The TDSIT Blog

What Top 3 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Multifunctional Device

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Oct 01, 2013 @ 02:21 PM

TDS 3questions

When you purchase multifunction devices, like multifunction printers, it’s essential that you carefully consider your options. Remember that unlike a lease, the decision to purchase is permanent and you’ll have less flexibility to upgrade or downgrade based on what you actually need. Whether you’re a non-profit who simply needs a printer that will get the job done for the most affordable price, or a company that’s looking at multifunction printers to perform heavy-duty work on a daily basis, there are three basic questions that should be asked and answered before you make a final purchase decision.

1. What is your return policy? It’s unlikely you’ll come across a company who doesn’t have some kind of satisfaction guarantee, or return policy on their product. However, the terms and conditions can vary from company to company and product to product. In some cases you may have a certain number of days to return multifunction printers for a full refund, in others you may have to keep the original packaging. Make sure you understand what’s expected before you make the purchase.

2. Who will be servicing my account? Research has shown that much of your relationship when using multifunction printers is likely to be with a service technician. Initially you’ll work with a sales rep, but that relationship will likely end once you’ve signed on the dotted line. As a result, it’s important to find out who will be servicing your account on a regular basis, and to get details about their background. Proper maintenance is a necessity if you want your new system to last and have maximum uptime, and the right service technician can make all the difference.

3. How will multifunction printers be open to future technology? When you make your purchase, you want to ensure that you’re taking advantage of the latest technology available – and that it’s upgradeable to be compatible with future technology. Current options include features like Apple’s Air Print, which allows users to print from their mobile devices, and remote control panel access, which gives IT personnel the ability to monitor the printer remotely.

Asking these three questions of the company you will be working with can ensure a seamless transition to a new machine and will help you get the best overall value for your money. The more informed your decision is, the better your chances of choosing the best MFP device for your needs.

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Tags: Arkansas, purchasing office equipment, how to buy office equipment, multifunction printer

Top 5 Insider Tips for Acquiring Office Equipment

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 @ 08:51 AM

Top 5 Insider Tips for Acquiring Office Equipment

Today's challenging new economy is pushing us to make smarter decisions, to think longer-term, be more efficient—and to be more frugal. This goes doubly so when purchasing office equipment; buyers need to duck, dive and be creative—while not falling into money traps set by vendors that ensnare you into more expensive contracts with upfront discounts, special offers and bundles. And buyers have to do all this while ensuring they get the best tools and technology to empower their users. 

Industry insiders and procurement veterans know that office equipment purchasing comes in cycles of 5 to 7 years. Over the course of that time span the technology advances and past decisions are reviewed for effectiveness. The most important changes and advances to the office equipment purchasing cycle are:

Hardware and Technological Advances: Office equipment hasn't escaped the technological growth curve. Like other technologies it has advanced in features and functionalities, grown in processing power and added a plethora of new services.

Changes in Contracts: Nothing hurts vendors likes a bad economy, so to remain competitive vendors/service providers are forced to offer customer-attracting deep discounts. Problem is these losses need to be recouped somewhere in order for the companies to stay out of the red, and the most common place to recoup the loss is in contracts. By changing their terms and conditions vendors are able to rework their service contracts and agreements to make up for losses from upfront discounts and special offers. what?

Most companies understand the above, but how do you sort through the vendor mumbo jumbo and get a good deal on equipment that will keep your company on the cutting edge? We were wondering too—so we asked the experts (those industry insiders and procurement veterans). Our talks with the pros each yielded the same result, that you need to ask the right questions. And before you ask us “and what are the right questions” they are:

1. Will you use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or aftermarket parts--for the life of the contract--to service the equipment?

    This question's motive is self-evident—will the service provider use genuine parts, which can be 30-40% more expensive than aftermarket parts. Using aftermarket parts however can negatively impact warranties/guarantees though, which can cost you more in the long run.

    2. Who determines when equipment is replaced? Who determines when equipment is replaced?

      You can imagine what a monumental difference it is who decides when to replacement a faulty piece of equipment. So ask. Additionally, ask if the warranty/product guarantee is included in the actual Terms and Conditions of the contract.

      3. What security safeguards are offered?

        Security is a hot button these days, and not even your office equipment is safe from security concerns. Ask questions that will help you determine whether this potential new office equipment purchase will conflict with your company's current network security protocols. Also, inquire as to whether single-component or full-system security is offered and analyze what your system's security portfolio will be when complete.

        4. How will your company's sensitive data be handled?

          New office equipment rollouts and on-going security aren't the only concerns when switching over to new office equipment, you also need to concern yourself with how hard drives are swapped in and out, how those hard drives are disposed of and who has access to this information in the interim. Will you, the supplier or a third party handle the removal/swapping/destruction of your company's sensitive data?

          5. Are there any hidden fees?

            While that exact phrasing won't get you anywhere, asking important hidden-fee related questions is the only way to get a good deal and to safeguard yourself against evil fees and/or surcharges. Discussing any and all fees within a contract and keeping your eyes open for all potential cost bombs is important. Pay special attention to these costs, most of which go unnoticed:

            • Charges for two 8.5” x 11” impressions for a single 11” x 17” copy or print.
            • Incurred shipping charges for the delivery of toner to your office.
            • If Property Tax applies who pays?

            The above expert-derived tips should be taken into consideration before each and every new office equipment purchase. For a more thorough equipment-buying experience, download our 2012 Office Equipment Buyer Checklist, or watch our exclusive Buyer Tip video series. Do both if you're serious about getting the best deal and the most cutting-edge technology. 

            Buyers Checklist Download2

            Tags: Fayetville AR, Arkansas, purchasing office equipment, how to buy office equipment, tips for buying office equipment, security, xerox, hidden fees, TDSIT