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Posts Tagged ‘copier maintenance contracts’

How to Save Money on Color Printing & Copying

August 31, 2016 Leave a comment

3 Tier Color

Color copying and printing can be a very large expenditure for many companies worldwide today.

The Gartner Group reports that companies spend between 1-3% of total annual revenues on printing.

So if your company’s revenue is $20 million per year your spending between $200,000.00 and $600,000.00 on print output. That’s a lot of money.

Working in the industry myself I suspect that that many companies are over the 3% mark.

Whichever way you slice it, it’s a big expense.

Furthermore, the cost of printing a color page is typically around 10 times the cost of a black page.

For example you may spend a penny to print a black page but 10 cents to print color. The ratio can vary slightly but suffice it to say that color printing can be a real drag on your organizations bottom line.

Over the years I’ve had many customer tell me that they wish there was a better way to do color printing. A way that they could lower the cost of color printing without having to block employees from using color.

In my experience telling employees to print less color just doesn’t work. For many organizations it’s just not an option because color printing is necessary.

Proposals, presentations, brochures, drawings and graphic artwork are things that companies just have to print.

Over the last few decades there has been few technological advances that would allow companies to save on the expense of color printing.

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Until now.

Kyocera has developed technology for their multi-function copiers and desktop printers that finally allows companies to pay for the amount of color that is printed on the page as opposed to paying a flat rate for all color prints no matter how much color is put on a page.

It’s called 3 Tier Color Pricing and it’s only available on Kyocera copiers and printers.

As the name implies there are 3 tiers of color pricing depending on how much color is used.

Tier 1- Simple Color (Low Color Coverage)–  An example of tier 1 would be a document that is all black except for a color company logo or letterhead.

Tier 2- Business Color (Medium Color Coverage)– A report that is mainly black text but has a few color charts or graphs.

Tier 3- Creative Color (High Color Coverage)– Pages that are printed with a lot of color like a brochure or product collateral.

This is a very big deal. By replacing existing color copiers and printers to Kyocera equipment your company can potentially send thousands of dollars to your companies bottom line.

To take the mystery out of how much you can save by switching you can send samples of color documents that you print regularly to your local Kyocera Direct sales representative (for example, me) and they can run them through a Kyocera copier or printer in order to tell you which tier your documents fall in and how much that print would cost you.

No matter how much color your organization prints you can save money. Sometimes significant money.

If you’d like to find out more or test your documents just call me directly or fill out the simple form below. Contact me, Ed Worthington, directly at 443-570-0414.

My company provides Kyocera copier and printer sales and service in Maryland, Washington DC, Delware and Northern Virginia. If you’re not located in one of those areas contact me anyway and I’ll point you to a Kyocera contact in your area anywhere in the United States.

Why not take a minute to do it now? The savings could be considerable.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

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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

 

 

 

 

 

Copier Service Response Time: What’s Reasonable and What’s Way Too Long

Last week I received a call  from the office manager of a company here in Baltimore, Maryland looking to lease a new copier.

As I usually do when I receive a call like this I began asking this office manager a few questions about their current copier situation and why they might be looking to leave their current vendor.

She gave me a few of the usual answers like the copier is jamming a lot, the copier is regularly down going altogether and they’re not at all happy with the service from their existing copier company.

From there I scheduled an appointment to meet with the office manager and general manager of the compan.

If you’ve visited this blog before you’ll know that often when I meet with prospective customers and begin asking these types of detailed questions I’m stunned by the answers. I guess I shouldn’t be stunned  any more but it’s kind of hard not to be when you find out how badly people are being taken advantage of by morally challenged (shady) copier companies.

When I arrived at the company and was waiting for the office manager and General Manager to meet with me I observed they had an old Lanier copier right there in the front office. When I say an old Lanier, I mean OLD. At least 12 years old.

After asking my more detailed questions I found out 2 things that really did shock and amaze me.

1) They have been paying a lease payment for their old copier for at least the past 8 YEARS. Yes I said AT LEAST 8 YEARS!

They even suspect that 8 years ago when the copier was first delivered that it was already used. Judging from the make and model of the copier I think they’re probably right.

The issue of paying a lease payment for the same copier for years and years perpetually is one I’ve seen many times before. It’s called “ever-greening”. What it means is that the lease will continue to self-renew until the customer says stop with written notice.

I think it’s called ever-greening because the copier companies bank accounts are becoming greener by ripping off people who are too busy running their businesses to pay attention to whats happening to them.

This practice is very common so I decided to dedicate a whole post to it in the next few months.

Now lets move on to shocking discovery number 2.

2) The existing copier company regularly takes up to 4 business days to service the copier.

No I’m not joking. I wish I was. On more than one occasion this company has been without a copier for 4 days and even at their best this company would take 2 days to get there.

So you have something to compare to my company offers all of our customers a 4 hour service guarantee. From the time you pick up the phone and call us we have 4 hours to get to your location to service the copier. If we don’t get there within 4 hours we will credit our customers $100.00 toward their next service plan invoice.

We rarely have to pay. We’re dedicated to providing top notch service.

While a 4 hour service guarantee may be a bit on the ambitious side I think same day or next day service are totally reasonable expectations. If your copier company is taking longer than that on a regular basis you may want to consider having a polite conversation with them about the issue.

If that doesn’t work it may be time to consider looking into other companies who can service your brand of copier.

I hope this information helps. As always feel free to email or call me with any questions about buying or leasing copiers.

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

 

 

 

Copier Service Contracts- What You Really Need to Know- Part 2

January 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Hey it’s Ed Worthington from Action Business Systems-Toshiba Copiers. We are a copier company in Maryland serving the Maryland, Washington DC and Northern Virginia area but this blog is relevant to anyone in the world who buys copiers.

In today’s installment of my Copier Service Contracts series I’d like to talk with you about another thing you really need to know about copier service/maintenance contracts: Automatic Increases.

When I say automatic increases what I mean is that ALL copier service agreements contain in the terms and conditions the ability for the company to increase the cost of the service in specific time increments.

For example the agreement may state that the service fee can go up as much as 5% per year each year. Some people may think that’s too much and some may think that’s reasonable.

My main purpose of this post is to make you aware of the fact that these increases exist in the fine print and to let you know that YOU NEED TO READ THAT FINE PRINT SO YOU DON’T GET RIPPED OFF.

This is particularly relevant to me right now because there is a company I am working with right now whose current copier vendor has a 10% per quarter increase built in. Yes I said 10% per quarter. OUTRAGEOUS!!

This company also just received a check in the tens of thousands of dollars from their current copier company because I exposed that fact that they were being ripped off.

The current vendor not only charged them the 10% per quarter but much more. Can you say SHADY!

You may ask yourself how a copier company can get away with overcharging a small business so badly.

Well I’ll tell you how and it happens all the time. It is because the business Owner/Controller/CFO doesn’t pay attention to the service bill from the copier company and they increase it slowly. They don’t increase it by 30% all at once. But maybe by 5-6% every quarter.

It really starts to add up!

So the first ACTION POINT here is before you sign a copier maintenance agreement read the fine print and if you don’t like what you see, negotiate.

The second action point is to read your copier service bill carefully and watch for increases.

This advice could save you a lot of money in the long run.

If you have any questions about copier service agreements or anything else copier/document management related feel free to call me or fill out the form below and I’ll get right back to you. 443-570-0414 Thanks for stopping by.

Copier Service Contracts- What You Really Need to Know- Part 1

December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

When it comes to copier service contracts there are some things you really should be aware of so you’re not caught off guard after you sign a contract. One of the most important is that most copier service contracts have a built-in minimum amount of copies/prints per month and charge overage charges if you go over that minimum.

When a copier company comes out to meet with you to give you a quote many times they will ask you how many copies/prints you are doing per month now. The reason they ask this question is because when they prepare a quote for you they’re going to quote you a price for the machine (cash or lease price) and they’re also going to quote you on a service contract for that machine.

Just to be clear the terminology may vary depending on what part of the country you are in but typically the contract will be called a service or maintenance contract/agreement.

The quoted price usually includes toner, repairs (parts & labor), preventative maintenance, and any consumables. Basically everything except your paper and staples.

In case you’re not aware a copier service agreement usually consists of 2 components. A monthly minimum number of copies at a set price and then a per copy/print price for “overages”. For example your agreement many be for 10,000 black copies/prints per month for $100.00 (1 cent per copy/print) and then any “overages” will be billed at an increased rate say, 1.5 cents per copy/print.

I’ve never really understood the overage thing and it truly baffles me. In what other business does a company penalize you for buying more of their product? In other words in the above example as part of your monthly “minimum” 10,000 copies you are billed at 1 cent each but magically after the 10,000 copies/prints per month the price goes up to 1.5 cents. Why? I really can’t tell you. Does it cost the copier company any more for the toner at the 10,001st copy than the 10,000th copy. I think we know the answer to that.

On top of this mystery there is another mystery I can’t seem to solve about my industry. If you do less than the “minimum” number of copies/prints per month (again 10,000 in our example) than you are still charged for the 10,000. Why? Again, no clue.

I would agree that in some cases where a business or professional practice does a very low volume per month/year there does need to be an annual dollar minimum. At my copier company in Baltimore, Maryland we have a minimum of $300.00 per year for the service agreement. I think this is very reasonable due to the fact that the service agreement covers repairs and toner. In other words if your copier goes down and we have to send a technician to your location and you bill less than $300.00  for an entire year than you can see how the company can easily start losing money. When your copier goes down they/we have to pay the technician, gas, parts, ect. Again keep in mind that the $300.00 minimum includes toner.

So in summary if you go over your “minimum” monthly copies/prints the cost per copy goes up and if you go below your minimum you still would be charged for the 10,000 copies/prints. Sounds like a lose/lose proposition for the customer to me.

Here at Action Business Systems I write my service agreements very differently. For example, I have a company interested in a new copier in Towson, Maryland. The way I quoted their agreement is the way I quote them all.

First, we agree on a per copy/print cost. In this case we were at $.007 (less than one penny) per copy. This amount varies depending on the type of copier you buy due to the toner efficiency of each machine.

Then, once the copier is delivered we wait until their first month is over and bill them for the exact amount of copies they did in that month. Then we do the same for every month thereafter. There is no lose/lose situation with minimums and overages. This is the most fair way to bill a customer for their copies/prints.

So in the example of the Towson, Maryland customer above if they do 20,000 copies/prints per month we just multiply that by .007 for a total of $140.00 for that month and we send them an invoice for that amount. Simple and fair.

You may have trouble finding a copier dealer in your area willing to do business this way but if you insist on it you may just get it.

If you’re business or professional practice is located in Baltimore, Maryland, Washington DC or Northern Virginia area I would be happy to give you a simple and fair quote on a new copier and copier service agreement. Just shoot me a call or email. In the month of December 2012 we are giving away a free Toshiba Laptop, Toshiba Thrive Tablet or Toshiba flat screen TV with every new copier purchased or leased. Contact me, Ed Worthington at 443-570-0414   ed@edworthington.com or just fill out the form below.