens when a business is printing a lot of pages with heavy color and graphics like brochures and marketing material.

If you don’t print with a lot of color usage and your still being asked by the copier company to pay for more toner you should be suspicious.

If you happen to be in a type of business where you do a lot of heavy color printing the bottom line is that your options probably come down to laying less color down on your pages or paying for the extra toner.

I hope this is helpful. Thanks for stopping by today and remember to have fun.

If you are thinking about purchasing a new copier, printer, scanner, fax machine, postage meter, stuffing/folding machine or binding equipment feel free to give me a call for a competitive quote.

I also offer many different software packages, including custom developed solutions, to assist you with your document management needs.

My company is located in Baltimore, Maryland however I offer sales and service to the entire USA.

You’ll get no sales games or tricks with me. Just an honest opinion on your needs and a very competitive quote.

Feel free to call me or fill out the simple form below. My number is 443-570-0414. Thanks!

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

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

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.

Which Copier Should I Buy?

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Which copier should I buy?

It’s a question I get from my customers as well as my friends who are in the business world.

The many different vendors,copy machines, accessories and service plans can make your head spin.

I’m here to help.

Take a look at my Copier Comparison Guide. It will help you compare different vendor proposals in order to get the best deal for your business.

Perhaps most importantly it will empower you by teaching you the questions you should be asking each vendor in order to get the best deal.

When a prospective vendor hears you ask these types of questions they’ll know that they’re dealing with someone who knows more than the average person about copiers.

This will significantly decrease the chance of them trying to get over on you.

My advice, print this guide, contact the top 3 copier companies in your area and compare.

Please call or email  me with any questions. Hope this helps.

Ed Worthington  *443-570- 0414  *ed@edworthington.com

https://www.box.net/s/txmhoehkwnghfk7mce25

How to Save $5,000 per Year on Your Copying & Printing Costs- A Case Study

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

In my last post I discussed how businesses and professional practices can save money by optimizing their printing and copying processes.

Click the link below to check out this case study, shown as an infographic, outlining how I saved a client almost $5,000 per year on their copying and printing.

If you have any questions or comments, or would like to find  these cost savings in your business or practice, contact me. ed@edworthington.com 443-570-0414

Copying/Printing Cost Savings Case Study