The TDSIT Blog

Multifunction Printers: They’re Not All Created Equal!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Sun, May 31, 2015 @ 09:20 PM

not all mfps created equalIf you’re planning on adding a multifunction device in your office, you’ve probably noticed that they all look alike! They all print, fax, scan, and copy. The only difference seems to be the price, but even then, there’s not much difference! So how do you differentiate between MFPs to find the right one for your business? It starts by asking the right questions!

Look Behind the Curtain

The true differences can be found in the level of support provided by the manufacturer or reseller. Examine the warranty. Who covers it, the manufacturer or the reseller? How long does it last, 90 days, six months, three years? 

Is there a service agreement attached? Does the agreement offer service credits?  Your machine will inevitably require service at some point in its lifecycle. When the service tech comes to your office to repair your machine and prints multiple color and black and white test prints, who pays? Believe it or not, small differences like these can make a world of difference.

Check Under The Hood

MFPs generally use one of two engine systems. The first is a drum based engine. This requires a service technician to maintain the machines. The second is a cartridge-based engine.  Much like laser printers they have replaceable components like toner cartridges. They generally require less onsite maintenance.

Another area that should be examined is mobile printing.  As more businesses move more functions online, mobile print is a growing trend. There are a variety of devices, each with different requirements. Make sure the printer you choose supports the devices your workforce employs. Also, if leasing there may be an additional charge to enable mobile print. Ask your vendor before signing any contract.

Finally, security is an issue on every business owner’s mind. Since You MFP basically functions as a computer with an internal hard drive, memory, and Internet connectivity, it can become a security risk.  Look for systems offering full system security. Certified by the manufacturer and verified by a third party service such as Common Criteria Certification, this typically is installed by the manufacturer.

With a little bit of research, you’ll soon see that not all multifunction printers are created equal. Go beyond simple price point and functionality to find the true value when making a choice!

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Tags: multifunction print devices, warranty, purchase office equipment, multifunction printer, Purchase multifunction Printer

Office Equipment Warranties: How to Protect Your Investment

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 @ 08:30 AM

Office Equipment Warranties How to Protect Your investment

            In the business world warranties can be the difference between ease and the comforting knowledge of having coverage or they can mean legal torment and anguish while you are stuck in coverage purgatory.

            To avoid the latter scenario it is essential that you not only understand your warranty, but also choose one that best suits your needs. 

            So, are warranties all the same?  In a word: NO! 

            Warranties are like snowflakes – no two are identical.  Warranties vary in length of time, who is issuing them, and who (most importantly) does the equipment appraisals and makes the decision on whether or not something needs to be replaced.

            Warranties can be as short as 30 days (for your electric toothbrush) or as long as three years (for your big pieces of electronic equipment such as Xerox machines).  The length of the warranty should always correspond with the expected lifetime of the product. 

Chances are you do not want to make a large investment in an expensive item if you only have 30 days of protection to find all the kinks and work them out.  It’s not a coverage-to-dollar ratio that breeds confidence.  A standard manufacturers warranty is 90 days and some companies will allow you to buy longer coverage, which you should check to make sure has the same coverage stipulations as the original warranty. 

            Once you have established how long the warranty lasts it is time to see who it is being honoured or held by.

            Check out the company/manufacturer/3rd party who holds the warranty and make sure they are reputable and that there have been no mass-complaints about their service.  Chances are if there have been major problems with other clients you will experience them too. 

            Find out who decides about repairs under warranty (ex. Xerox lets the customers have control) and what is included in warranties where the equipment is being leased and needs regular maintenance. 

            The best way to avoid any unpleasant warranty surprises is to read the contract thoroughly and ask questions about any point you think is ambiguous or unclear and have the contract amended (in writing) to clarify.

             Make sure you understand what problems the warranty will cover and which it will not.  For example, does the warranty cover cosmetic problems as well as internal software issues?  Is there a clause that specifies that if the damage was the result of human error that the warranty does not cover repairs? 

Though warranties offer a certain amount of protection to you and your product they also create a lot of grey areas where each party can end up finger pointing at the other saying that it is their responsibility to fix the problem. 

            Do yourself and your company a favor and avoid this massive headache by sitting down with the contract, highlighting any problems or confusing passages and addressing them before anything is signed, sealed or delivered.

            Treat warranties with as much care as you would insurance for your home or car and chances are your company will not have an issue with coverage or getting repairs done when they are needed – just read the fine print!

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Tags: managed print services, office equipment warranty, purchase office equipment, lease office equipment, multifunction printer