Copiers and multifunctional devices come in a wide variety of sizes, capabilities and prices. Deciding on the best option for your organization is an important decision and investment. You’ve painstakingly combed through features of the various manufacturers for each machine and made the best selection. Now what? Choosing the device is only half of the equation. Most people don’t realize what’s involved after deciding upon your copier is just as important as selecting the device itself. We’ve rounded up some of the top questions asked about purchasing or leasing a copier and answered them below.
Top 5 Questions to Ask Once You’ve Selected a Copier
1. What are the benefits of leasing instead of buying?
Purchasing means just that—you own the equipment outright and it’s yours to keep. As office technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, equipment can become quickly outdated. Leasing allows for flexibility as your business changes and grows. For maximum flexibility, look for a partner that offers true in-house leasing, which means that company owns the lease to your equipment, this helps ensure that you will have functioning equipment best suited to your changing business needs.
2. How is service and support provided?
Timely, customer-oriented service ensures quick, expert responses for the life of any equipment. You want every aspect of service to be as efficient and customer-oriented as possible, including the technician compensation. Ensure technicians are compensated for your productivity, not for how many problems that you have. Technicians should be top-level certified from the manufacturer. A good technician will have anytime access to manufacturer websites, parts availability, machine histories and call information to make the most of every service visit.
3. Is training provided?
Whether you are looking to set up your new office printer or more complex multifunctional device, proper training and onboarding can help your organization become more productive and effective. Ensure adequate training is provided to ensure you now how to utilize your equipment to get day-to-day work done more efficiently.
4. How does the invoice/billing process work?
If you’ve chosen to lease equipment, most contracts begin on the date of equipment delivery. Invoices can be monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually, depending on the terms of your contract. Readings for overage billings can be requested automatically by email/fax, reconciled on a quarterly basis or by using free software available on networked devices. Most often, many contracts missing meters five days beyond the contract bill date are estimated based on contracted usage, or using service call readings. Invoices are mailed and payments can be made by check, or processed as soon as billing occurs with a credit card or automatic bank draft.
5. What types of guarantees are offered?
You will be shocked by what some companies include in the fine print. If you plan to lease equipment, you owe it to yourself and your company to read the fine print carefully. Beware of third-party lenders and “Hell or High Water” clauses. Before you sign an office equipment lease, ask for a guarantee—in writing—that it is not a “Hell or High Water” lease. If you can’t get this guarantee written into your lease agreement, don’t sign it.
Knowing what to ask your office equipment dealer once the equipment is selected offers peace of mind that you are getting the most for your business dollars and in your office equipment. Look for an office equipment dealer that helps strategically design your office to run efficiently and boost your productivity.
Kelsey Brewer, Account Representative
Kelsey is passionate about building relationships and understanding new technologies to better herself and her customers’ success. She attended Calhoun Community College and is an Active Ambassador with the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce. Kelsey services the Cullman and Morgan County areas and works from the Huntsville, AL office location.
Multifunctional devices are taking a leading role in information management in organizations, now serving as input, as well as output, devices for electronic content management systems. As the equipment’s role in maximizing productivity escalates, it is crucial to ensure your equipment service provider is working as a technology partner for your business, providing expertise and resources to meet your organization’s needs.
Below are five questions to ask your potential MFD providers to ensure that you are signing with a technology service partner that will seamlessly support and maximize your organization’s productivity.
1. Are the service technicians compensated based upon the increased quantity of service calls to your office or the decreased quantity of service calls to your office?
A true partner for your multi-functional devices focuses on quality and compensates service technicians to ensure they thoroughly understand and solve end-user issues. Compensating service technicians on “copiers between calls” helps ensure the customer receives maximum uptime and productivity. The alternative is compensation based upon quantity of calls, not quality of service, encouraging less than thorough fixes
2. Are key users able order supplies and place service calls easily and efficiently?
There should be options to place service calls and replenish supplies
should in today’s mobile, fast-pace of business. Technology is standard in the industry today to allow placement of service calls and supply orders online, mobile device and via telephone. Advanced customer portals are available to allow management of all devices from one secure login.
Furthermore, technology is available to monitor your networked multi-functional devices and auto-ship replenishments of toner and inks. This removes the need to carry inventories and removes the burden from staff.
3. Is a help desk support available and staffed with certified technicians?
At RJ Young, we have proven that an in-house help-desk can clear approximately 15% of service calls over the telephone, eliminating the need for an on-site service call and remedying the end-users issue immediately. To adequately provide this support, a provider will need to staff the help-desk with certified and trained hardware and software technicians.
4. Does the provider have certified technicians to support specialty multifunctional device sales such as wide-format printing devices and high-volume printing devices?
Specialty multifunctional devices are starkly different than traditional multifunctional devices—from internal workings to the input software to the output produced. This requires specialty service technicians who understand how the equipment functions as well as how the end-users integrate the devices into their workflow. When purchasing specialty equipment, ensure the partner employs specialty service technicians that maintain all current manufacturer certifications. Ideally, the partner will employ specialty service technicians that have significant experience in this area.
5.How is the dealer’s relationship with the manufacturers that they represent, including status of all manufacturer certifications?
All service technicians should carry current certifications
by from the manufacturers that they represent. This is non-negotiable for a service partner. It’s simple, your multifunctional devices are key components of your information management infrastructure and it’s necessary to have experts respond on the first call.
From time-to-time, dealer service technicians need to call upon manufacturers for help with unusual technical problems. Manufacturers often give priority to dealers based upon sales volumes of their products. Understand the presence or absence of these relationships when exploring a service partner to ensure you are guaranteed top-notch support.
Today’s multifunctional devices are more than output devices. A true dealer partner will recognize this and provide top-notch support and service for end users. Ask them these five questions to ensure your productivity is helped, not hindered.
Steve Huff, VP of Service
Steve Huff is Vice President of Service for RJ Young. After joining the company in 1981 as Assistant to the President, John Crunk, Steve rose within the organization to his current position in just four years. Steve earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Lipscomb University and is an MBA graduate of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Prior to his employment at RJ Young he had business experience at Bell South and IBM. Within the industry, Steve is known nationwide for the excellent service programs he oversees. He has hosted Copier Dealers Association service management meetings and is often contacted to make presentations to industry groups. A member of the Nashville Downtown Rotary Club, Steve is very active in the community. He has coached numerous youth baseball, softball and basketball teams and is a self-proclaimed sports fanatic. Steve and his wife Lisa reside in Brentwood, TN and have two children.